Butzel’s Estate and Succession Planning team determines the most advantageous ways to hold assets during a client’s lifetime and to develop a plan for the distribution of such assets at death. We can develop sophisticated estate plans for extremely high net worth individuals and address the unique issues surrounding family- and closely-held businesses. Our practice also handles commonplace matters in addition to more complex matters that require special attention.

Our in-depth understanding of the intricate tax and estate laws gives clients optimal and creative solutions during their personal and professional lifespan and following death. We can counsel fiduciaries during the administration of estates, trusts, guardianships, or conservatorships proceedings and we can assist with tax compliance when preparing fiduciary income tax returns, federal gift and estate tax returns.

We also provide meaningful counsel on corporate planning and charitable giving. We specialize in family- and closely-held business planning. Our attorneys address the unique issues of ownership transition, management, distribution of assets for business owners after death. We also have considerable chartable planning experience, providing guidance for implementing various tax advantaged trusts as well as establishing private family foundations and public charities for those persons looking to take a more active philanthropic role for themselves and their families.

Our team handles estate tax audit matters and fiduciary tax audit matters, and we have considerable experience litigating probate, estate, and family law affairs.


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  • Created numerous private charitable foundations.
  • Provided estate and succession planning services for some of the wealthiest individuals in Michigan.
  • Created a private charitable foundation in excess of 20 million; actively involved in the administration of the foundation.
  • Provided complex Estate Planning services for numerous Senior Executive level individuals from major automotive manufacturers.
  • Lead counsel in two separate litigations, both involving $100 million trusts, with respect to claims of breach of fiduciary and related claims
  • Actively involved in the administration of one of the largest estates in Michigan.
  • Handled the administration of several estates in excess of $100 million.
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