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John M. Huff Partner

Office
Grand Rapids
Phone
616/336-6239
Fax
616/336-7000
Email
jmhuff@varnumlaw.com
jmhuff@varnumlaw.com
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Assistant
Karla J. Brewer, 616/336-6249

Personal Legal Services Experience

John focuses his practice on personal legal services and public sector matters. Much of John’s day-to-day practice involves representing individuals with a high net worth and complex estates. Referred by other attorneys and professionals both within and outside the firm, John seeks solutions for client and family interests with regard to various business and personal assets, second marriage issues, and blended families. He has experience in prenuptial agreements and trusts such as credit trusts, marital trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, and other wealth transfer vehicles.

John also helps clients navigate estate tax law changes, gift taxation, trust administration, and probate issues. He has experience in follow-up administration for tax appeals, audits, estate negotiations among siblings involved in a family business and those not involved, and provisions for disabled children.

Serving both as city attorney for East Grand Rapids and township attorney for Cascade Charter Township for more than 25 years, John also has extensive experience navigating the public/private interests that play out in municipal decision-making and initiatives to improve resident quality of life.

Some of John’s interests include election law issues, contracts, zoning, and claims against government entities, to name a few. John is also called upon as special counsel in various municipalities to collaborate on negotiations and resolve conflicts — often acting as a neutral sounding board to hear the concerns of elected officials as well as citizens in order to support an effective and fair resolution.

Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law
    Chicago, Illinois
    J.D., 1978
  • Albion College
    Albion, Michigan
    B.A., summa cum laude, 1975

Professional Affiliations

  • West Michigan Estate Planning Council
  • National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC), Accredited Estate Planner
  • American Bar Association: State and Local Government Law, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections
  • State Bar of Michigan: Probate and Estate Planning, Real Property sections
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV® Preeminent™
  • Listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2006
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2007

Community Involvement

  • Albion College, Planned Giving Advisory Council
  • East Grand Rapids Community Action Council

Representative Matters

  • Negotiated the purchase of a dormant dam on behalf of municipal client for refurbishing as electricity supplier to township residents. Dam was acquired for $1 as part of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiative. The dam has continued to supply electricity to the township since the 1980s, saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars annually.
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