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Overview

Estate Planning Attorney

Stephanie focuses on family law and estate planning. In her practice, she advises families through a variety of life events, including issues related to divorce, custody, visitation, adoption, child and adult guardianship, mental health proceedings, estate planning, and probate and trust administration.

Stephanie’s practice also includes corporate, real estate and public sector law. She advises clients regarding real estate acquisitions, development and management. She also advises clients regarding general corporate matters and maintenance of corporate records. She serves as the city attorney for Hastings and formerly served as the village attorney for the Village of Freeport.

Stephanie empathizes with her clients and understands that they may be experiencing unpleasant issues in their personal and corporate matters. This helps her to resolve their problems in a respectful manner. Her clients know that Stephanie cares about them, and they trust her to help solve their issues, which results in repeat clients and referrals. Her compassion is evident in her client interaction, as well as in her life outside of the office. Stephanie was part of a core group that established Green Gables Haven – a shelter for victims of domestic abuse in Barry County, Michigan. When she saw that women and children were being displaced from their known environments, she recognized the need for a closer option. Stephanie assisted in opening the shelter in 2004 and has served as the president on the Board of Directors for nine years.

Prior to entering private practice, Stephanie clerked for Judge Eveland in Eaton County, Indiana. She also formerly served as a probate/family court judge in Barry County, Michigan. In addition, Stephanie has served as an adjunct professor at Kellogg Community College where she instructed the Introduction of Criminal Justice class from 2004-2008, and at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where she instructed students in an intraschool moot court course from 1989-1996.

Leadership

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Family Law, 2019

Professional Affiliations

Barry County Bar Association, Law Day chair

Barry County Juvenile Drug Court Program, founding member

Kent County CASA, Board of Directors, 2007 - 2010

Pennock-Spectrum Health Board, Improvement and Patient Safety Committee

State Bar of Michigan, Family Law Section

Community Involvement

Barry County Hospice House: founding member; secretary

Child Abuse Prevention Council of Barry County

Green Gables Haven: president; Board of Directors

Women’s Giving Circle of Barry County, founding member

News & Publications

Presentations

Co-presenter, "Creatively Investing in Your Community's Future," Barry County Hometown Partnership, Spring 2013

Co-presenter, "Introduction to Divorce," National Business Institute, Fall 2012

Co-presenter, "Estate Planning Workshop," Hastings City Bank, Fall 2012

Co-presenter, "How to Effectively Testify," Bethany Christian Services, Spring 2012

Presenter, "Seven Steps for Zoning Ordinance Enforcement," Ottawa County (Michigan), Spring 2008

Education

Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Grand Rapids, Michigan
J.D., 1989

Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
B.S., 1986

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan

Court Admissions

  • All Michigan state courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
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