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Practice Areas



University of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
J.D., 1997

Alma College
Alma, Michigan
B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, 1993

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Business and Estate Planning Attorney

Dean is a partner in Varnum’s Corporate Practice and Estate Planning Teams.  Dean concentrates his practice on business transactional matters, general corporate work, real estate acquisition, real estate sales and development, estate planning, succession planning and agricultural law. In addition to general business representation, Dean also works closely with his clients and their advisors, including accountants, financial advisors and other consultants, to create organizational structures, business succession plans and estate plans that allow families to plan for current and future generations. Dean regularly prepares sophisticated estate plans, including estate tax planning, business succession planning and probate avoidance.

Dean is a frequent speaker on business succession planning and estate planning matters.  He has also written numerous articles on these topics.


Dozens of roll-up acquisitions for leading insurance broker since 2017 with total value in excess of $300 million.

Advising multiple significant farming operations on estate planning, focusing on estate tax minimization and business succession planning, including implementation of structure to involve next generation members in business operations.

Advising numerous high-net-worth clients with estate planning and estate tax planning strategies.

Honors and Recognitions

Martindale-Hubbell® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated

Professional Affiliations

Ottawa County Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan: Business Law Section; Probate and Estate Planning Section; Real Property Law Section; Agricultural Law Section

Community Involvement

Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Board of Directors

Grand Haven Area Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club Foundation: President; Board of Directors

Greater Ottawa County United Way, volunteer

Loutit District Library Capital Campaign, volunteer

Rotary Club of Grand Haven

Grand Haven Area Young Professionals, co-founder


Dean regularly makes presentations regarding entity selection, succession planning and estate planning. He has presented at Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) events.

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