Vanderbilt University Law School
Articles Editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A., Political Science and Psychology, with distinction, 2009
All Michigan state courts
Estate Planning Attorney
Janelle is an attorney in Varnum’s Estate Planning practice. She works with clients to develop estate plans tailored to their unique needs and circumstances, ranging from simple plans to sophisticated, multi-generational plans involving complicated asset structures. Janelle’s starting point is to understand each client’s motivation, focusing her effort on developing a plan that realizes the client’s goals. She also helps clients with prenuptial agreements, facilitates trust and estate administrations and works with Varnum’s litigation attorneys with respect to probate litigation matters.
While she works with clients of all ages and incomes, Janelle has unique insight and experience working with millennials to address their estate planning needs. For example, she recently helped a newly married millennial couple create a joint plan that will benefit a combination of future children or, alternatively, a charity and helped an unmarried millennial create a plan that will benefit his siblings (as well as his beloved family pet).
Janelle’s experience working in the nonprofit sector prior to law school strengthens her ability to facilitate sensitive conversations between family members. She is skilled in helping clients work through challenging circumstances in order to accomplish estate plan objectives. Her knowledge of the nonprofit sector benefits clients for whom charitable giving is important.
For the past three years, Janelle has been named by Best Lawyers® as one of the “Ones to Watch,” a designation given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers in recognition of their outstanding professional excellence in private practice.
In the community, Janelle serves on the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women executive leadership team. Within the firm, she serves on the Diversity Committee.
Honors and Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch, Trusts and Estates, since 2021
State Bar of Michigan
American Heart Association, Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team
Rethinking Dementia: Accelerating Change, Board
San Juan Diego Academy, Development Board