Wayne State University Law School
LL.M., Taxation, 1985
Wayne State University Law School
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
All Michigan state courts
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States Tax Court
Trust and Estate Attorney
Tom has over 40 years of experience in helping clients efficiently and effectively define their estate planning goals and then set up a plan to reach them. His expertise helps clients develop a clear and custom-tailored strategy, and then implement the plan by drafting clear and understandable legal documents. These strategies include protecting client wealth, transitioning closely held businesses to the next generation, reducing potential estate and income taxes, and limiting postmortem expenses. He also has experience in dealing with the IRS in administrative hearings and litigation, in developing creative tailored solutions for business succession planning, and in creating and operating charitable trusts and private foundations.
Tom is a frequent speaker and author on estate planning, employee benefits and charitable planning, and is the past chair of the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit. He is a member of the Community Foundation of Southern Michigan’s Legal/Financial Advisor Network and the Tannahill Society of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
He is a resident in the firm’s Birmingham and Grand Rapids offices.
Represented a leading carbon steel service center in its sale to a private equity fund. Negotiated the purchase agreement and provided counsel regarding the transaction structure, employee benefits, tax matters and antitrust filings under the Hart Scott Rodino Act. Assisted the selling family in creating and implementing its estate plan and the creation and operation of a family foundation.
Drafted a complete estate plan for a new client on three hours notice and personally delivered it to the client after midnight at the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Michigan Hospital for review and signing moments before the client’s emergency surgery.
Honors and Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America® since 2012
Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Trusts and Estates (Troy), 2023
DBusiness© Magazine’s Top Lawyer, Trusts and Estates, since 2017
Five Star Wealth Manager, 2010 – 2012
Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Trusts and Estates, Employee Benefits Law, 2022
Leading Lawyers: Tax Law – Individual; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law
Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
Michigan Super Lawyers® since 2008
Top Rated Lawyers™ in Tax Law, 2013
American Bar Association: Taxation Section; Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
Oakland County Bar Association: Taxation Committee, past chair
State Bar of Michigan: Probate and Estate Planning Law Section; Taxation Section; Business Law Section
The Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit, past president
Thomas Cooley Law School, former adjunct professor of law
Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Board of Directors
Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, Planned Giving Committee
Detroit Institute of Arts, Tannahill Society
Planned Giving Roundtable for Southeast Michigan
Wayne State University, Planned Giving Committee, past chair