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Who We Are:  Advisory Boards
   Elder Law Advisory Board
Jane A. Bassett
Bassett Law, Ann Arbor
In private practice, Jane A. Bassett focuses on probate, elder law, and domestic partnership family issues, including estate planning, second-parent adoption, probate administration, special needs trusts, nursing home and Medicaid issues, and elder abuse and exploitation. She is a founding member and current vice-president of the Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality, Inc., a group that promotes legal recognition of parent-child...View Full Bio

Roxanne J. Chang
Roxanne J. Chang specializes in the areas of elder care, special needs planning, and probate and estate planning. She is also a limited licensed psychologist with a graduate certificate in gerontology. Ms. Chang has experience in behavioral modification and treatment; training and education for health care professionals; advocacy for persons with dementia and developmental disabilities and other individuals with special...View Full Bio

Howard H. Collens
Galloway and Collens PLLC, Huntington Woods
Howard H. Collens is a founding member of the firm, which focuses its practice on real estate (residential and commercial), property management law, probate, and elder law issues. Mr. Collens focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, and elder law. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Elder Law and Disability Rights Section (where...View Full Bio

Raymond A. Harris
Buhl Little Lynwood & Harris PLC, East Lansing
Raymond A. Harris practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, probate and trust administration and litigation, guardianships and conservatorships, special needs planning, and Medicaid planning. Mr. Harris is licensed to practice in both Michigan and Florida. He is a council member of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Mr. Harris is...View Full Bio

Alison E. Hirschel
Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, Lansing
Alison E. Hirschel is the managing lawyer of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, a legal services advocacy effort that also houses the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, the MI Health Link Ombudsman Program, and two local long-term care ombudsman programs. Ms. Hirschel also serves as the elder law specialist at the Michigan Poverty Law Program and is the managing...View Full Bio

Hon. Michael L. Jaconette
Calhoun County Probate Court, Battle Creek
Judge Michael L. Jaconette presides over the Calhoun County Probate Court, having been elected probate judge in 2010. Before taking the bench, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the office of the Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney for over 17 years and was an original member of the Calhoun County Cold Case Homicide Team. Judge Jaconette has been the...View Full Bio

Brian R. Jenney
Kemp Klein Law Firm, Troy
Brian R. Jenney helps families and individuals with elder law and special needs issues as well as estate planning and administration. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers from 2008-2010 and 2012-2013, and was also...View Full Bio

Gregory R. Kish
John A. Scott PC, Traverse City
Gregory R. Kish helps families and individuals address the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of aging and assists clients with issues relating to elder law, estate and long-term care planning, probate and trust administration, and real estate law. He has earned the designation of Certified Elder Law Attorney from the National Elder Law Foundation and serves as vice president of...View Full Bio

Arthur L. Malisow
Mall Malisow & Cooney PC, Farmington Hills
A partner of the firm, Arthur L. Malisow provides legal counsel in the primary practice areas of estate planning and administration, eldercare legal planning and advocacy, disability and special needs law, and probate. He received his juris doctor from Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University. Mr. Malisow is a nationally board-certified elder law attorney (CELA), as certified by...View Full Bio

Catherine Contos Metzler
Miller Johnson, Kalamazoo
Catherine Contos Metzler specializes in estate planning and taxation, probate and trust administration, guardianship and conservatorship, elder law, special needs trusts, and Medicaid planning. Ms. Metzler is on the board of directors of Friendship Village Community where she was president and served on the executive, fund development, and finance committees. She is currently a member of the Kalamazoo County Elder...View Full Bio

Melisa M. W. Mysliwiec
Fraser Trebilcock, Grand Rapids
Melisa M. W. Mysliwiec concentrates her practice on elder law and Medicaid planning, estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She is a council member of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan and serves as an assistant editor of the "Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Journal." She has been named a Rising Star by...View Full Bio

Charles S. Ofstein
DeMent and Marquardt PLC, Kalamazoo
Charles S. Ofstein practices in the areas of estate planning and administration, probate, probate litigation, wealth preservation, elder law and disability planning. He is a member of the Probate and Estate Planning and Elder Law and Disability Rights Sections of the State Bar of Michigan. Mr. Ofstein earned his juris doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he...View Full Bio

Nathan R. Piwowarski
McCurdy Wotila & Porteous PC, Cadillac
Nathan R. Piwowarski is a shareholder of his firm, practicing in the areas of elder law, estate planning, and estate administration. Contested probate matters comprise a significant portion of his practice. Mr. Piwowarski is the public administrator for Wexford and Lake Counties, serving as personal representative of decedent estates with no known heirs. He is also a special assistant attorney...View Full Bio

Jacquelyn A. Rygiel-Sprague
Rygiel Sprague PC, Clinton Twp
Jacquelyn A. Rygiel-Sprague, a founding member of the firm, focuses on elder law, Medicaid benefits, veterans’ benefits, probate, special needs, and estate planning. In addition to running the practice, she holds a council position with the State Bar of Michigan’s Elder Law and Disability Rights Section and is a member of the Michigan chapter of the National Academy of Elder...View Full Bio

Sara A. Schimke
Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC, Southfield
Sara A. Schimke practices in the areas of estate planning, long-term care planning, special needs planning, and various other elder law areas. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Schimke is also a member and serves on the governing council of the SBM’s Elder Law and Disability...View Full Bio

Kyra Sims
Legacy Law Center, Terrence A Bertram PLLC, Ann Arbor
Kyra Sims focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, and veterans benefits. Before joining the firm, she clerked for the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General, Child and Family Services Agency, representing the needs of abused and neglected children. Ms. Sims is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar...View Full Bio

Christopher W. Smith
Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices PLLC, Southfield
Christopher W. Smith focuses his law practice on assisting older adults and individuals with special needs. He advises clients on a wide range of issues, including estate and long-term care planning, special needs planning, probate administration, Medicaid, Medicare, and related issues. Mr. Smith serves as secretary of the State Bar of Michigan's Elder and Disability Rights Section; serves as co-chair...View Full Bio

Jeanne E. Murphy
ICLE Advisory Board Liaison
Jeanne E. Murphy has been with ICLE since 2005 and currently works with contributors to update and edit publications and online resources in the areas of probate and estate planning and elder law. She also develops new content, including interactive online education programs, and is a moderator. Ms. Murphy previously spent several years as a research attorney for the Michigan...View Full Bio
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