Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Estate planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy or the aging. Anyone can become disabled at any time. One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones is to establish an estate plan. A well-designed estate plan provides for loved ones, including minor children or aging parents, provides for incapacity, avoid probate at death, reduces or avoids estate taxes, and provides for charitable organizations.

We meet with individuals and families to review their personal and financial situation, including their needs, concerns, hopes and goals, and explain the options available to them based on their situation. This may include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, or a combination of these, depending on client needs and goals. For high net worth individuals and families, the services may include sophisticated trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, and charitable giving strategies. Once their estate plan is in place, our clients enjoy peace of mind knowing they have provided for themselves and their loved ones in case an unexpected crisis occurs.

Bankruptcy

Are you:
Overwhelmed by debt?
Facing foreclosure or repossession? Or,
Just can’t meet your financial obligations?

If so, filing bankruptcy may be the answer. Bankruptcy is an excellent tool to eliminate unsecured debt such as credit cards, medical debt, deficiencies resulting from foreclosure and repossession. These types of debts are discharged at the conclusion of the bankruptcy process in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is important to know that in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be required to pay a portion of the unsecured debt through your repayment plan.

Not all debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. Child support and spousal support arrears, recent tax debts, and student loans are non-dischargeable, meaning the debtor is still liable for these debts even after the completion of the bankruptcy process. Further, if you have debts that are secured by property, such as a home or vehicle, you will have to continue to make payments on these items in order to keep them.

It is always a good idea to evaluate all your options prior to filing bankruptcy. Sara Vyncke can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is the right decision and what Chapter of bankruptcy may be right for you. We can help you make the decisions that are right for you and your family!

Estate Administration

When a loved one passes away, the challenges in administrating their estate can be daunting, especially in a time of tremendous grief. Whether a probate estate or a trust, the Legacy Legal Group can assist fiduciaries in carrying out their duties. We can assist in creating an inventory, filing the appropriate tax returns, dealing with creditor claims, and a plethora of other responsibilities that arise.

Asset Protection

You've worked hard for the life you've built. Unfortunately, life is full of unforeseen risks. A downturn in business, a lawsuit, a health emergency, or a divorce are some of the common situations that afflict successful individuals and businesses. There are a lot of gimmicks sold by unscrupulous or naive advisors on asset protection. When you need solid, realistic guidance on how to protect yourself from life's mishaps, the Legacy Legal Group is here to help.

Elder Law

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, legal issues facing our elders have become more prescient. The field of Elder Law encompasses estate planning, planning for incapacity, establishing guardianships and conservatorships, planning for long term care, and qualifying for public benefits like Medicaid that can pay for long term care. It is a process that involves the elderly individual and those closest to them. Attorneys in this field should be empathetic and knowledgeable. The Legacy Legal Group has extensive experience in this area.

Probate Litigation

When a loved one passes away, it's up to the fiduciaries named in their estate plan, or the personal representative of their estate to make sure their wishes are carried out. The Legacy Legal Group is frequently retained by heirs and fiduciaries to ensure that the decedent's intentions are followed. Unfortunately, elderly people are frequently taken advantage of, and predatory individuals can induce an elderly person into giving away their assets against their intentions. If you suspect that someone has used undue influence or taken advantage of an elder's fragile state to gain control of their assets or change their estate plan, it is essential that you consult with an attorney knowledgable in this area as soon as possible.

Family Law

Regardless of the surrounding circumstances, divorce is an emotional and difficult time for you and your family. The process can be overwhelming and often complex issues must be addressed such as child custody, parenting time, finances, debt, and property division. Having an experienced advocate guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions regarding your families’ future is essential.

Although litigation is often necessary, Sara Vyncke begins most divorce cases with an eye to an amicable out-of-court settlement. These agreements are often in the best interest of all the parties because they are private, less costly, and allow the parties the freedom to create terms that may not be available to them through the traditional litigation process.

We have experience in and offer services relating to divorce, pre-marital agreements, mediation, child custody/parenting time disputes, child support, spousal support, grandparent visitation, paternity, adoption, and asset division. If your family is facing any of these difficult situations, please call our office for a free consultation. We can help you make decisions that are right for you and your family.

Adoption

We believe that children are a blessing, and that all children deserve a good home. During his tenure as probate judge, David L. Stowe oversaw hundreds of adoptions. He is keenly aware of the intricacies of this area of law, and has a special calling to help prospective adopting families. David's interest in helping families with adoptions is continued through Sara C. Vyncke, who has an intricate understanding of Michigan's laws concerning adoption.

Business Law

Starting a business is an exciting endeavor. However, the legal and regulatory issues in setting up your company can be overwhelming. The proper entity choice is essential to protect your personal assets and allow for investment opportunities from outside sources. Handling employment issues, contracts, and dealing with co-owners is fraught with pitfalls. And when you sell your successful business, it is essential to protect your interests and maximize your return on investment. Additionally, if you're passing your business on to your family members, it can be very helpful to have a dispassionate third party evaluate and develop your succession plan. You need competent and creative legal counsel to help your business succeed. The Legacy Legal Group is well versed in the legal issues faced by business owners.

Mediation

David L. Stowe has conducted hundreds of successful mediations throughout his career. His experience as a judge informed his sense of justice. In addition, with his broad experience in private practice for decades before his judicial tenure, he is familiar with many areas of law.

Real Estate

Legacy Legal Group often deals with clients' real estate needs. Whether in the context of a real estate transaction, or litigation, our attorneys are well-versed in this area of law.