Estate and Trust Planning and Administration

Legal Services

Estate and Trust Planning and Administration

Few decisions are as important as choosing the right lawyer to help preserve and protect your assets during your lifetime, and ensure that they are distributed according to your wishes. Kerr Russell has extensive experience in providing a comprehensive range of estate and trust planning and administrative legal services—with a difference.

Many of our lawyers are Certified Public Accountants as well as attorneys. With our advanced training, insight and experience, we are able to create effective estate plans that coordinate client objectives, streamline administration, and minimize inheritance taxes to align with business and personal goals.

Our services include estate and trust planning and administrative services for estates and trusts, closely held businesses and individuals. From preparing estate income tax returns, and simple Wills and Powers of Attorney, to advising regarding complex, multi-million dollar estates involving business valuations and other sophisticated tax-minimizing methodologies, our attorneys are extremely aware of and familiar with the latest legal developments in this area of the law. We have the skills and experience necessary to help you achieve your estate planning objectives.

A partial list of our estate planning services includes:

  • Preparation of Wills, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts and Grantor Retained Income Trusts (GRAT’s)
  • Preparation of Durable Powers of Attorney, Medical Powers of Attorney and HIPAA Waivers
  • Estate planning services, including estate and generation skipping tax analysis, charitable and family gifts, funding for education, Medicaid/nursing home planning, and noncitizen tax planning
  • Assistance in trust administration
  • Planning for the succession and disposition of ownership in closely held companies
  • Probate court representation, including small, independent, supervised and ancillary estates, name changes, guardianships, conservatorships and adversarial proceedings
  • Determination and preparation of returns for federal estate, gift and generation skipping taxes, and Michigan and Florida inheritance taxes
  • Preparation of trust and estate income tax returns
  • Preparation of decedents’ final income tax returns
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Counseling individuals concerning primary state of residence or jurisdiction for tax purposes
  • Coordination of large retirement plan accounts with estate planning documents
+Practicing Attorneys & Staff


Cody Attisha
Cody Attisha


Richard C. Buslepp
Richard C. Buslepp


David J. Den Dooven
David J. Den Dooven


John D. Gatti
John D. Gatti


Kenneth R. Lombardo
Kenneth R. Lombardo


Mark J. Stasa
Mark J. Stasa


Jeffrey A. Brantley
Jeffrey A. Brantley

Of Counsel

James R. Cambridge
James R. Cambridge

Of Counsel

George J. Christopoulos
George J. Christopoulos

Of Counsel

Conor M. Bowers
Conor M. Bowers


Maxwell G. Shuart
Maxwell G. Shuart


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January 4, 2021

New Law Extends Paid Leave Tax Credits, Other Relief

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the Act) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. Among its many extenders, the Act provides employers the option to continue paid leave through March 31, 2021 and receive a tax credit for amounts paid.

August 7, 2019

Succession Planning Article in Corp! Magazine by Kerr Russell Attorney

Ashley Racette Discusses Succession Planning for Small Businesses:  Sustaining Your Legacy and the Importance of Planning

January 26, 2018

Download Kerr Russell's updated firm brochure and overview of services

Kerr Russell is proud of Detroit. We are proud to have had a seat at the table here since 1874. Our exceptional attorneys understand the unique challenges facing business leaders. Our legal solutions are prompt, accurate, economical, and focused around your needs in every area. We know Michigan business like the back of our hands.

January 15, 2018

Honoring the legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and every day, we at Kerr Russell honor Reverend King’s leadership and his legacy as well as the critical importance of diversity and opportunity in this great land of ours. Strength comes from difference; a multiplicity of voices brings positive change; understanding and inclusion inspire creativity and innovation.

September 5, 2017

David Den Dooven pens dbusiness piece on the importance of estate planning for startups

David Den Dooven contributes to dbusiness' "Grow Personal or Business Wealth with the Right Advice" feature. He offers perspective on the importance of estate planning, even in the early days of a start-up enterprise's success. You can read the original post here.
+Related News

January 4, 2023

Cody Attisha Named Member At Kerr Russell

Cody Attisha was recently named a member (partner) at Kerr Russell. He was selected at the end of 2022 for the promotion effective January 1, 2023.

November 16, 2020

22 Kerr Russell Attorneys Recognized as DBusiness 2021 Top Lawyers

A total of 22 lawyers from Kerr Russell are named as DBusiness Magazine 2021 Top Lawyers. The attorneys are selected through a peer review process.  DBusiness polled more than 18,000 attorneys across Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties. 

July 14, 2020

15 Lawyers From Kerr Russell Recognized as Leading Lawyers 2020

A total of 15 lawyers from Kerr Russell are named to the 2020 list of Leading Lawyers in Michigan. Only those lawyers who are most often recommended qualify for this honor.

March 17, 2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Business Continuity:  A Message to Our Community, Clients and Friends

Kerr Russell is committed to its community, clients and people. As the world navigates through the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to assure you that Kerr Russell is committed to supporting our community, clients and people as effectively as we have through every other crisis our Nation has encountered over our firm’s nearly 150-year history. Our firm is fully operational: We have made sure that our lawyers and staff are able to safely and effectively serve our clients’ needs and continue operations on an uninterrupted basis. Most of our people

February 27, 2020

Kerr Russell Wins Summary Disposition in Real Estate Matter

Ashley Racette and Daniel Beyer were successful in obtaining summary disposition for clients in a real estate matter in Muskegon County. 

December 2, 2019

Book Review - The Triumph of Rosemary

Kerr Russell attorney, Ashley Racette, recently reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary, by Judge Marylin E. Atkins. Ashley's review is posted in the September-October edition of the Detroit Bar Association's Detroit Lawyer, page 5.

September 19, 2019

Kerr Russell Presenting at Business of Medicine Event

Mark Stasa and Kathleen Westfall are presenting today at the Business of Medicine Event. The event with more than 20 physicians is at St. Mary Mercy Livonia.

February 19, 2018

Creating Leadership Opportunities for Young People

Mark Stasa, Kerr Russell member (estate and trusts planning and business), has been an integral contributor to the firm for over 30 years, and he is also an active community leader and musician. He has served on the Board of Directors and is currently a legal advisor to Drum Corps International (DCI). DCI is a non-profit governing entity for the junior (under age 22) drum and bugle corps in the United States and Canada. DCI is composed of member corps who earned membership through competition.

January 3, 2018

Kerr Russell highlighted in Best Lawyers - Business, Winter 2017 issue

Look for Kerr Russell attorneys and advertising (pages 92-95) in the Best Lawyers - Business, Winter 2017 issue. Earlier in 2017, a number of Kerr Russell's attorneys and practice areas were honored with U.S. News and World Report Best Lawyers recognition.

December 18, 2017

Kerr Russell team makes holiday donations to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Wigs 4 Kids, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, and Children's Hospital of Michigan

One of our traditions here at Kerr Russell is to hold a holiday raffle to benefit three local charities as well as to conduct a toy drive for local children. This year's raffle (many of the beautiful and festive prizes picture here) raised a record total of $3,450 which will be divided equally among three organizations: Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc., and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor.

December 12, 2017

Detroit Legal News coverage of recent additions to Kerr Russell family

Thanks to the Detroit Legal News for this exceptional coverage of the new additions to our Kerr Russell legal team: associates Cody Attisha, Derek Boyd, Andrew Eurich, and Stephen Reaume as well as paralegal Paul Burkett, legal assistant Jill Clinard and administrative staff Heather Kalfayan.

November 30, 2017

Merry and bright ... Kerr Russell welcomes the holiday season

It's a time to celebrate, reflect and remember. However you mark the holidays, we hope your days are filled with warmth and thankfulness, good times, and endless cheer. As another year draws to a close, we at Kerr Russell are grateful to you. You give purpose to our work and add meaning to our relationships. Your trust is a cherished gift. Enjoy these images as we get our offices ready to celebrate the holiday season. Design by Mandy Lark of Lark Interior Design.

November 16, 2017

Culture of Connection - new Kerr Russell ad to appear in Michigan Lawyers Weekly and dbusiness

Kerr Russell introduces the second ad in the new "Est. in Detroit 1874" series: "A culture of connection." The piece emphasizes the firm's 143-year presence in Detroit as part of the larger business and legal community. "We are relationship focused. We know our people and our clients are the lifeblood of our firm."

November 3, 2017

Kerr Russell launches new advertising in upcoming issues of dbusiness and Crain's Detroit

With this month's issue of dbusiness, focused on Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Kerr Russell launches its new brand advertising with "A Track Record of Results." Working with Identity Public Relations and Marketing, Kerr Russell's marketing team developed the creative to emphasize the firm's longstanding place in Detroit's legal and business history.

November 1, 2017

Kerr Russell ranked in the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list nationally in 1 practice area and regionally in 17 practice areas

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the eighth consecutive year, announce the "Best Law Firms" rankings.

October 30, 2017

Kerr Russell sponsors, members attend 36th Detroit International Wine Auction to support College for Creative Studies

Kerr Russell was pleased to support the 36th Detroit International Wine Auction held on October 21, celebrating the College for Creative Studies and supporting Michigan's ever-growing arts community. Kerr Russell was a Benefactor Sponsor, and here is a photo of member Jeff Brantley and his significant other enjoying the event. More photos here.

October 23, 2017

John Gatti named Vice Chair of the Program Curriculum Task Force for MICPA

John D. Gatti (member) was just named Vice Chair of the Program Curriculum Task Force for the Michigan Association of CPAs (MICPA). MICPA President and CEO Peggy A. Dzierzawski, CAE, in her announcement wrote, "Congratulations on your new role as Vice Chair of the Program Curriculum Task Force.

October 21, 2017

Kudos to new associate Stephen Reaume on his Michigan Bar admission

Congrats to new associate Stephen Reaume who found out today he passed the Michigan Bar exam! We are proud of you, Stephen, and so happy to have you in our Kerr Russell family.

September 27, 2017

business Magazine covers Kerr Russell's participation in Detroit Chinese Business Association International Golf Outing

Kerr Russell was well-represented at the Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA) International Golf Open.

November 1, 2016

Kerr Russell Attorneys Named 2016 Super Lawyers

Kerr Russell attorneys have been named SuperLawyers for 2016, two have been named to the Michigan Top 100 and four have been named as Rising Stars.