Michael J. Willis J.D., C.P.A.

Managing Partner

Michael Willis founded this firm with his brother, Shaun Patrick Willis. Their father, Hon. Frank D. Willis, is the Chief Judge for Van Buren County, and Michael proudly carries on the family by focusing his practice in business and corporate law, estate planning, probate and estate and trust administration, and estate litigation.

Michael is registered as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois and is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Michigan. Before forming Willis Law, Michael worked for Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett LLP and Kerr, Russell, Weber, PLC.

Representative Clients:

  • Technology Firms
  • Professional Service Organizations
  • Development Companies
  • Doctors, Dentists and Business Owners
  • Entrepreneurial, Wealth-generating Individuals

Publications

• “Single-Member LLCs v The Member’s Judgment Creditor: How Strong is the Shield?”
The Michigan Business Law Journal, Vol. 29, Issue 1, Spring 2009.

• “Estate Tax and Gift Tax Law Changes for 2009 – What You Need to Know,”
Builder/Architect, Vol. 19, No. 3, May/June 2009.

Presentations

  • End of Life Decisions – St. Monica, Kalamazoo (2015)
  • Charitable Giving – Big Brothers Big Sisters (2015)
  • Asset Protection for CPAs – Seber Tans, PLC (2014)
  • Asset Protection for Financial Advisors - Wiser Financial (2014)
  • Estate Planning and Wealth Protection – St. Monica, Kalamazoo (2014)
  • Estate Planning and Wealth Protection – St. Catherine, Portage (2014)
  • Estate Planning and Wealth Protection – St. Mary’s, Kalamazoo (2014)
  • Asset Protection for CPAs – Yeo & Yeo CPAs, Kalamazoo (2013)
  • End of Life Decisions – St. Catherine of Siena, Portage (2013)
  • Asset Protection Planning for Trust Advisors – Greenleaf Trust, Kalamazoo (2013)
  • Estate Planning and Asset Protection – Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo (2013)
  • Protecting Your Legacy – MI Assoc. of RV Parks and Campgrounds - Lansing (2013)
  • Asset Protection – The Park Club, Kalamazoo (2012)
  • Asset Protection for Life Insurance Agents – Prudential Kalamazoo (2012)
  • Asset Protection for Brokers – Morgan Stanley Kalamazoo (2012)
  • Asset Protection for Construction Financial Managers – CFMA Kalamazoo (2012)
  • Asset Protection & Estate Planning Seminar for Dentists & Other Doctors – Kalamazoo Valley District Dental Society (2011)
  • Estate Planning for Singles and Widows – Kalamazoo (2010)
  • Long Term Care Planning Techniques (Contributor) – Kalamazoo (2010)
  • Estate Planning and Tax Control – Kalamazoo (2010)
  • Wills, Trusts and Probate – Douglas Community Center (2009)
  • Your Personal Financial Future: Finding the Keys to Success – MSU Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies (2007)
  • Estate Planning and Business Succession Planning and Tax Control – Home Builders Association of Greater Kalamazoo (2006)
  • Estate Planning and Tax Control – Kalamazoo (2005)
  • Life Insurance Trusts and Use of Medicaid Annuities – Kalamazoo (2004)
  • Living Trusts and Estate Tax Issues to Van Buren County Retired School Personnel – Lawton (2004), Lawton (2008)
  • Estate Planning Seminar for Senior Services, Inc. – Kalamazoo (2004)
  • Probate Avoidance and Estate Tax Minimization to Parchment Rotary – Parchment (2003)
  • Long Term Care Costs (in conjunction with GE Insurance) – Portage (2003)
  • International Estate Tax Planning – Kerr, Russell & Weber PLC – Detroit (2001)

Michael received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. He belongs to the Florida and Michigan Bars; the Michigan Bar, the Kalamazoo County Bar Association and the Christian Legal Society.

Michael’s wife Susan and their children, Isabella, Christian, Mary, Michael Joseph, Marie Therese and Gabriella, are the lights of his life. They live in Kalamazoo.

Willis Law dedicates its practice to God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the founders’ fallen brother, Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis.You can reach Michael Willis at 269-492-1045 or by email at mjwillis@willislawyers.com

  • The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • J.D.
  • University of Notre Dame
    • B.A. magna cum laude

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Public Accountant

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Michigan

Published Works

  • Single-Member LLCs v The Member's Judgment Creditor: How Strong is the Shield?" The Michigan Business Law Journal, Vol. 29, 1, Spring, 2009
  • "Estate Tax and Gift Tax Law Changes for 2009 – What You Need to Know," Builder/Architect,, Vol. 19, 3, May/June, 2009

Representative Clients

  • Entrepreneurial, Wealth-generating Individuals
  • Life Science Related Corporations and Individuals
  • Technology Firms
  • Professional Service Organizations
  • Development Companies
  • Retail and Wholesale Brokers
  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • CPA's
  • Business Owners

Classes/Seminars

  • Avid Public Presenter, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Probate Administration, Corporate Law and Real Estate, Southwestern Michigan
  • Asset Protection for Life Insurance Agents, Prudential, 2012
  • Asset Protection for Brokers, Morgan Stanley, 2012
  • Asset Protection for Construction Financial Managers, CFMA, 2012
  • Asset Protection & Estate Planning Seminar for Dentists & Other Doctors, Kalamazoo Valley District Dental Society, 2011
  • Estate Planning for Singles and Widows, Kalamazoo, 2010
  • Long Term Care Planning Techniques (Contributor), Kalamazoo, 2010
  • Estate Planning and Tax Control, Kalamazoo, 2010
  • Wills, Trusts and Probate, Douglas Community Center, 2009
  • Your Personal Financial Future: Finding the Keys to Success, MSU Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, 2007
  • Estate Planning and Business Succession Planning and Tax Control, Home Builders Association of Greater Kalamazoo, 2006
  • Estate Planning and Tax Control, Kalamazoo, 2005
  • Life Insurance Trusts and Use of Medicaid Annuities, Kalamazoo, 2004
  • Living Trusts and Estate Tax Issues to Van Buren County Retired School Personnel, Lawton, 2004
  • Living Trusts and Estate Tax Issues to Van Buren County Retired School Personnel, Lawton, 2008
  • Estate Planning Seminar for Senior Services, Inc., Kalamazoo, 2004
  • Probate Avoidance and Estate Tax Minimization to Parchment Rotary, Parchment, 2003
  • Long Term Care Costs (in conjunction with GE Insurance), Portage, 2003
  • International Estate Tax Planning, Kerr, Russell & Weber PLC – Detroit, 2001
  • Listed in the Best Lawyers in America.
  • Listed in Leaders in the Law.
  • Rated as an AV-Preeminent attorney by Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating. This rating, according to Martindale, which has been rating lawyers for over a century, signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence.
  • In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, selected as a Super Lawyer by Michigan Super Lawyers.
  • In 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, selected as a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers.
  • In 2007, selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of Michigan’s Up and Coming Lawyers (presented to only 6 of 40,000 attorneys in Michigan).
  • In 2008 thru 2016, listed in Marquis “Who’s Who in American Law”.
  • In 2009, selected, from lawyers in 49 states, by the Florida Bar as the President’s recipient of the Pro Bono Service Award.
  • In 2015, received Notre Dame Club of Kalamazoo Award of the Year.
  • In 2009, Willis Law was honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 21st Century Innovator for its value-based employee compensation system.
  • In 2010 - 2016 Willis Law was honored by the Michigan Business and Professional Association as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in West Michigan.
  • In 2015, Willis Law was honored as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation.
  • Lake Doster Development Co., Secretary and Treasurer
  • Jack H. Kelly Farms, Inc., President
  • Cpl. Christopher Kelly Willis Foundation, Co-President
  • Notre Dame Club of Kalamazoo, Committee Chair (former)
  • Friends of the Portage Senior Center, Vice-President (former)
  • Southwest Michigan Professional Network, Secretary (former)
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Michigan Bar Association
  • Kalamazoo County Bar Association
  • Christian Legal Society

Michael serves on the following corporate boards:

  • Lake Doster Development Co., Secretary and Treasurer
  • Jack H. Kelly Farms, Inc., President

Michael serves on the following non-profit boards:

  • Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, Indiana, Trustee
  • Cpl. Christopher Kelly Willis Foundation, Co-President

He previously served on the following non-profit boards:

  • St. Monica School
  • Vineyard Outreach Ministries
  • Friends of the Portage Senior Center, Vice President
  • Southwest Michigan Professional Network, Secretary
  • Notre Dame Club of Kalamazoo, Committee Chair
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