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A Better Partnership

Sara J. Eastman

Senior Counsel | Email

  • Midland

    t. +1.989.698.3704

    f. +1.989.486.6100

Biography

Sara Eastman represents individuals, businesses and government entities in myriad complex business, civil, probate and trust and estate matters. She solves disputes between families and businesses and provides legal counsel for a variety of transactional situations. Following her clerkships at the Wisconsin Supreme Court and with Judge Thomas L. Ludington of the Midland County Circuit Court, Sara was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force JAG Corp and advised military commanders, prosecuted matters on behalf of the United States, and coordinated high-level contract negotiations both in country and in wartime locations. Sara loves finding solutions to complex problems. She partners well with financial advisors and other professionals to tailor unique strategies for each client.
 

Education

  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law J.D. 2002
  • Michigan State University B.S. 1999

Admitted

  • Michigan

Bar Associations

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Midland County Bar Association
    President

Experience

Estate Planning and Settlement
 
  • Represents a broad spectrum of clients advising on estate plans designed to effectively distribute assets, minimize taxation, and avoid probate
  • Assists clients in integrating real property, business interests, retirement plans, and heirloom assets into estate plans
  • Builds estate plans to effectively navigate the complexities of second marriage situations, children from prior relationships, and special needs beneficiaries
  • Minimizing, deferring or eliminating estate, gift, generation skipping transfer and income taxes in estate plans
 
Family Business Succession Planning
 
  • Develops plans to transfer ownership of family businesses to next generation owners on a tax-advantaged basis using techniques while at the same time addressing sensitive family concerns
  • Counsels families on strategies to effectively transition management to successive generations while retaining key nonfamily employees
  • Assist families in integrating family values and culture into complex plans
  • Coordinates administration of trusts and estates of all sizes with all types of assets
  • Manages preparation of complex wills and trusts and other estate planning documents
  • Handles settlement of estate and gift tax audits before the IRS
  • Oversees implementation of strategies for wealth preservation, charitable giving, business succession, and pre-transaction planning
  • Represents multiple generations of families and family offices

Probate Litigation
 
  • Contested will, trust and other estate matters
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships
  • Claims of undue influence, Challenges of lack of testamentary capacity
  • Trust reformations
  • Claims of breach of fiduciary duty

Honors & Awards

  • United States Air Force Company Grade Officer of the Year
  • Family Law Certificate- Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education

Leadership

Professional Affiliations

  • Midland County Bar Association Board Member
  • State of Michigan Representative Assembly Member
  • Woman Lawyers Association, Board Member
  • Northeastern Michigan Estate Planning Council

Community Affiliations

  • Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Institute for Leaders 2020
  • Leadership Midland, Class of 2013
  • The Arc of Midland Board Member
  • United Way of Midland Camping Council, Board Member
  • Windover School Board Member
  • Midland Montessori School Board Member
  • Midland Downtown Business Association Board Member
  • Great Lakes Bay Economic Club
  • Midland Women’s 100 Club
  • Women in Leadership Great Lakes Bay Region
  • Steven’s Center for Family Business
  • United Way Campaign Cabinet
  • Midland Rotary Club

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

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