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A Better Partnership

John H. Martin

Of Counsel | Email


John Martin practices in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable organizations, federal income and estate and gift taxation.


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  • University of Michigan Law School J.D. 1966
  • University of Michigan A.B. Ed. 1962


  • 1987, Florida
  • 1966, Michigan
  • 1974, North Carolina

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Probate and Estate Planning Section, Chair (1996-97); Representative Assembly (1998-01); Council of the Probate and Estate Planning Section, Reporter for Estates and Protected Individuals Code Drafting Committee (1988-2000)
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Muskegon County Bar Association

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University, 2006-14
  • Grand Valley State University, Adjunct Professor, Master of Science in Taxation Program, 1981-88
  • Visiting Professor of Law, University of Texas, Summer, 1974; University of Michigan, 1977; University of Virginia, 1978-79
  • Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1972-80


Honors & Awards

  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2012
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
  • Recipient of the George A. Cooney Society Award, 2011
  • Presented the Michael W. Irish Award by Probate and Estate Planning Section, State Bar of Michigan, 1996, in recognition of significant contributions to the community and the profession
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation
  • Life Member, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Assistant Editor, Michigan Law Review, 1965-66


  • "A Primer on the Deduction, Valuation, and Substantiation of Charitable Contributions," 5 Est. Plan. & Comm. L. J. 371 (2013)
  • "Non-Judicial Estate Settlement," 45 U. Mich. J. L. Reform 965 (2012)
  • "The Dynasty Trust in Ohio: A Short Rigid, or Uncertain Reign," 43 U. Toledo L. Rev. 53 (2011)
  • "Providing Aid to Victims of Tragedy Through Selection of an Imperfect Solution or Anticipatory Creation of a Community Relief Fund," 45 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L. J. 53 (2011)
  • "Reconfiguring Estate Settlement," 94 Minn. L. Rev. 42 (2009)
  • Coauthor, Michigan Estate Planning Handbook, ICLE, 3d ed 2006
  • "The Joint Trust for an Uncertain Planning Environment," 16 P.L.J. Ohio 182 (2006)
  • "Consequences of Federal Estate Tax Changes," 2006 The Writ 36 (Fall)
  • "The Joint Trust:  Estate Planning in a New Environment," 39 Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J. 275 (2004)
  • Reporter's Commentary to Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code, The Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2001-09; new ed. 2010; rev. eds. 2011 through Present
  • "Preserving the Family Vacation Home for Future Generations," 21 Mich. Prob & Est Plan J. 8 (2002)
  • "Principles of Probate Reform in Michigan," 12 Probate Law Journal Ohio 87 (2002)
  • "A Preface to the Prudent Investor Rule," 132 Trusts & Estates 42 (1993)
  • Estate Planning Forms, Michigan National Bank, 1991
  • "Estate Planning for the Client or Beneficiary with Significant Liability Exposure," 10 Mich. Prob. & Est. J. 3 (1990)
  • "The New Significance of Excess Fiduciary Deductions," 6 Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute 767 (1981)
  • "Justice and Efficiency Under a Model of Estate Settlement," 66 Va. L. Rev. (1980)
  • "Perspectives on Federal Disclaimer Legislation," 46 U. Chi. L. Rev. 316 (1979)
  • "The Draftsman Views Wills for a Young Family," 54 N.C. L. Rev. 277 (1976)
  • "Professional Responsibility and Probate Practices," 1975 Wis. L. Rev. 911
  • "Self Employed Retirement Plan: A Useful Tax Planning Tool for the Professional," 8 Taxation for Accountants 220 (April 1972)
  • Michigan Basic Practice Handbook, ICLE, 2001, with annual updates
  • Michigan Estate Planning Handbook, ICLE, 2001, with annual updates
  • Michigan Will Drafting, ICLE, 1988
  • "The New Phenomenon: Settlor as Trustee of a Funded Living Trust," 110 Trusts & Estates 164, 354 & 458 (March, May and June, 1971)


Professional Affiliations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    Michigan State Chair (2002-05)
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Michigan Supreme Court Committee Member on Standard Jury Instructions (1967-72)
  • Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Probate Code
    Associate Member (1979-82)
  • American Bankers Association
    National Graduate Trust School (1977-96)
  • The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
    Member (2002-09), Chair (2007-08)

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