The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “[t]he only constant is change.” Maybe you’ve heard or experienced that before, or maybe you try to avoid Greek philosophers . . . whatever your situation may be, we are surrounded by change in our daily lives. For goodness sake, we live in Michigan. If anyone is familiar with change, it’s us Michiganders when it comes to weather.
And in my life I’ve experienced many changes, as I’m sure you have. Some great, some good, and some not quite as good. And as I look back, I’m thankful in a way for each one . . . I’ve certainly learned a lot. And that leads me to my next change . . .
. . . effective July 1, 2013, I will be joining the law firm of Bolhouse, Baar & Hofstee in Grandville. For some who read this, the change may come as a shock. Many of you know that I truly love what I do. As cliché as it may sound, I feel Estate Planning and Business Planning are my calling as an attorney. I mean, why else would I read and learn more about it on evenings and weekends, right? ☺ And anyone who knows me well, knows that I don’t jump to decisions quickly . . . if anything, I tend on the long side when making decisions (some would call it OCD . . . I like to call it “detail oriented”). The recent addition of Medicaid planning to my practice areas is a good example.
If I were reading this I would wonder, “so, Mike, why did you decide to join another firm.” The short answer is because I want to spend more time with clients and reaching out to families and businesses in West Michigan – I love sharing time and working with folks. But, as the “chief cook and bottle washer” (a phrase my dad uses), much, if not most, of my time over the past 4 years has been spent on administrative duties of owning/running a business. Turns out that a law practice is not unlike most other small businesses in that regard.
The other main reason is that it helps me address the single most common question clients have asked me about my practice – “what happens if something happens to you?” It’s not only a fair question; it’s a very good one. Being part of a caring firm will help my client families have added peace of mind, knowing that if something happens to me, I have caring colleagues familiar with my practice who can come along side you if something comes up.
And yes, there may be other possible solutions. After praying about it and talking with my family, pastor, and key mentors in my life, I determined that joining a firm provides my clients with the best solution.
I imagine the next question is, “why Bolhouse, Baar & Hofstee?” The short answer: their attorneys are excellent, well respected, and both attorneys and staff are truly caring people. You know, the kind of folks you just “hit it off with.” You see, over the past year I’ve been approached by several firms about joining their practice. But, after many meetings, discussions, and prayer, I just didn’t feel any were a good fit for the way I practice and the client families I serve. That is, none except Bolhouse, Baar & Hofstee.
So, with that as the background, the official switchover will be on July 1st. After the switchover, I will still be spending much of my time at my current office at 5252 Clyde Park, but I will also spend time and meet with client families at Bolhouse, Baar & Hofstee’s office in downtown Grandville (in the historic Grandville State Bank building). You’ll still be able to use the same phone number for a period of time (or you can use (616) 531-7711) and my new email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. My fax number will be (616) 531-7757. All should be “up and running” on July 1st.
I’m looking forward to the future and to having you continue to be part of our wonderful client family. The privilege is mine, I assure you. If you have any questions about this change, or anything at all, please call or email me. I welcome the conversation!
Michael Lichterman is an estate planning and charitable planning attorney who helps families and business owners create a lasting legacy by planning for their Whole Family Wealth™. This goes beyond merely planning for “stuff” – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you. He focuses on estate, charitable, and asset protection planning for all generations (“young” and “experienced”), the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, family owned businesses, and pet planning. He enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients centered on their family’s values, insights, stories and experiences.