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Michael J Howell
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Michael J Howell

Practice areas:

Probate, Estate Planning

About Me

Michael has been a member of the South Carolina Bar since 1977 and is certified by the South Carolina Supreme Court as a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law.  An attorney in South Carolina can not call themselves a specialist, expert or certified unless they are certified by the South Carolina Supreme Court. 





Michael has been a resident of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina since 1978 and is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Estate Planning and Probate.


Michael served on the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Bar from 2006-2009.  He is currently a Mentor for new lawyers under the South Carolina Supreme Court's mentoring program.

For the years 1993-1996, he was a member of the South Carolina Estate Planning and Probate Law Specialization Advisory Board and was Chairman of the Advisory Board in 1995.  The Advisory Board interviews and tests attorneys wanting to become Certified Specialists in Estate Planning and Probate Law.

From 1998-2004, he was a member of the South Carolina Supreme Court's Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.  This Commission oversees required continuing legal education requirements for South Carolina attorneys.  The Commission also oversees the specialization programs for attorneys in South Carolina in Estate Planning and Probate Law, Taxation Law, Labor Law and Bankruptcy Law.  From 2002-2004, Michael was also the Secretary of the Commission.

He is a past member of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the South Carolina Bar.  Michael has also been a member of the Complaints Subcommittee.

In addition, Michael is a member and past chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the South Carolina Bar.  He has also chaired subcommittees on studying alternatives to multidisciplinary practices and changes to rules on what to do with a legal practice when an attorney dies, becomes incompetent, is suspended or disbarred.  One of his subcommittees has also written a manual for South Carolina attorneys who are appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court to take over such practices. Michael was also on a 2002 subcommittee studying and recommending changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers.  He was also a member of the Bar's committee that worked with the South Carolina Supreme Court and its own commission on the new Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers, which became effective on October 1, 2005.  



 

For 2010, 2011 and 2012, Michael has been the Chairman of a newly created Client File Subcommittee that worked on and proposed on a new Rule of Professional Conduct defining what a client file consists of, who owns what portions of the file as between the attorney, the client and third parties and what must be turned over to the client upon the client's request, along with numerous other issues related to the ownership and control of the client file.

 

Michael has also been a member of the Hilton Head Island Bar Association since 1983.  For the 2011 - 2012 year, Michael was on the Board of the Hilton Head Island Bar Association and served as it Program Chairman.  One of his primary functions was to arrange continuing legal education programs and credits for lawyers in the Hilton Head Island area.



Michael has also authored several articles, including Disclaimer Trusts: a wait and see approach to estate planning in light of EGTRRA, published in the November 2002 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine and What's New and What's Left in Sophisticated Estate Planning published by National Business Institute, June of 2003, for it's manual Advanced Estate Planning Techniques in South Carolina, and also Ethical Considerations for Estate Planning Lawyers in South Carolina - A Study of Selected Provisions of the Rules of Professional Responsibility and a substantial update to What's New and What's Left in Sophisticated Estate Planning, - A Primer on Selected Estate Planning Techniques for South Carolina Attorneys, both published by National Business Institute for its April 2004 manual on How to Protect Assets During Life and Avoid Estate Tax at Death in South Carolina.

Michael is a Life Fellow of the South Carolina Bar Foundation.  The Foundation supports programs around South Carolina designed to provide legal services to those who can not afford them and also education to the public concerning legal matters and rights.  He is also a member of the Society of Justice and Justice Legacy programs of the South Carolina Bar Foundation.  

Michael is also a donor to the Florida Bar Foundation and is a donor and member of the Florida Supreme Court's Historical Society.  He is also a member of the Florida Bar Foundation's Legacy for Justice program.  

Michael is also a supporter of the Lowcountry Legal Clinic which provides services to those who can not afford an attorney and is also a supporter of and has been recognized by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Inc., which is a our local Community Foundation.

He is also a charter member of the Hilton Head Council of Estate and Financial Advisors and was its President during its 2001-2002 fiscal year.  In 2006, he was made a Member Emeritus.

In 2001, 2002 and 2003, Michael was also a representative of the South Carolina Supreme Court's Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization at a National Roundtable on lawyer specialization sponsored by the American Bar Association.

Michael was a member of the Hilton Head Island Jaycees from 1978-1985.  He served numerous positions, including President and Treasurer.  He chaired many projects and was on the founding board of what is now known as the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament, which raises funds for local charities.  He is also a Hole Sponsor of the annual event which is held over Labor Day weekend.  He is also a past President of the South Carolina Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  He was named Hilton Head Island's Young Man of the year for 1983.

Michael has also been a member of St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church since 1978.  He has taught Sunday School for over 20 years.  Past duties include being Chairman of the Pastor-Parish Committee, Chairman of the Annual Stewardship Drive, Chairman of the Fall Festival, member of the Administrative Board and member of the Long Range Planning Committee.  Michael was also on the Endowment Committee and co-authorized the Endowment Fund Agreement.

 

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Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1977

  1. Estate Planning: 50%
    33 years, 1 thousand cases
  2. Probate: 50%
    33 years, 500 cases

Payment

Fees:

Hourly ($140-320/hour)

Payment Types:

Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

4 total 

  • Kelly McPherson Jolley

    Michael is a top notch estate planning and probate lawyer. Pleasant as well as professional and a dedicated specialist in his field.

    More 

    Kelly Jolley Health Care Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

  • David Michael Goldman

    Worked on several probate cases with Michael and he is very knowledgable. Hightly recomended

    More 

    David Goldman Trusts Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact Info

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
FLMember in Good Standing200905/07/2015
SCGood Standing197705/16/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Outstanding Young Man of the YearHilton Head Island Jaycees1983

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
AttorneyThe Law Office of Michael J. Howell, P.A.1983 - 2013

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
South Carolina Bar Probate Forms Review CommitteeCommittee Member2013 - 2013
South Carolina Bar Resolution of Fee Disputess Board14th Judicial Circuit Panel Member2013 - Present
Hilton Head Island Bar AssociationProgram Chairman2011 - Present
South Carolina Bar Professional Responsibility CommitteClient File Subcommittee Chairman2010 - Present
Florida Bar FoundationLegacy for Justice Program2009 - Present
South Carolina Bar FoundationLife Fellow2007 - Present
South Carolina BarBoard of Governors2007 - 2009
South Carolina Bar, Professional Responsibility CommisstteeMember (and Past Chairman)2000 - Present
South Carolina Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education & SpecializatonCommissioner/Secrtary1998 - 2004
Hilton Head Island Counsel of Estate & Financial AdvisorsCharter Member and Past President1990 - Present
Hilton Head Island Bar AssociationMember1983 - Present
South Carolina Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis FoundationPresident1980 - 1981

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
National Business Institute SeminarA substantial update to What's New and What's Left in Sophisticated Estate Planning2004
National Business Institute SeminarWhat's New and What's Left in Sophisticated Estate Planning2003
National Business Institute SeminarEthical Considerations for Estate Planning Lawyers in South Carolina - A Study of Selected Provisions of the Rules of Professional Responsibility2003
South Carolina Bar MagazineDisclaimer Trusts: a wait and see approach to estate planning in light of EGTRRA2002

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of South Carolina School of LawDoctor of Jurisprudence/Juris DoctorN/A1977

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
University of South Carolina Business Law ClassEstate Planning and Probate2011
St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church Estate and Financial Planning SeminarEstate Planning and Probate2011