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Suzanne R. Fanning

Probate Attorney at Ann Arbor, MI

4.9   19 reviews
  • Licensed for 27 years
    State MI
    Acquired 1996
    Status
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Suzanne

Learn Suzanne’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    20%
    I provide comprehensive estate planning in a holistic manner to give the best counsel to my clients. This includes meeting with clients at length to fully discuss their estate planning needs and counseling them regarding the best options to transfer their assets to their loved ones. I also draft and execute powers of attorney, patient advocate designations/health care powers of attorney and deeds to complete an estate plan and provide legal protection both during life and after death

    28 years

  2. Guardianship
    20%
    I assist clients with obtaining Guardianships for adults, minors and developmentally disabled individuals. I am also experienced in contesting Guardianships and modification of Guardianships

    28 years

  3. Probate
    20%
    I have extensive experience in all aspects of probate practice including administration of trusts and estates, will and trust contests, Guardianships, Conservatorships, incapacity and undue influence cases and other matters involving incapacitated individuals and minors

    28 years

  4. Trusts
    20%
    I practice in all areas of trusts including trust planning, administration of trusts, trust litigation and seeking court intervention for all aspects of trust management.

    28 years

  5. Wills and living wills
    20%
    A will is the simplest and most economical way to ensure that you pass your assets to the people you want after your death. I have extensive experience in assisting clients to execute a simple will or change previous estate planning documents

    28 years

I am the founder of Suzanne R. Fanning, PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan and have over 20 years of legal experience.  I concentrate my practice exclusively in the area of probate, trusts and estates. I graduated from the University of Bristol in England in 1991, with a BA with Honors in History. I subsequently obtained my law degree from Wayne State Law School in 1996.  I am a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Bar Association. I served as co-chair of the Washtenaw County Bar Association Probate and Estate Section from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, after being elected to that position by my peers.  I am frequently appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem by the Washtenaw County Probate Court in Ann Arbor, and have also been appointed as an independent Guardian, Conservator and Trustee.

A seasoned litigator, I have significant experience and knowledge to successfully guide clients through the difficult process of a probate court action, whether it is necessary to contest a trust or will, challenge a fiduciary improperly performing his or her duties or bring a contested guardianship. I know that these cases involve, not only important legal issues, but often difficult family dynamics and significant stress. My counsel and legal acumen is invaluable in addressing all aspects of a litigated matter.

I am also an accomplished trust and estate planner and can effectively create a comprehensive plan, giving clients the comfort of knowing that they have ensured security for their children and family.

Suzanne R. Fanning PLLC is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan just steps from the Washtenaw County courthouse. I routinely practice in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Livingston, Genesee and Lenawee counties. However, I regularly travel throughout Michigan to represent clients.

Photos and videos

Location

Suzanne R. Fanning PLLC
5340 Plymouth Road
Ste 203
Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

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Reviews

4.9 / 5.0
  19 customer reviews
5 Star
 
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Posted by Catharine | April 24, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent professional service.
Suzanne drew up a living will and trust for my husband and I, but when the marriage ended in divorce less than a year later, she immediately jumped into action and altered the will free of charge. I now have complete peace of mind that my daughter and my personal interests are well looked after. Her services are top notch, professional, timely, well organized and well explained, I wholeheartedly recommend her and her team,
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Response from Suzanne Fanning April 25, 2022
Thank you so much for your kind review, Catharine. It was a pleasure working with you!
Posted by Rachel | June 25, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
prompt, professional and pleasant
Suzy was an absolute gem and provided my sister and I some invaluable legal advice concerning a probate matter. After outlining our concerns she walked us through our options and answered all of our questions. She provided us a ton of useful information and her demeanor put us very much at ease with a difficult conversation. Highly recommended and she gets our full endorsement. We would go back to Suzy in a minute.
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Posted by Ryan | June 7, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Great experience, thank you!
I submitted a request to Suzanne on her website after my mother passed looking for advice on how to handle the estate. Suzanne set up a call for the next morning and was very knowledgable, kind, and helpful. I was able to determine my next steps with her help and feel confident doing so. I would definitely reach out to Suzanne with any future needs and would recommend her to a friend if given an opportunity.
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Posted by Lisa | August 18, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Guardianship Matter Solved
Suzanne Fanning is not your typical lawyer!! WIthout a doubt, she is top notch and showed this through her kindness and compassion while representing us in our guardianship matter. Ms. Fanning’s staff greeted us through emails and phone calls before we even stepped foot into her office. When we had questions they were answered quickly by her staff, or by Ms. Fanning herself. She was able to successfully give us the help we needed. Ms. Fanning was a true blessing and any future legal issues will certainly require hiring her again!
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Posted by Kathryn | July 19, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Guardianship Processing
I cannot say enough about Suzanne's professionalism and support throughout the entire legal process from guiding us on the best way to handle our guardianship needs to filling out the paperwork to advising us on the steps we needed to follow, who we needed to involve in the process and what to do afterwards. Even when we had a small delay from the court, Suzanne was able to calmly and competently work through the issue and keep us updated and on track. She thought of issues and things that we had not yet thought of and took a lot of the stress of the process away from us. We would definitely recommend and use her services again.
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Posted by Nicole | July 18, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Both Wise and Caring
A friend of mine, whose children I've helped raise for the past six years, asked if I would be willing to become guardian for her two young girls. Two years prior, I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Fanning in order to establish Power of Attorney for these children and had had a great experience with her, so I reached out to her again. Unfortunately, the guardianship process did not turn out to be as simple as originally expected. However, every step of the way, Ms. Fanning handled things with grace and confidence, helping me to feel more confident as well. It was clear that she was, first and foremost, dedicated to the protection and well-being of the children, which was what was most important to me. Throughout the process, Ms. Fanning fielded several questions from me as this was all new, and even encouraged me to reach out “just for reassurance” as the process became overwhelming at times. On several occasions, I spoke with Ms. Fanning’s office staff and they always handled my questions with professionalism and kindness. I would wholeheartedly recommend Ms. Fanning to anyone looking for a wise, yet caring, attorney.
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Posted by Jean | February 18, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fortunate Find, Rewarding Result
Ms. Fanning is the attorney for you if you are seeking a kind, friendly, approachable professional whose knowledge of probate, trusts, and estate planning is unparalleled. Ms. Fanning has prepared documents for me over the past few years. During this time, she has presented an array of legal options to me, each of which was accompanied by a thorough but understandable analysis of pros and cons. Her written expression has always exceeded my expectations, as her documents are thorough, precise, unambiguous, and insightful. Not only has Ms. Fanning been instructive and professional, but she has been very approachable and responsive. An added bonus is that working on such sensitive and confidential matters with Ms. Fanning is made unexpectedly pleasant.
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Posted by Chuck | December 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A great advocate in many ways
After the death of my wife I turned to Susie to modify my will so it was appropriate for my new role as a widower. I had been married for 35 years to the love of my life. So this period in my life was difficult. Susie listened. She took the time to understand the loving dynamic that is my family relationship. She crafted a document that not only met my legal needs but captured the spirit of my family. An example of this is the language that she included that explained how my brother in law was not inheriting any of my assets not out of malice but because his financial situation was so good that it was a decision he and I had made together. That we both felt the money could better serve other members of my family. Since crafting my will I have turned to Susie many times for guidance as I make this transition to my new life. I will be returning soon to work with her to make further modifications to my will and estate. I can without hesitation recommend her to anyone who needs advice legal and otherwise.
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Posted by Anita | November 10, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Suzanne is by far an exceptional Trust attorney. Her 5-star reviews are a truly accurate rating.
My first consultation with Suzanne was by telephone, and I had several questions to ask her regarding administration of a complex Trust. I never felt rushed or limited to the amount of questions I asked. She had a grasp on my issues right away, and explained things clearly and thoroughly and didn't charge me anything. I knew from that initial consultation she was the person I wanted to consult further regarding details of the Trust. Suzanne is such a friendly, warm person that I was totally relaxed during our meeting and I was amazed at the exceptional level of her expertise and clear explanations. During my lifetime I have had consultations with and trusts written by three other Trust attorneys, so when I say she is exceptional, it is with first-hand comparison.
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Posted by Wendy | November 6, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Guardianship
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Fanning regarding a complicated guardianship case regarding my autistic child. An emotional subject for me, which Ms. Fanning handled with the utmost professionalism. In our conversation, Ms. Fanning shared her vast knowledge with compassion and kindness, acknowledged my position, and advised me not only of my legal rights, but also of the best way to move forward personally now and in the future. Highly recommend.
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Posted by Pat | April 4, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mind like a steel trap
Ms Fanning worked diligently,expediently, and professionally preparing briefs, writing rebuttals, writing interrogatories and depositions questions that were on point. I would recommend her to anyone needing probate work. She was easy to work with and very bright.
Posted by Eileen | March 31, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Extremely knowledgeable
Couldn't have asked for better counsel. I especially liked that she explained the whole legal process as this was the first legal case I have been involved with. Very knowledgeable in the areas of a Trust being contested. She is a great litigator. Comes to court prepared. Gave us options to save us money. Gives personal attention to her cases. Knows the personalities in the legal community in the area, which is very important to know the lawyer you are fighting against and the judge who is presiding. Doesn't waste time or billable hours. Knows what it takes to win a case. Seems hard to say these days about lawyers but I feel she is an honest lawyer with ethics.
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Posted by Janet | October 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Competent & Kind
Suzy helped my husband and me with some sensitive problems with the settling of my father's estate. Suzy was warm and understanding about the difficulty of the situation. Not only did she address all of the issues with great competence, but she was also a pleasure to work with!
Posted by Mary | July 15, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Great first meeting!
After the passing of my father, I was overwhelmed with the amount of paper work that he had left behind. After following the winding trail of a friend, of another friend's recommendation (who was no longer in practice), I came upon the number of Suzanne. Even though she was on vacation, she was still working in her office. She met with my sister and myself the very evening we called. Suzanne looked over the paperwork and gave us several options of how to proceed. She was very kind and knowledgable, making us both feel at ease. She laid out all of the paperwork we would need based on our father's financial situation at the time of his death. While this first meeting was just a consultation, we both left feeling more informed and having a clearer direction of how to proceed. As we dove deeper into the estate, we found that we will indeed need a lawyer to help us, so Suzanne will be our first choice!
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Posted by Adam | April 18, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I was so lucky to find Suzanne
I needed a lawyer to help with the guardianship process for my two autistic children since they are turning 18 and my job currently keeps me out of state. I emailed and called several law firms that worked in this area of the law. Most reply's were impersonal, take out a second mortgage on your house and we will talk. Then there was Suzanne. She was kind, patient and very knowledgeable about the court we would be dealing with. She answered all of my phone and email questions like this case was important. She dealt with all the paperwork expertly and in court secured full guardianship for me when the court was pressing for only partial. And amazingly, Suzanne did it all for a fee that was so reasonable for my family that I could not thank her enough. If you need a lawyer in this area of the law I would highly recommend contacting her.
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Posted by Kathleen | October 31, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, thorough, and caring
Suzanne Fanning came into our lives at a time when our family was in great need of advice, assistance with finding a suitable placement for my mother, and action. She communicated with our family often giving us great comfort that all the many legal loose ends were being taken care of properly. Recently, she was able to also assist a colleague of mine and she also received the much needed help required with similar out of state needs. It is hard enough navigating the needs of elder care when you live nearby, it is nearly impossible when living 700 miles away - unless you have someone with the sensitivity and work ethics of someone like Suzanne.
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Posted by Stephen | October 29, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Granddaughter guardianship
Ms. Fanning did an excellent and thorough job in helping me and my stepson and his wife gain control over my granddaughter after her father fell on hard times and couldn't provide for her safety and welfare.
Posted by Cameron | October 29, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable, helpful and flexible
Ms. Fanning helped my family navigate the probate court and deal with some challenging issues when we accepted guardianship of a child whose parent passed away. Ms. Fanning's advice and assistance was of great value to us and allowed us to accomplish our goals as soon as possible.
Posted by anonymous | November 29, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
good information and caring
Although she directed me to an alternative route which didn't include her services, Ms Fanning was helpful and considerate
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Trust and Estate attorney and owner
  • Suzanne R. Fanning PLLC
  • 2015 - Present
  • Probate and Estate Attorney
  • Garan Lucow Miller PC
  • 2008 - 2015
  • Contract Attorney
  • Koselka Devine PLLC
  • 2003 - 2008
  • Judicial Intern for the Honorable Bernard Friedman
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • 1995 - 1996
  • Litigation Attorney
  • Garan Lucow Miller
  • 1995 - 2003
View all work experience

Education

  • Wayne State University Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1996
  • University of Bristol
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1991

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Estate of Luick
  • The Court ruled completely in favor of my client admitting a 1991 will copy of her late partner, which gave her his entire estate
  • In Re Donald Luick
  • The will copy was upheld by the Washtenaw County Probate Court

Associations

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Co-Chair
  • 2012 - 2015

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Certificate in Elder Mediation
  • Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education
  • 2018
  • Certificate of completion in probate and estate planning
  • Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education
  • 2010
  • Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • 1988
View all awards

Publications

  • Res Ipsa Loquitor (WCBA)
  • Is Probate Necessary?
  • 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Washtenaw County Probate Court Fiduciary Training
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships
  • 2016
  • Washtenaw County Probate Court Fiduciary Training
  • Mental Health Law
  • 2013
  • Washtenaw County Probate Court Fiduciary Training
  • Mental Health law
  • 2012

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (4)
Endorse Suzanne
Probate Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I've had the pleasure of working with Suzanne on a difficult matter. She is knowledgeable, professional, courteous and caring. Suzanne pays keen attention to detail and treats her clients with great respect. I recommend Suzanne Fanning and highly endorse this lawyer."
Probate Attorney | Sep 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse Suzanne. Her experience has been invaluable in helping me navigate a complicated probate litigation matter. I am relying on her expertise and guidance in how to proceed and I am consistently impressed by the breadth of her knowledge and her sense of litigation. If you need an experienced probate litigator in SE Michigan, Suzanne Fanning is your best bet."
Probate Attorney | Oct 30
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse Suzy highly. While the AVVO form only let's me select one area for endorsement, I would endorse her for litigation, mediation, and estate planning, as well as probate. She is intelligent, skilled, conscientious, and effective, and she has an obvious concern and respect for her clients."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Suzanne is a friendly and highly competent attorney that I would personally recommend to anyone with a Family law/Probate matter."
Probate Attorney | Aug 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I worked with Suzanne on a case, and she has done an amazing job as the Conservator for my client. I recommend Suzanne and look forward to working with her again."
Probate Attorney | Aug 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Suzanne is a professional that conveys warmth and compassion. She has a wealth of experience in litigation and probate court. Suzanne successfully juggles multiple interests while keeping her client's needs at the forefront. She is a problem solver and collaborator. I have referred and will continue to refer several probate matters to Suzanne."
View more endorsements