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Sara Zivian Zwickl

Probate Attorney at Farmington Hills, MI

5.0   14 reviews
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 41 years
    State MI
    Acquired 1982
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found

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

About Sara

Learn Sara’s areas of practice.

Practice areas

Sara Zivian Zwickl is a highly skilled attorney who focuses her considerable expertise on the needs of families and individuals in need of top-notch legal representation. Her prior experience includes four years as a litigation associate at the Bloomfield Hills (MI) offices of Dickinson Wright LLPC.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Sara also holds a B.A. in Music with High Distinction from Indiana University and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. She is a trained opera singer and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Sara provides her clients with advice and representation regarding estate planning; administration of trusts and estates; guardianship and conservatorship and elder law issues. Over the years, Sara has served as a guardian and conservator for elderly clients. She believes passionately in treating them with dignity and respect.

In addition to acting as an attorney and counselor to her clients, Sara serves as a mediator, helping parties to find peaceful resolutions to their disputes. Her expertise as a mediator is a valuable asset to her clients who derive direct benefit from her listening, negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

Sara is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the Elder Law & Advocacy, Probate & Estate Planning and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections of the State Bar of Michigan. She serves as a member of the Public Access to Legal Services committee of the Oakland County Bar Association. Because staying up-to-date on the law is so important to her representation of clients, Sara holds Certificates of Completion in the areas of Probate and Estate Planning as well as Family Law from the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE).


Top Contributor 2019,2018,2017,2015
Top Contributor
2019 2018 2017 + 1 ...


Zivian & Zwickl
30500 Northwestern Highway
Suite 500
Farmington Hills, MI, 48334


5.0 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | August 1, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding compassionate attorney
Sara is an outstanding attorney and a kind and compassionate person. She helped me with an elder law case. She goes the extra mile! You can trust her and she’s reliable. She was extremely supportive.during a difficult time in my life. I highly recommend Sara and her services.
Posted by MT | September 13, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Trusted Advisor, Invaluable
Sara has been a trusted advisor to me for over 5 years. She is knowledgeable, practical, thourough, and compassionate. She has helped me through settlement of two complicated estates, a divorce, and multiple real estate transactions. I don't know what I would have done without her. She is an invaluable resource to me and my family.
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Posted by anonymous | May 28, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Caring professional
Sara helped our family successfully navigate a difficult and divisive time at the end of my mother’s life. She is a consummate professional with a breadth of experience (I believe she’s seen it all!), knowledge, and understanding. Sara ensured that mom’s wishes were respected and when mom developed dementia, skillfully shielded her from a relative who was seeking to take advantage. Sara is clear and direct but, at the same time, kind and compassionate. Sara’s knowledge of the law and her caring approach set her apart. I absolutely recommend her without reservation.
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Posted by Joe | May 17, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A True Professional
Since my father had not left a will when he passed, what little I knew about estates was that I would need help with my father's. I contacted Sara by phone and we spoke briefly and set an appointment to speak in person. Sara was not the first attorney I spoke with but the first to interview with me. At the interview I explained why I needed her help, I also showed my limited knowledge of what was before me. By the end of the interview Sara agreed to help me through the probate process. In the following months Sara worked on my behalf with the court and advised me what was expected of me as the administer of the estate. Through the whole process there were times I felt overwhelmed with the "business" of settling his estate and sometimes became quite emotional over my personal loss. But, with kind words and a firm direction Sara kept me on track and focused. I guess that's why attorneys are called counselors. Finally, with Sara's continued support and guidance, things were at an end and the estate was dissolved. There are things that happen in life that happen to other people and you think, that's too bad. But when one of those things happens to you you think, how will I get through this. I don't know how things would have turned out with someone other than Sara, I don't need to think about it. Sara was the best possible attorney for me to have helping me with her hard work, her knowledge and experience and her empathy. I plan on having Sara help with my estate planning since having experienced this ordeal once, I do not want to leave something like this to my loved ones.
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Posted by tom | April 27, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Greenwood
Top marks! Sara has been my attorney for the past 24 years and I am forever grateful to the person who recommended her when I was first in need. Always on top of things, always ready with advice or direct action on my behalf. Plus, she is funny, unflappable, gracious and generous in spirit. She's my attorney but also my friend.
Posted by Terry | February 25, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney
Sara is a kind, compassionate, and brilliant attorney who helped my family during a very difficult time. I highly recommend her!!
Posted by Sharon | January 3, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceeded expectations
Sara has outstanding legal skills in addition to compassion and understanding of her clients needs. She definitely goes the extra mile!! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her for probate and family law.
Posted by Aurelia | December 14, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney
We were given Sara's info by referral from another attorney (because he did not specialize in this area of practice). I have thanked him many times. We desperately needed a good estate attorney because the one we originally had was awful. Sara spent more time with us and gave us more information in her free consult than we got from our previous lawyer over several weeks. We hired her and have been grateful ever since. She guided us through the entire process when my father-in-law died, and it was very complicated due to a very poorly written trust (done by the lawyer we fired) and multiple other errors the fired attorney made. She was always available for consultation and we really felt that she was proactive and watching out for his estate and the family. She went above and beyond many times. I cannot say enough good things. We are hiring her to re-do our estate plan as well. I would recommend her to anyone.
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Posted by anonymous | April 8, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thorough, compassionate and excellent attorney
My case was complicated and sensitive with a recent loss. Sara handled my case with compassion, thoroughness, and an interest in empowering me. In addition, Sara has excellent listening and communication skills; Sara is a rare attorney.
Posted by anonymous | April 12, 2015
Knowledgeable and solution-oriented
Sara worked with us in regards to a series of cases involving parenting time, obtaining rights to travel with my son and to move him out-of-state. Prior to working with Sara, the cases between my son's father and myself had been handled in a contentious manner, often feeling that previous attorneys were seeking to escalate the conflict. When working with Sara, the dynamic shifted considerably with her thoughtful and knowledgeable guidance. Sara was focused on maintaining the best outcomes for my son and doing so in as smoothly and peaceful a process as possible. Sara truly kept my son's best interests in mind and worked with both parties in a respectful, calm but assertive manner, ultimately gaining the rapport and cooperation of my son's father which had not been accomplished with previous attorneys. For the first time in many years, we were able to have a calm and even-tempered conversation about our goals. Sara sought to solve as many issues with amicable agreement rather than in the courtroom as possible. Sara was readily available to consult about questions that arose and always provided very knowledgeable responses that helped put me at ease during what would have been a highly tumultuous time. Because of Sara's calm and knowledgeable approach, she was able to ultimately reach agreement between my son's father and myself, which resulted in the best outcomes for everyone involved but especially my son, which I had for many years thought was unobtainable. After the conclusion of our case and out-of-state move, Sara was conscientious in following up with us and offering support from afar with my husband's adoption of my son, a goal that we had never thought possible and was done with my son's father's support. Sara counseled us on this transition as well, providing ideas for maintaining my son's relationship with his father specified to his personality and our distance. I am so thrilled we had the opportunity to work with Sara and attribute these wonderful outcomes for our family to all of the time, work and efforts she put forth in supporting us. Sara's effectiveness is evident in our positive outcomes, her extensive knowledge, and how she personally approached our case in a highly sensitive and conscientious manner, and I highly recommend her to anyone seeking legal assistance or advice.
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Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2014
Trusted, Highly Skilled and Highly Recommended
Sara handles our estate planning. It would be fair to say that my husband and I were initially very reluctant clients. Thinking through matters such as who will raise your children if you're unable to, how to allot your estate, who will advocate for you if your spouse is unable to --- all of these are thorny, tough- to- resolve questions that we had been dodging for years. Sara's empathic ear and wise counsel helped us make concrete decisions that we were both comfortable with. That was 20 years ago and we still rely on Sara to handle our estate and other matters as they arise. A good attorney needs many skills -- thorough knowledge of the law and how best to apply it to your situation, willingness to listen, build trust and forge a strong client/attorney relationship and of course, serve as a strong advocate. Sara has demonstrated all of these skill again and again. We recommend her without reservation.
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Posted by anonymous | November 26, 2014
A True Professional
Sara Zivian Zwickl is a knowledgeable attorney who is able to look at a myriad of perspectives on a single issue and give good solid advice to clients so they make informed decisions. In our case, we were in the process of reviewing our will and how we would approach giving our son money in case one or both of us were no longer alive. Our decision was based on Ms. Zwickl's ability to create several interesting options, keeping what is in our family's best interest at the heart of our final decision.
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Posted by Heather | November 20, 2014
Sara Zivian Zwickl handled my divorce. She was very compassionate and guided me through a very emotional legal process. She was always professional, kept me well informed, and always responded to communication in a very timely manner. I truely felt that she cared about what was best for my family. I highly recommend her.
Posted by anonymous | November 10, 2014
Property Purchase - Purchase Agreement and Closing Package Review and Support
Sara is very professional, thorough, extremely efficient and keeps her clients best interest in mind. Sara provided great input on the property agreement structure and closing package review, recommendations and process. She gave me confidence that the legal paperwork matched the spirit of the agreed upon deal. Sara has performed other legal services very successfully for me in the past. She has the respect of her peers and knows how to move things along through the court system. Lastly, Sara has a great attitude and is always a pleasure working with.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.6 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Zivian & Zwickl
  • 1987 - Present
  • Associate
  • Dickinson Wright, PLLC
  • 1982 - 1987


  • University of Michigan Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1982
  • Indiana University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1979


  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Member
  • 2018 - Present
  • Congregation Beth Ahm
  • Board member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Presenter- Senior Law Days Committee member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1982 - Present
  • Summer in the City
  • President
  • 2009 - 2011
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Wealth Manager
  • Five Star
  • 2013
  • Wealth Manager- estate planning
  • Five Star
  • 2012
  • Wealth Manager- estate planning
  • Five Star
  • 2011

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (2)
Endorse Sara
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. She is a friend and fellow attorney and has given me excellent professional advice on a very sensitive legal matter."
Family Attorney | Mar 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have read answers here on AVVO that Attorney Zwickl posts and find them to be informative, accurate and thoughtful. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Sara cares about her clients and is an excellent advocate for their family law issues."
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Sara is an outstanding, very experienced attorney who takes marvellous care of her clients - the best!"
Unknown Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Sara is an expert in estate planning, probate, family and real estate law. She is extremely knowledgeable and great with clients. A real asset!"
Probate Attorney | Sep 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Dec 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
View more endorsements
Bankruptcy and debt
Farmington Hills Probate Lawyer Sara Zivian Zwickl
Sara Zivian Zwickl
Probate Attorney
Farmington Hills, MI
Licensed for 41 years
Free Consultation
Virtual consultation available