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Douglas H. McPhail


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About me

Doug McPhail settled in western Michigan as boy when his late father accepted a pastorate in Muskegon. 

Doug earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Mass Communications from Taylor University where he was active in student government leadership roles. After college, Doug enrolled at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where he graduated with honors in 1988. Doug earned the American Jurisprudence Award for Academic Excellence in the area of professional responsibility and was published member of the University of Detroit Law Review. 

While in law school, Doug served as a summer intern and law clerk for John W. Whitehead and the Rutherford Institute, a nationally recognized non-profit organization known for the defense of civil liberties. 

After completing law school, Doug returned home to western Michigan and started his own law practice focused exclusively on estate planning and elder law issues. 

Doug is a member of Lawyers With Purpose, Wealth Counsel, the Muskegon County Bar Association and the West Michigan Estate Planning Counsel. 

In addition to his professional pursuits, Doug is an accomplished artist and the proud father of 3 talented sons: the oldest, Cameron, is an officer in the U.S. Army Infantry; Thomas is a scholarship awardee to Candler School of Theology at Emery University; and, Taylor is a former All State Wrestler at Mona Shores High and current student and academic All American at Alma College.  



Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 50%
    27 years
  2. Elder Law: 35%
    27 years
  3. Probate: 15%
    28 years



Hourly ($125-350/hour), Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

4 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Steven Patrick Riley

    I endorse this lawyer. Doug is an exceptional attorney who truly cares about his clients and their families. He brings experience, skill and compassion to his work in elder law and estate planning. I would not hesitate to recommend him to a relative or friend in need of his services.


    Steven Riley Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Randall H. Borkus

    I had the good fortunate of collaborating with Doug on a high net worth project. He was great at suggesting creative solutions for complex situations. He was also extremely patient, thoughtful and delivered great results. I would engage Doug to do my planning.


    Randall Borkus Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Douglas H. McPhail

800 E Ellis Rd
Muskegon, MI, 49441


MIActive And In Good Standing198905/14/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
BV DistinguishedMartindale-Hubbell2015
Advanced Wealth-Strategist PlannerEsperti Peterson Institute for Global Wealth Strategies Planning2001
American Jurisprudence Book AwardThomson West Publishing1988
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Estate Planning AttorneyDouglas H. McPhail1989 - Present
Legal InternGruel Mills Nims & Pylman1988 - 1989
InternThe Rutherford Institute1987 - 1987
Legal InternPlunkett & Cooney1986 - 1987
Association namePosition nameDuration
WealthCounselMember2012 - Present
Muskegon County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Lake Michigan Estate Planning CouncilMemberN/A
Lawyers With PurposeMember2014 - 2016
Esperti Peterson InstitutePost doctoral studies2000 - 2001
National Network of Estate Planning AttorneysMember1998 - 2012
Publication nameTitleDate
University of Detroit Law ReviewCasenotes: Constitutional Law1987
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Detroit Mercy School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1988
Taylor UniversityPolitical Science & Mass CommunicationsBA - Bachelor of Arts1984
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
WGVU Morning Show with Shelley IrwinEstate Planning2015
Harbor HospiceMedicaid Review Workshop2015
Comfort KeepersMedicaid Review Workshop2015
7 Threats to Your Family Security7 Threats to Your Family Security2015
Edward Jones AdvisorsEstate Planning Pitfalls Every Family Should Know2014
Norton Shores, MIProtect Your Estate Protect Your Legacy2013
Norton ShoresDid You Work Hard to Leave Everything to a Nursing Home?2013
Fairfield Inn, Norton Shores, MIDid You Work Hard All Your Life to Leave Everything to a Nursing Home?2012
National Network of Estate Planning AttorneysMedicaid Planning & Marketing2008
Muskegon, MIHow to Protect Your Dreams2008
National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Indianapolis, IndianaPutting the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 into Practice – New Opportunities in Medicaid/Long-Term Care Asset Protection Planning2006
National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys 2 day program Scottsdale, AZUnderstanding and Implementing Medicaid/Long-Term Care Asset Protection Planning in your Elder Law Practice”2005
National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Orlando, FloridaThe Basics of Medicaid Planning2003
National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Las Vegas, NevadaAdvanced Medical Planning Issues2003
West Michigan Estate Planning CounselHistory of the Estate TaxN/A
Ask the Lawyer Public television programEstate Planning Q & AN/A