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Douglas H. McPhail

Estate planning Attorney at Muskegon, MI

Not yet reviewed
Virtual consultation available
Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 34 years
    State MI
    Acquired 1989
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found

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

About Douglas

Learn Douglas’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    Proper estate planning is designed to help you keep control over your property and personal needs while you are alive and well, alive but not well or not alive. All too often traditional estate planning is focused only on what happens after death. We believe that this is short sighted and disregards the many complex financial and emotional issues that are created by chronic long term illnesses. We've helped thousands of western Michigan families with their estate planning needs.

    35 years

  2. Elder law
    Our elder law practice is focused on helping individuals obtain Medicaid assistance to pay for nursing home expenses. At an average cost of more than $8,000 per month most families cannot afford to pay for care without losing nearly all of their assets. We help families navigate the rules to maximize your savings.

    35 years

  3. Probate
    Our firm is experienced in probate and estate settlement issues.

    36 years


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.  



Distinguished Peer Review Rating

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  • Hourly Rates $ 145-395 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.5 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Estate Planning Attorney
  • Douglas H. McPhail
  • 1989 - Present
  • Legal Intern
  • Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman
  • 1988 - 1989
  • Intern
  • The Rutherford Institute
  • 1987 - 1987
  • Legal Intern
  • Plunkett & Cooney
  • 1986 - 1987
View all work experience


  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1988
  • Taylor University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1984


  • WealthCounsel
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Muskegon County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Lake Michigan Estate Planning Council
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Lawyers With Purpose
  • Member
  • 2014 - 2016
  • Esperti Peterson Institute
  • Post doctoral studies
  • 2000 - 2001
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Member
  • 1998 - 2012
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • Advanced Wealth-Strategist Planner
  • Esperti Peterson Institute for Global Wealth Strategies Planning
  • 2001
  • American Jurisprudence Book Award
  • Thomson West Publishing
  • 1988
View all awards


  • University of Detroit Law Review
  • Casenotes: Constitutional Law
  • 1987

Speaking Engagements

  • WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin
  • Estate Planning
  • 2015
  • Harbor Hospice
  • Medicaid Review Workshop
  • 2015
  • Comfort Keepers
  • Medicaid Review Workshop
  • 2015
  • Edward Jones Advisors
  • Estate Planning Pitfalls Every Family Should Know
  • 2014
  • Norton Shores, MI
  • Protect Your Estate Protect Your Legacy
  • 2013
  • Norton Shores
  • Did You Work Hard to Leave Everything to a Nursing Home?
  • 2013
  • Fairfield Inn, Norton Shores, MI
  • Did You Work Hard All Your Life to Leave Everything to a Nursing Home?
  • 2012
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Medicaid Planning & Marketing
  • 2008
  • Muskegon, MI
  • How to Protect Your Dreams
  • 2008
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Putting the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 into Practice – New Opportunities in Medicaid/Long-Term Care Asset Protection Planning
  • 2006
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys 2 day program Scottsdale, AZ
  • Understanding and Implementing Medicaid/Long-Term Care Asset Protection Planning in your Elder Law Practice”
  • 2005
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Orlando, Florida
  • The Basics of Medicaid Planning
  • 2003
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Advanced Medical Planning Issues
  • 2003
  • West Michigan Estate Planning Counsel
  • History of the Estate Tax
  • N/A
  • Ask the Lawyer Public television program
  • Estate Planning Q & A
  • N/A
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (4)
Endorse Douglas
Elder law Attorney | Jan 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly recommended. Mr. McPhail. He is an extremely thorough and detail oriented elder law attorney. His Medicaid crisis planning process is second to none."
Elder law Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"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."
Estate planning Attorney | Aug 29
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"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."
Estate planning Attorney | Aug 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Doug and I first met as members of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys more than 14 years ago. He is a nationally recognized speaker and an innovator in the areas of estate planning and elder law. I would not hesitate to recommend him."
Elder law Attorney | Aug 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I heartily endorse Douglas McPhail based on my personal knowledge of his character and services for more than a decade. Whether you are a non-elder law attorney seeking well-qualified legal counsel for your clients or are seeking such counsel for yourself (or your loved ones), Doug will provide excellent service with a personal, caring touch. He will exceed your expectations."
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Estate planning
Muskegon Estate planning Lawyer Douglas H. McPhail
Douglas H. McPhail
Estate planning Attorney
Muskegon, MI
Licensed for 34 years
Virtual consultation available