Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 1996
Free Will Baptist Bible College, B.A., 1990, magna cum laude
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Court of International Trade
Norman ("Gene") E. Richards
Norman ("Gene") E. Richards
Gene Richards, a shareholder at Foster Swift, counsels and represents clients on personal and business matters concerning estate planning (wills, trusts and powers of attorney), estate taxes, elder law and disability planning, probate and trust administration, real estate, and business formation and succession planning.
Specifically, Gene focuses his practice in the following areas:
- Estate Planning - Designing customized trusts, wills and powers of attorney. These documents preserve and distribute family and individual assets in the most appropriate way during a person’s lifetime and after death.
- Trust and Probate Administration/Litigation - Providing representation in probate court to establish guardianships and conservatorships and to enforce wills and trusts. He advises and represents surviving family members in administering trusts and estates, including probate procedures and preparation of estate tax returns, and representation before the IRS when required.
- Long-Term-Care and Elder Law - Compassionately guiding families who are planning for long term care and who need to maximize financial resources to pay for the care, through Medicaid and VA Aid and Attendance.
- Disability Planning and Special Needs Trusts - Advising clients who have children with disabilities and creating specialized trusts and legal documents to help provide for a disabled child's care, while preserving their eligibility for government benefits.
- Businesses and Non-Profits - Assisting clients in forming business entities, managing corporate formalities and arranging for a sale and business succession. Gene also advises non-profits and their boards on corporate and fiduciary duties.
Gene provides community leadership as a director and officer of the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce and conducts free legal consultations to senior adults through the Farmington Hills Costick Center. He serves as a trustee for Lutheran Special Education Ministries and as a board member for the North Farmington High School Band Boosters. He is a frequent lecturer with organizations such as the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Lorman Education Services, the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeast Michigan and private interest groups.
Gene is also a member of several legal entities, including: the Probate & Estate Planning, Elder Law & Disability Rights, Real Property and Business Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan; the Oakland County Bar Association; the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA); and the American Bar Association.
- Represented a large estate before the IRS that was assessed hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties/interest due to errors of a professional tax preparer. Obtained a full refund of assessed penalties (and reduction in interest) after a two year IRS administrative appeals process.
- Obtained Medicaid eligibility for a gentleman in a nursing home using numerous legal procedures while at the same time preserving the majority of the family's investments which allowed the healthy wife to stay at home with financial security.
- Advised a client through the steps of purchasing a business. Helped the client avoid pitfalls and reduced purchase price by identifying irregularities in the Seller's accounts and valuation of the business.
- Successfully defended a child/trustee in probate court litigation against a disgruntled sibling's allegations of wrongdoing and efforts to void the parent's trust and estate plan document. Upheld enforceability of the Trust plan and carrying out of parents' wishes.
- Preserved an elderly widow from exploitation by deceptive neighbors who attempted to gain control of her assets during the period of her husband's hospice care by having the husband sign legal documents. Through aggressive intervention, thwarted the neighbors' plans, removed them from influence and control of the widow, and set up a team of collaborating professionals to assist with her financial management and care needs. Restored her dignity and preserved her independence.
- 2012 Elder Care Expo "Solutions and Advice for Loved Ones", Ameriprise Financial, June 21, 2012
- Estate Planning, First Presbyterian Church, April 14, 2012
- Succession Plan = Planning for Success, Walsh College BusinessLIVE, October 20, 2011
- Basic Estate Planning Strategies, Davenport University, March 10, 2011
- Legal Savvy Winter Warm Up, State Bar of Michigan, January 15, 2011
- Estate and Legacy Planning, Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church, November 13, 2010
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Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Michigan
- Probate & Estate Planning Section
- Elder Law & Disability Rights Section
- Real Property Section
- Business Law Section
- Oakland County Bar Association
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Greater Farmington Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
- Farmington Hills Costick Center, Pro bono services
- Lutheran Special Education Ministries, Trustee
- North Farmington High School Band Boosters, Board Member
- Farmington Area Commission on Aging, Former Commissioner
- Garden City Hospital Foundation, Former Trustee
- Alzheimer's Association of Southeast Michigan, Former Speaker's Bureau
- Westland Zoning Board of Appeals, Former Commissioner
- Lorman Education Services, Lecturer
- Walsh College Business Leadership Institute Former, Affinity Group Leader