March 2017 Perspectives Newsletter

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Wait and See Planning: Fine Tune a QTIP Trust

With the uncertainty that surrounds the possibility of tax law changes by Congress this year, what advice can an advisor provide to their clients when it comes to estate planning? We are left wondering if there will be a federal estate tax, a federal generation skipping transfer tax, a federal gift tax, a ‘step-up’ (or […]

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February 2017 Perspectives Newsletter

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January 2017 Perspectives Newsletter

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Unsigned Wills: Really!

Just when you think you know what the law requires, along comes a court decision that throws water on that conventional thinking. Such was the situation last fall when the Michigan Court of Appeals in In re Estate of Sabry Mohamed Attia (October 10, 2016) surprised many estate planners with a decision that permits an […]

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December 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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Divorce Settlements: Using Trusts to Deal with Distrust

I had the dubious opportunity to serve both as a divorce attorney and an estate planning attorney for over 42 years. One lesson that I learned is that many divorce attorneys are not always cognizant of the income tax implications that arise in a divorce settlement. Many divorce attorneys even go so far as to […]

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November 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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Greenleaf Trust Named One of the Country’s Best Small and Medium Workplaces

October 12, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan – At Greenleaf Trust, we don’t just stand behind our work—we stand behind the people who make it all possible. Our belief that a positive work environment is essential to a healthy business has been a central component to our success. Today, we’re proud to announce that Greenleaf Trust was […]

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October 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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Unique Assets: Purpose Trusts

While most trusts are established to make distributions to either individuals who are the named trust beneficiaries or to a charity, a purpose trust normally exists to hold or to dispose of specific assets, meaning the trust exists to carry out a specific purpose rather than to provide a benefit to particular individuals. Purpose trusts […]

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September 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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Greenleaf Trust named 2016 Cool Place to Work in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business

August 29, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan Greenleaf Trust was selected as one of the 2016 Cool Places to Work in Michigan. The annual list of “Cool Places to Work” was created by Crain’s Detroit Business and Best Companies Group. “Most wealth management firms probably don’t think of themselves as cool,” said Michael F. Odar, President of […]

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August 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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Oliver Krings Earns Certified Information Systems Security Professional Credential

August 2016, Kalamazoo, MI Greenleaf Trust is proud to announce that Oliver Krings has successfully completed the requirements in earning the (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential. Oliver passed the extensive examination, completed the endorsement process, and by possessing several years of professional experience in the Information Security field.  (ISC)² is an international nonprofit membership association […]

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Greenleaf Trust Opening Grand Rapids Office; Appoints New Team

Thomas DeMeester and John Grzybek Bring Nearly 50 Collective Years of Local Experience July 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan – Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Trust, the privately-held wealth management firm with over $8B in assets, announces the appointment of two long-time, local wealth management leaders, Thomas A. DeMeester and John G. Grzybek, to head its new office in […]

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July 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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June 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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May 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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Greenleaf Trust named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in West Michigan

April 27, 2016, Kalamazoo, MI The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) has recognized Greenleaf Trust as one of the Best and Brightest Companies To Work For® in West Michigan. “Our talented employees, and their commitment to the clients of Greenleaf Trust, are at the heart of our success,” said Michael F. Odar, President of […]

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April 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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March 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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2015 Annual Report

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February 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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George F. Bearup joins Greenleaf Trust as Senior Trust Advisor

February 2, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan – One of the Michigan’s most prominent trust and estate attorneys, George F. Bearup, is bringing his considerable expertise to wealth management firm, Greenleaf Trust, where he’ll serve as senior trust advisor. Mr. Bearup has practiced law in Michigan for over three decades, during which time he’s risen to prominence […]

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January 2016 Perspectives Newsletter

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December 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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November 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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Greenleaf Trust named Great Place to Work® 2015 Best Small & Medium Workplaces

November 2, 2015 Kalamazoo, MI – Greenleaf Trust was named one of the best small and medium workplaces in the United States by Great Place to Work® in its 2015 Best Small & Medium Workplaces list, published today in Fortune magazine. Ranked 23rd, this is the first time Greenleaf Trust has received this honor. Divided […]

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October 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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Great Place to Work® and Fortune Name Greenleaf Trust as One of the 100 Best Workplaces for Women

September 2015, Kalamazoo, Michigan – Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine, having surveyed more than 135,600 working women nationwide, have recognized Greenleaf Trust as one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Women. Greenleaf Trust considers the honor especially notable owing to the fact that the recognition is based on its women employees’ candid assessments […]

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Judy Grace

A resumé laden with good schools, a law degree and blue chip banks propelled Judy Grace in a steadily upward trajectory. Trust positions at Michigan National Bank, Standard Federal, LaSalle, Bank of America and Northern Trust resulted in greater responsibilities and loftier titles. But the higher she climbed, the greater the distance between Judy and […]

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Christopher J. Tarkowski Receives CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner Certification

Kalamazoo, MI, September 17, 2015 – Greenleaf Trust is pleased to announce that Christopher J. Tarkowski has been authorized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® certification marks. Mr. Tarkowski has been a member of the Greenleaf Trust team since January 2014 and is responsible for […]

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Greenleaf Trust named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in Metro Detroit

August 18, 2015 – Kalamazoo, MI – The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) has recognized Greenleaf Trust as one of the Best and Brightest Companies To Work For® in Metro Detroit. “Our talented employees, and their commitment to the clients of Greenleaf Trust, are at the heart of our success,” said Michael F. Odar, […]

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September 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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August 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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July 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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June 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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Greenleaf Trust Named a “Best Place to Work for Millennials”

Kalamazoo, MI, May 28, 2015 – Kalamazoo, Michigan – Greenleaf Trust has been named one of the best places to work for millennial employees in America, Sarah Johansson, Director of Marketing, VP announced today. The list, which comes on the heels of news that millennials are now the largest workforce in America, is the first […]

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May 2015 Perspectives Newsletter

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We managed the family trust. They managed the family values. Talk about a happy reunion.

In the fullness of three generations of marriages, births, deaths and naturally diverging interests, the heirs to a family fortune were concerned. Their once simple, single pot of money had grown so complex, so time consuming and so expensive to manage, that it was becoming a source of anguish rather than comfort. The large bank […]

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We got the call after hours: there was a leak in the 401(k).

After three attempts with three different providers, the CEO had finally had it with the banks and financial service firms who’d mismanaged her plumbing business’s participant-directed 401(k) fund. It wasn’t just the high fees. It wasn’t just the poor service from providers who were too large and inattentive, or too small and inexperienced. And it […]

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The concrete was cured. Ditto the headache.

Even with its $8,500,000 retirement plan, the concrete and construction services company could not get its 401(k) provider to meet with the majority of its employees, who were usually on the job at nearby construction sites rather than in the office. “It’s not the way we prefer to do it,” said the plan provider, a […]

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He made it first. We made it last.

At the cusp of retirement twenty some odd years ago, a successful executive needed his assets to work harder than ever. He desired to travel widely; spend summers at the family cottage; support favored charities; help the grandkids pay for college; maintain the style of living to which he and his wife had become accustomed; […]

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The next 20 years may be your best years, so enjoy them.

With that bit of heartfelt advice, the couple in their early 50’s reconsidered what they’d previously assumed to be out of reach: the purchase of a small cottage on the big lake. The prompting came not from their children, but from an astute financial advisor who was looking at the couple’s financial position relative to […]

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The CFO’s heart was in the right place, which told her the company’s 401(k) plan was not.

In her capacity as CFO for one of the region’s leading manufacturers, the executive bore a weighty responsibility: to continue providing decent jobs, and to ensure that her company’s 401(k) plan was properly managed. It was the latter point that worried her. For years, the plan provider had been a large, regional bank that was […]

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From tool and die to retool and thrive.

Enough is enough, concluded the CFO of the tool and die company; the fees being charged by its bank had increased one too many times. The account was moved to a smaller bank that provided relief in all but one important area: it had no trust department to manage the company’s 401(k) retirement fund. Wisely, […]

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Doctor’s orders: lower stress, higher returns.

The medical practice had the familiar hallmarks of an investment quandary. Its physicians were highly educated, respected, successful and accustomed to calling the shots. Including where and how to invest wealth—their own, as well as their practice’s 401(k). But being a first rate doctor (or any other high level professional) doesn’t always translate into being […]

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Wendy Cox

Wendy Cox could have cried. It would have been unusual to do so at such a happy moment, in the middle of her job interview. But there she was, listening to the company’s top executive articulating his expectation of employees. There were no catchphrases, and no business book themes du jour. There was, instead, a […]

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Nick Juhle

When his application to the University of Michigan was wait-listed, then rejected, Nick Juhle was stunned. Unwilling to accept defeat, he wrote the admissions officer to ask if there’d been a mistake; after all, he was a stellar academic student and life-long Wolverine fan. A week later, a congratulatory letter of acceptance arrived. The lesson […]

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