Michelle started this firm in 1989 as a general practice firm. It was just Michelle and her paralegal Barb for many years. Fast forward to 2017 and the firm has grown to having 4 attorneys, 14 support staff members and 5 offices, with a focus on providing top notch estate planning and elder law across every county that touches the Lake Huron shoreline, from the Bluewater Bridge to the Mackinaw Bridge.
In 2010, Michelle decided to focus the firm’s legal efforts on estate planning and elder law, helping local families to protect their hard-earned assets and pass them on to their heirs. Michelle joined the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA), which allowed the entire staff to get intensive training on issues specific to the field. She has also joined the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Elder Counsel and Wealth Counsel to further develop knowledge in this area. The demand for estate planning services grew dramatically, and the firm has expanded by adding more paralegals, Medicaid specialists, and legal assistants to work in the Thumb area. In 2017, they added an office in Harrisville, and are now working with families in northeast Michigan, with another office in Bay City opening in 2018.
Clients come to Biddinger, Bitzer, Estelle & Rastigue at trying times in their lives, often when one spouse has been admitted into a long-term care facility and they are trying to figure out how to pay for that without losing everything they worked a lifetime to build. By listening to their particular situation and applying the latest legal techniques, Michelle and her staff can help them preserve their assets that are allowed to be protected from nursing home costs while getting the medical care they need.
Because Michelle does estate plans every day, she knows the types of issues families may face in the future. She is excellent at making sure the client’s objectives are met by creating clearly understood legal documents that can help preserve family harmony.
Michelle and her husband Greg have one son, Ryan, who is a Chiropractor in Traverse City. She lives in Cass City, spends weekends in Caseville, and enjoys traveling. Michelle is an alumnus of University of Michigan and University of South Carolina School of Law.