John P. Kelly
Senior Partner & Attorney


University of Detroit Mercy JD – Juris Doctor 1985
Michigan State University BA – Bachelor of Arts 1979
Institute of Continuing Legal Education General Civil Mediator Training 2014
Certified mediator in General Civil Mediation
ICLE Probate & Estate Planning Certification


Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association
Tipping Point Theater, Board of Directors
Friends of the Rouge, Board of Directors
Northville Rotary Past President 2017-2018, Member since 2008
Michigan Residential Builder 2006 – Present
State Bar of Michigan Probate Section and Business Law Sections of the State Bar 1986 – Present
State Bar of California 1986 – Present

Achievements and Awards

Awarded the Paul Harris plus 5 pin by Rotary District Governor Paul Sincock
Featured in an interview by Detroit Legal News (PDF)

Individual Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Probate and Estate Litigation

  • Trust Administration
  • Trust Litigation
  • Will Contests

Business Law

Real Estate Law

Personal Statement

As a CPA and an attorney I have unique experience in handling legal issues involving wills, trusts, real estate, and elder law. My experience with tax law enables me to work in areas that most find too complex. I handle civil and probate matters primarily in Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw Counties but I do have cases in other Courts.

I draft contracts, handle business buy/sells, enjoy estate planning and trust work as well as probate litigation issues involving will contests and trust questions. I handle civil cases involving real estate and business issues. I am a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association handling cases in the commercial/construction areas. I am a licensed residential builder.

Examples of legal matters I have handled include:

  • Will Contest against a caregiver who coerced the decedent to give him all her money;
  • Removal of a trustee who invaded trust assets for her drug addicted daughter;
  • Enforcement of a minor child’s claim against his father’s estate who had disowned him due to a nasty divorce with the child’s mother;
  • An estate’s wrongful death claim for murder under the Michigan Slayer Rule; Successfully sued an Estate due to incapacity of decedent;
  • Defended Trustee on claims of breach of fiduciary duties;
  • Removed daughter from Trust for stealing money;
  • Won wrongful death claim against estate in murder/suicide case;
  • Negotiated real estate sale of large tract of vacant land to developer for construction of condominiums;
  • Negotiated contract for construction of custom home and for renovation of bar/restaurant establishment;
  • Negotiated sale of family-owned business;
  • Negotiated commercial real estate leases for international fitness facility;
  • Facilitated Medicaid approval for family with parent in skilled nursing facility;
  • Failed short sale cases against realtors;
  • Secured guardianship and conservatorship of incapacitated parent;
  • Won court approval for protective order in elder law case.

I enjoy the practice of law and working with my wife, my daughter and my son who are lawyers in the firm that my wife and I started over 25 years ago. We emphasize regular contact with our clients who we value. We strive to secure clients for life –not for just a single legal matter.  I also enjoy remodeling homes, fly fishing, golf, mountain biking, scuba, snow boarding and traveling.

Call Our Team: 248-348-0496
After Hours: 248-733-5021
Email John

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