Richard Mills is an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning, trust and estate administration, and charitable giving. For more than 15 years, Rick has helped families, businesses, and charitable foundations establish legally and financially secure futures.
Rick is passionate about advising philanthropists and supporting his community. He has served on the boards of several foundations, museums, and charitable organizations. Rick actively participates in developing Michigan’s trust laws and regularly shares his knowledge through speeches and publications, including articles for national publications such as Thomson Reuters’ “Estate Planning” and the American Bar Association’s “Probate & Property.” He frequently presents at Michigan’s annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute, national conferences, and continuing education programs for attorneys, speaking on trust law, private foundations, and charitable tax planning.
As a leader of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, Rick helped draft Michigan’s trust decanting, self-settled asset protection trust, and divided and directed trusteeship legislation. As an American Bar Association leader, he’s helped draft comments to the U.S. Treasury Department on proposed regulations related to donor-advised funds and met with its Office of Tax Policy to discuss important issues on behalf of charitable planning attorneys and their clients.
Rick co-edits the book “Drafting the Michigan Trust,” published by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the University of Michigan, and authored the chapter on charitable trusts. Currently, he is writing the latest edition of “Charitable Gift Planning: A Practical Guide for the Estate Planner,” originally written by David Ray, Jr. and published by the American Bar Association.
Rick has served as an expert witness on estate planning ethics and successfully argued a key case cited on the Doctrine of Election – McConnell v Demyanovich – before the Michigan Court of Appeals. The court ruled that a trust beneficiary who elects to accept a trust distribution is later foreclosed from challenging the trust’s validity.
Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and business from Aquinas College, then his master’s in business degree and Juris Doctor from The University of Detroit Mercy. He is pursuing the chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP) designation issued by the American College of Financial Services.
Rick enjoys engaging in sophisticated legal and tax analysis. More importantly, he appreciates how his practice allows him to serve as a trusted family counselor and connect personally with his clients. Every client is unique, and he believes that estate planning discussions should always begin with: what do you want to accomplish? He is honored to help his clients realize their philanthropic dreams and is passionate about working alongside them to make their vision a reality.
Rick and his family live in Jackson, MI, and his children are sixth-generation Jacksonians. He enjoys boating, tennis, travel, and Lumen Christi Titan and Michigan football. Despite the many disappointments, Rick is also a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan.