Bio

An attorney in the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, Sean M. Colonna is a member of the Trusts & Estates Practice Group.

Mr. Colonna's experience includes the preparation of general estate planning documents such as wills, revocable trust agreements, joint trusts, powers of attorney and funeral directives. He also has an extensive background in complex retirement planning, charitable trusts and transfer tax planning through the use of irrevocable trusts, gifts, insurance and grantor trusts, ILITs, GRATs and SLATs. He also prepares fiduciary, estate and gift and generation-skipping tax returns.

In the area of probate and related litigation, Mr. Colonna has handled matters involving undue influence, mental capacity and breach of fiduciary duty in estate and trust contests.

In addition, Mr. Colonna has experience creating and implementing business succession and management continuity plans for closely held businesses and corporations of various sizes. He drafts and negotiates numerous agreements that include buy-sell, sales representatives, severances, licensing, redemption, pledges and suppliers, as well as manufacturing contracts.

A 2013 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Mr. Colonna received numerous academic awards, including Book Awards for International Taxation, Canadian Law, and Estates and Trusts. He received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in 2010.

Representative Client Work

  • Prepared various complex irrevocable trusts pursuant to divorce decree involving over $200 million in assets
  • Successfully appealed a Macomb County Probate Court ruling, where in a rare published opinion from the Michigan Court of Appeals, the appellate court reversed the probate court's decision to improperly appoint a conservator over the client’s objections
  • Routinely prepares complex estate planning for professionals, including business owners, attorneys, doctors, and those with special needs children
  • Administered complex trusts with combined value of assets exceeding $3 billion, which also involved unique assets such as retirement accounts, charitable pledges, intellectual property, crypto currency and valuable art
  • Advised major supplier workaround strategies regarding exceptions to the China tariffs, saving millions in import taxes

Professional Affiliations

  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Wayne County Probate Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Group)

Credentials

Education

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, J.D., 2013
  • Western Michigan University, B.A., 2010

Admissions

  • Michigan, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2017

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