Estate Planning, Wills, And Trusts


Garland Law Firm

Garland Law is the firm of Attorney Brenda J. Garland who focuses on estate planning for clients in northern Michigan.

When you hear “estate planning” it is shorthand for Wills and Trusts, but it also includes things like:

  • Trust administration after the death of a loved one who created a trust
  • Probate estates after the death of a loved one who had a Will or no documents
  • Powers of Attorney to nominate specific people who can exercise your rights – in a medical or legal/financial setting
  • Guardianships or Conservatorships to have the local probate court determine who can exercise your rights

Worthwhile Estate Planning is Personal

Brenda believes in helping people actually understand how estate planning can be useful and strongly prefers to meet at homes or other comfortable locations for clients to have those conversations. Any worthwhile estate planning has to be personal!

Worthwhile estate planning should also be comprehensive, and so Brenda will want to talk with you about your concerns as well as your hopes and plans for all those paychecks. This isn’t financial planning, but estate planning should incorporate input from the perspectives of an attorney and your team of financial and tax advisors.

This means you’ll talk about your finances, your taxes, those awkward spending habits, your family tree, your family quirks…

In What Ways Are You Spending or Saving?

What Do You Hope to Leave for the Next Generation?

... And, In What Manner?

Let's Work Together!

If you are reading this, you may be a planner. You may be getting serious about retirement. You may have just helped a family member navigate Probate and lost months of your life that you’ll never get back. Or… you may have lost a loved one and it cut to the quick. You are facing the reality of death, perhaps the most avoided topic of our time!

Brenda understands that these are challenging conversations for lots of different reasons. There are solutions.

Brenda Garland and family dog

Contact Me Today

Garland Law
PO Box 422
Cheboygan, MI 49721

Bio: Brenda J. Garland

Brenda J. Garland is a native of Bad Axe, Michigan who pursued law as a second career after stepping away from work in non-profit ministry. That work took her to Chicago, eastern Ohio, and Phoenix, and she wanted to return to Michigan to be near family. She is a graduate of Michigan Tech and has a strong love of deep snow. She also obtained her MBA while working at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Law became the path that would bring together her interests in a way that would allow a quiet march toward retirement in rural Michigan.

Brenda practices estate planning, which focuses on end-of-life issues and often means working with families with loved ones who are losing capacity. Learning about dementia and Alzheimer’s has become an ongoing interest.

During law school, Brenda was honored to be part of a statewide project to help military veterans stuck in criminal cycles. After law school, she worked for a circuit court which was starting a similar type of assistive program to help drug addicts who commit crimes to support addictions. These treatment courts remain an interest.

In June 2021, Brenda married David, a retired firefighter, and they have chosen Northern Michigan for their home. This is a  second marriage for Brenda after leaving a violent home. Domestic violence is a topic she openly discusses, and she has been honored to serve Huron County’s SafePlace as well as RISE Advocacy in Clare/Isabella/Gratiot Counties. For more of Brenda’s story on YouTube, visit (you can skip to the 5:55 minute mark).

Covid-19 was the spur for many changes, and also uncovered a need to foster hope through some longer-term planning in a future time with lighter travel and social restrictions. To that end, Brenda has begun planning for a trip to Japan in 2030 with her 5 godchildren. Learning Japanese is very much a work in progress.

There’s always more to the story!