Profile in Brief

 Loukas Kalliantasis

Planning Ahead

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

When Shakespeare’s Hamlet spoke of people shuffling off this mortal coil, perhaps the Prince of Denmark should have included estate planning in his soliloquy. According to attorney Loukas Kalliantasis, the No. 1 mistake people make is not planning for their eventual demise; the second biggest blunder is not reviewing or updating an estate plan after a significant life event. 
“This often causes beneficiaries to face unexpected consequences, litigation, family discord, loss of wealth due to needless payment of taxes or due to increased attorney fees spent fixing errors or litigating problems in the family,” says Kalliantasis, a member of the Trusts and Estates team at Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap in Lansing. “These problems may occur not only after death, but also if and when an individual becomes incapacitated. Early estate planning and regularly reviewing your plan is very important.”

Named a 2013 Super Lawyer Rising Star in Michigan in Estate Planning and Probate, and licensed to practice in both Michigan and Illinois, Kalliantasis earned a Certificate of Completion in the areas of probate and estate planning, issued by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

“It’s a great program that has substantially benefited my practice and it’s a must-do for any attorney practicing in the trusts and estates area — you receive up-to-date, practical information from the best practitioners in the state,” he says. 

He appreciated the flexibility of the program, in which 10 seminars must be completed within a three-year period; he wrapped up his courses in 18 months. 

A member of the Ingham County Bar Association and Hellenic Bar Association, as well as the Grand River Connection, Kalliantasis serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council.  

“It’s a great group — anyone involved or interested in the estate planning process should be a member, it’s a great opportunity to meet, socialize, learn from and contribute to local area attorneys, accountants, financial planners, insurance agents and trust officers.”

His other areas of practice include corporate law, real estate law, and property tax appeals. 

“These areas complement my trusts and estates practice very well and they often allow me to provide full service to my clients — that’s what I enjoy most,” he says. “I enjoy helping clients with their most important and sensitive personal matters.”

Kalliantasis, who earned his undergrad degree in finance, cum laude, from Oakland University, set his sights on a legal career from boyhood, and wanted the foundation of a business background. 
“I didn’t want to go the political science route,” he says. “To me, finance seemed like the best choice of the business majors and, after a few classes, I really enjoyed it. I found classes on investment analysis and real estate investment particularly interesting.” 

His interest in the law took root in a third grade career week, when a talk by an attorney left a big impression. 

“Years later, I could remember the lawyer but not anyone else who came in that week,” Kalliantasis says. “Ever since, I wanted to be a lawyer.” 

Earning his J.D., magna cum laude, from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, he served on the Editorial Board of the UDM Law Review, and, upon graduation, became a member of the Justice Frank Murphy Honor Society. 

“The professors at UDM were great, especially the adjunct professors who were often practicing attorneys who could give us real life perspectives,” he says. 

He also enjoyed UDM’s location in the heart of the Motor City. 

“So many hidden gems if you know where to look, and Lafayette Coney Island was just a few blocks away. State and federal courthouses were a short walk away too, important for internships.”  

His own internship was with Judge Avern Cohn in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.

A native of Shelby Township, in Macomb County, Kalliantasis joined Fraser Trebilcock right out of law school as an associate attorney in September 2008 and, since that time, has made Lansing his home. He occasionally visits Shelby Township where he enjoys spending time with “My big fat Greek family - need I say more,” he says with a smile. For three seasons of the year he is an avid cyclist, and in winter heads for the ski slopes. 

“Living in Michigan, it’s important to enjoy the snow,” he says.