Duly Noted

 Skidmore elected to West Michigan Estate Planning Council

David L.J.M. Skidmore, a partner at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, has been elected to the board of directors of the Western Michigan Estate Planning Council.

Skidmore will serve a three-year term on the board, which is composed of attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, trust officers and others interested in/actively practicing estate planning in the region. The Council is designed to promote cooperative efforts among estate planning professionals, to assist members in keeping current with laws and to promote an understanding of relationships and functions in the field.
Skidmore concentrates his practice in probate litigation, with an emphasis on disputed estate, trust, fiduciary, guardianship and conservatorship matters.  He currently serves on the State Bar of Michigan’s Probate and Estate Planning Council and chairs the Amicus Curiae Committee.  
Skidmore serves as board chair of the Widowed Persons Service and the Steering Committee of the Hillman Advocacy Program.  He is a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids and was named a 2013 Super Lawyer in the field of trust and estate litigation.

Local government fiscal health continues gradual improvement

University of Michigan's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) has released a new report about fiscal health of local governments in Michigan.
The report finds that although many jurisdictions across the state continue to struggle with fiscal stress, local leaders’ assessments of fiscal health are at their most optimistic levels overall since the the Michigan Public Policy Survey began tracking in 2009. The percentage of Michigan's local governments reporting that they are now better able to meet their fiscal needs (29%) is the same as for those reporting they are less able to do so (29%). Another 41% report no significant change.

Among the largest jurisdictions — those with more than 30,000 residents — 44% say they are better able to meet their fiscal needs this year (up from 36% in 2012), while 33% report they are less able to do so. By comparison, 25% of the smallest jurisdictions — fewer than 1,500 residents — report an increase in their ability to meet fiscal needs in 2013 (up from 18% in 2012), with a third (34%) still reporting declines in that ability.

Local governments continue to pursue a variety of actions to improve their fiscal status. To find out more, read the report by visiting http://sclosup.umich.edu.