Our goal is to serve as trusted advisors for our clients. We assist our clients with making informed decisions that are right for them and their specific situations. We provide our clients and their families with peace of mind through comprehensive plans that work to protect everyone they love and everything they own. We strive to deliver all of our services with uncompromising integrity, trust, and professionalism.
J. Michael Hickox, J.D. – Attorney at Law
Attorney Michael Hickox specializes in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Estate Administration. In developing each plan, he takes a personalized, holistic approach that considers his clients’ goals, values and dreams as well as their hard-earned assets. Michael helps clients to understand why proper planning is important and works to develop lifelong relationships with his clients. Michael also provides family mediation services, helping to keep clients and their families out of the courtroom and helping to preserve family relationships.
In addition to his law practice, Michael presents Estate Planning courses to Certified Public Accountants, Certified Financial Planners and Property, Casualty and Life Agents for their continuing education credits. He also presents several topics at local Community Education programs each year. As a speaker and workshop leader, Michael is dedicated to educating people on the truth about estate planning, long term care, and special needs planning. To bolster his own knowledge, Michael attends several seminars and courses each year to stay abreast of the latest changes in the law.
Beyond being a legal counselor, Michael is a trained Stephen Minister – a non-denominational counseling ministry dedicated to providing supportive and caring guidance to people in need. Michael is very active in the community and is an active member and past president of the Milford Rotary Club; a past president of the Huron Valley Education Foundation; a Trustee of the Huron Valley Council of the Arts; and has served on the Board of Directors of the Carls Family YMCA. Michael is the proud grandfather of three wonderful grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife, working outdoors, and traveling.
Caroline Bielas, Esq. – Attorney at Law
Attorney Caroline Bielas has been practicing in the areas of estate planning and elder law for over fifteen years. Helping people understand the importance of proper planning and how to protect their loved ones is her foremost goal in practicing law. An avid advocate of education, Caroline enjoys teaching classes and writing articles to help people understand the laws concerning estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning.
Caroline is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan and WealthCounsel. She attends numerous education seminars throughout the year to stay up to date with legal changes and to continue her education. Caroline also does pro bono work with local senior centers to make sure seniors have access to good information about estate planning and elder law.
Caroline earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and received her Juris Doctorate from Ave Maria School of Law. She is the proud mother of four sons and one daughter. Caroline loves reading, cooking, gardening, spending time with her family, traveling, teaching continuing education, and staying busy with all of her children’s activities.
Lisa H. Beatty, J.D. – Attorney at Law
Lisa H. Beatty, J.D. is an experienced attorney, having practiced over 25 years primarily in the areas of Estate Planning, Elder Law, and Medicaid Planning. She is committed to creating a relationship-based practice in which her clients feel comfortable and understood, and that their goals and priorities are of the utmost importance while considering their planning. As a former law school professor, it is important to Lisa that her clients fully understand the purpose and value of the individual planning created for them.
Lisa is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Elder Law and Disability Rights Section, the Livingston County Bar Association, WealthCounsel, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is also accredited by the Veterans Administration. Lisa is regularly invited as a guest speaker for various groups and events, including the Brighton Senior Men’s Club, many local senior centers and senior living communities, as well as for the State Bar of Michigan. She has also taught workshops to Michigan social workers for their continuing education credits.
Lisa is a talented violist and has been the President of the Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra for nearly a decade. She wages her own internal battle on football Saturdays, having received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from what is now Michigan State University. Lisa lives on a small hobby farm with her husband and teenaged daughter, goats, chickens, rabbits, dogs, and a house pig named Winston. She boards her two horses nearby. Lisa loves to spend time with her family, including her adult son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, at their cabin up north. In her spare time, Lisa helps her daughter with her small soap-making business and routinely forgets to water the plants.
Leny A. Godfrey - Funding Coordinator
Leny Godfrey is a highly motivated financial accounting professional with a verifiable record of accomplishments over fifteen years. Leny joined Huron Valley Law Center in 2013 as funding coordinator and has been helping clients with the funding process since. She is very detailed and has excellent organizational skills, which makes her a natural at the funding coordinator position.
Leny finished her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting at the University of Cebu, Philippines. She has worked as a Financial Analyst, an Accounting Assistant, a Customer Care Officer and an Accounts Receivable/Payable Specialist in different industries like publishing, manufacturing, tourism, and accounting.
Leny loves watching sports with her husband, Nick, and she also enjoys baking, travelling, reading and doing arts & crafts.
Melissa Whalen - Paralegal
Melissa Whalen has over 20 years of experience as a paralegal. Melissa graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and from Denver Paralegal Institute. Melissa has worked in personal injury and Estate Planning/Probate/Trust Administration. Melissa enjoys assisting clients through the probate and trust administration processes.
Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, sewing, and playing with her dogs.
Laura Lewis - Client Services Coordinator
Laura Lewis joined the Huron Valley Law Center in November of 2021. Prior to joining the firm, Laura spent decades in the legal profession working as a legal secretary and paralegal, focusing her skills in the areas of medical malpractice, automobile negligence, and estate planning. Laura enjoys working in a small-town atmosphere and serving the needs of people in her own community.
Laura and her husband are avid campers, and most weekends you’ll find them at a cozy little campground, relaxing by the fire with their Bulldog, Lucy. In her spare time, Laura enjoys attending concerts with her husband, spending as much time as she can with family and friends, and doting on her many four-legged fur kids.
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Huron Valley Law Center, PLC
2850 S. Milford Road
Highland, Michigan 48357
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