Pay it Forward with Estate Planning

Gift box of moneyValarie Montgomery may have retired from overseeing Michigan State’s financial operations, but she used her estate plan with her husband Mark to leave a legacy that will be felt forever.

Valarie first realized her love for accounting under the instruction of her favorite teacher at Quincy High School. However, at graduation, she opted to fast track her entry into the workplace by earning a certificate in general business, not a bachelor’s degree. This was enough for her to gain experience at several financial institutions and businesses before she landed at Michigan State University as a clerical technical level six employee in 1989.

Valarie didn’t forget about her love of accounting. While working full-time, she took advantage of Michigan State’s tuition assistance program and a flexible work schedule. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the Eli Broad College of Business. Taking just two classes per quarter—one at night and one during the day—it took Valarie 13 years to complete both degrees. She said that a scholarship also played a key role along the way.

As her education and skills took shape, she rose through the employee ranks of her department. She retired last spring from the Office of Treasury and Financial Management as the manager of MSU’s Treasury Services, a high-level administrative professional supervisory position.

The Montgomery Endowed Scholarship for Accounting will give preference to students who graduated from Quincy High School and are returning to school, after having been in the workforce for a time.

“We wanted to pay back MSU for helping me obtain my degrees and for giving me a place to have a fulfilling career,” says Valarie.

Reference: MSU Today (January 31, 2017) “Returning on an Investment”


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.