Powers Chapman is proud to look back on nearly 20 years as the Michigan Provider Firm for LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.), a leader in providing legal services and identity theft protection to North American families and small businesses.

2011 and 2012 proved to be a time of exciting and dramatic change for the company. In the Summer of 2011, all outstanding shares of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. were purchased by Mid-Ocean Partners, a multi-national private equity firm with an impressive and extensive portfolio.

Immediately, the new ownership moved to re-brand and revitalize the business, starting with a name change to LegalShield, in the belief it best describes the impact of the services provided. The available market and needs of the membership were extensively studied, and these assessments continue. As a result of this research, new ways of reaching the public and heightening its awareness of LegalShield and its services were formulated. These campaigns include viral internet videos and traditional media ads, new endeavors for a company tracing its roots back approximately 40 years.

Throughout this evolutionary period, one constant remains…the company’s steadfast dedication to providing high quality legal services and identity theft solutions, and doing so affordably.

Another fact remains unchanged, and that is the dedication of our LegalShield award-winning firm and individual attorneys, to providing that high quality legal service to the company’s Michigan membership.

Though we look back over all those years with satisfaction in fulfilling our mission, we at Powers Chapman, also look forward with excitement and determination. We look to a future of association with a dynamic and vital company and many more years of serving our LegalShield members with the same high level of commitment.

Federal Estate Tax - Good News!

Our Federal Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act on 12-31-12. A good part of that Act was to preserve indefinitely the federal estate tax exemption. Under the new legislation the estate tax exemption will be $5 million adjusted for inflation (it is $5.25 million for 2013). Spousal portability (the unused exemption of a deceased spouse can be used by the surviving spouse) remains the law. The top marginal tax rate will be 40%. The annual exclusion for gifts will be increased to $14,000.00 in 2013.

Some of you may want to consider simplifying your estate planning documents by converting to a JOINT REVOCABLE TRUST PLAN. We would be happy to discuss this possibility with you. Remember it is a good idea to review your estate plan at least every 2 or 3 years. Please call any time at 1-248-283-2020.

Please accept our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.


$500,000.00 Jury Verdict for Powers Chapman Litigation Team

Powers Chapman was recently retained to represent a husband and wife in a lawsuit for a head injury sustained by the husband in an automobile accident. Since the at-fault driver only had $20,000.00 insurance coverage, which was paid, a claim was also made against the clients’ own insurance company for the optional “under insurance coverage” the clients had purchased from their insurer. When their insurer refused to pay compensation for the injury, the lawsuit was filed in Oakland County Circuit Court by Powers Chapman’s chief litigator, Brian Gijsbers.

Before trial, the insurance company offered $150,000.00 to settle, which was rejected by the clients. During trial, the jury is not allowed to hear of any pre-trial settlement discussions. After hearing the evidence, the jury brought back a verdict of $500,000.00, which was the maximum possible verdict under the insurance policy. Mr. Gijsbers was assisted during the trial by Powers Chapman’s newest litigator, Amanda Warner.

Fortunately, the clients had wisely purchased the optional underinsurance coverage from their no-fault insurance company to protect them in this instance, where there was a serious injury but the at-fault driver only had the minimum insurance coverage allowed in Michigan.

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."

- Abraham Lincoln

About Powers Chapman

Powers Chapman is a full service law firm located in Troy, Michigan. We specialize in many areas of law, including business law, estate planning, corporate, personal injury, family law, criminal law, litigation, wills and trusts.
Contact us today:
3001 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 704
Troy, Michigan 48084

(248) 643-6500 Phone
(248) 643-0280 Powers Chapman Fax
(248) 643-2476 LegalShield Fax

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