Raymond A. Harris

Shareholder
Raymond A. Harris

Raymond A. Harris is a shareholder with Buhl, Little, Lynwood & Harris, PLC in East Lansing. He practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and disability planning, trust and estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, and probate litigation. He is licensed to practice in both Michigan and Florida.

Ray is the past president of the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is the chair-elect of the State Bar of Michigan’s Elder Law and Disability Rights Section. He is the past president of the Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council. In 2014, he was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of the “Up & Coming Lawyers.” He was named by SuperLawyers as a “Rising Star” in the area of Elder Law from 2015 to 2020 and was named in Best Lawyers for “Litigation – Trusts and Estates” in 2024. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to Medicaid planning, elder law, probate, and estate planning.

Ray is originally from South Dakota and lives in the Lansing area. He enjoys spending time outside, reading, and traveling.

Areas of Practice

  • Medicaid, Disability, and Elder Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate and Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships
  • Florida matters relating to Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, and Real Estate

Education

  • Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D. cum laude, 2007
  • South Dakota State University, B.S. 2003

Professional Awards

  • Named in Best Lawyers for “Litigation – Trusts and Estates”, 2024
  • Named as a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star in the area of Elder Law, 2015-2020
  • Recipient of Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Up & Coming Lawyers” Award, December 2014

Community Service

  • Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Sixty Plus Elder Law Clinic
    Board of Directors, October 2019-present
  • Ingham County Bar Association “Ask a Lawyer” event
    Chair 2017-present
    Co-chair 2015 & 2016
  • Elder Law of Michigan
    Board of Directors, October 2014-present
  • Fenner Nature Conservancy
    Board of Directors, August 2013-June 2019
    Treasurer, January 2014-March, 2015
  • Kiwanis Club of South Lansing
    Member, October 2012-present
    President, October 2015-October 2016
  • Lansing Educational Advancement Foundation
    Board of Trustees, January 2013-January 2016
  • R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toys Project
    Board of Directors & Treasurer, April 2013-April 2015
  • Lansing Retired & Senior Volunteer Program
    Board of Directors & Treasurer, August 2010-May 2013

Professional Associations & Honors

  • State Bar of Michigan, Admitted December 2007
    Probate and Estate Planning Section
    Elder Law and Disability Rights Section
  • State Bar of Michigan Elder Law & Disability Rights Section
    Council member, October 2016-present
    Officer 2021 – Present
    Litigation Committee Chair, October 2017-October 2020
  • The Florida Bar, Admitted March 2015
    Real Property, Trusts, and Estates Section
    Elder Law Section
  • United States District Court
    Western District of Michigan
    Eastern District of Michigan
  • Ingham County Bar Association
    Probate and Estate Planning Law Section
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
    Board of Directors, Michigan Chapter, 2013-present
    President, October 2018-October 2019
    Litigation Committee, April 2015-April 2016
  • Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council
    Member, September 2013-present
    Board of Directors, May 2014-May 2018
    President, May 2017-May 2018
  • ICLE Elder Law Advisory Board, member, January 2017-present
    Probate and Estate Planning Certificate through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and State Bar of Michigan
  • State Bar of Michigan Probate Council Committees
    Guardianship, Conservatorship, End of Life Committee, 2013-present
    Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, 2014-present
  • Supreme Court Administrative Office
    Court Forms Mental Health Workgroup Committee, 2016-present

Presentations, Seminars & Publications

  • Claims Against an Estate or Trust, (ICLE), contributing author for Michigan Probate Litigation (ICLE), June 2023 – Present
  • Medicaid for Married Couples, (ICLE), Medicaid and Healthcare Planning Update, April 2023
  • Medicaid Fundamentals, (ICLE), Elderlaw Institute, September 2021
  • Elder Law Certificate Program (ICLE), contributing author 2017 – Present
  • Guardianships & Conservatorships, contributing author for Advising the Older or Disabled Client (ICLE), 2016 – Present
  • New Florida Electronic Documents Act, author, State Bar of Michigan Elder Law and Disability Rights Newsletter, August 2019
  • Solving Problems with Difficult or Unusual Assets, Medicaid and Healthcare Planning Update (ICLE), April 2019
  • Everything you Need to Know About Florida Property and Estates, 58th Annual Probate & Estate Planning Institute (ICLE), June 2018
  • Interactive Special Needs Planning Solutions (ICLE), panelist, September 2017
  • Using Special Needs Trusts, presented at NBI Medicaid Seminar, April 2017
  • Law of Intestate Succession, presented at NBI Probate Seminar, December 2016
  • Ethics and Unauthorized Practice of Law, guest author for the State Bar of Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal, 2015 – 2023
  • Ancillary Probate and Other Problem Areas, presented at NBI Probate Bootcamp Seminar, December 2015
  • Special Needs Trusts: Beyond the Basics, Administering, and Reporting, presented to the Ingham County Bar Association Probate and Trust Section, October 2015
  • Florida’s Elective Share for the Surviving Spouse and Its Impact on Non-Florida Beneficiaries, author, Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Journal, Summer 2015
  • Basics of Special Needs Planning, presented to the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, April 2015
  • Who Should You Trust?, presented to the Bath Township Senior Center, August 2014
  • Estate and Medicaid Planning, presented to the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, March 2014
  • Medicaid Planning and Updates, presented to the Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council, January 2014
  • Estate Planning Overview, author, Cosozo Living, January 2010 Issue
  • A Primer on Medicare and Medicaid, author, Cosozo Living, September 2009 Issue
  • Litigation on d(4)(C) Trusts and Food Stamps, author, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Spring 2008 Newsletter