Local attorney teams with Spectrum to offer free seminar

Raven Spence
Raven Spence

REED CITY — Because life can change in an instant, it can be important to have lifetime and post-death affairs in order, and with through a collaboration between Spectrum Health and Jordan Balkema Elder Law Center PLLC, information on how to do so will be provided.

Taught by local attorney, Mara Raven Spence, a free class called Estate Planning 101 will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center, 4499 220th Ave. in Reed City.

"In my opinion, everyone should have basic documents designating other people to assist them," said Raven Spence. "It's for lifetime management and post-death distribution of assets."

Mara, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, has been focused on estate planning, guardian and conservator matters, and probate and trust administrations since 1997. Also, she is currently chairperson of the Susan P. Wheatlake Fund Advisory Board and has been active advocate for women’s health in the community.

"This is a community effort to increase awareness about health and wellness topics and the education committee formed several years ago in response to the need for more accessible local information for patients and their families who might be facing a cancer diagnosis," said Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Community Relations Director Tom Hogenson. "Since that time, we have continued to offer a variety of local and regionally-known speakers to highlight everything from the importance of humor in facing serious illness, through what you need to know about cancer screening to the experimental cancer research being conducted at Ferris State University and all points in between."

The event will provide information regarding estate planning and Raven Spence also will be on hand to answer attendees' questions about giving authority for medical decisions, and for legal and finance matters.

"I hope to educate those who attend on what documents they should have in place and inform people on how to plan for the best and worst case scenarios," she said.