Tom Trainer now serves “Of Counsel” to Kemp Klein, after many years serving as a director, officer and shareholder of the firm. He continues his representation of existing clients, co-counsels with both Kemp Klein and other attorneys on matters involving the legal representation of those with disabilities and special needs, and provides oversight in the operation of Special Needs Trusts. While no longer personally accepting new clients, he connects new referrals to the appropriate attorneys at Kemp Klein. He also assists his Kemp Klein colleagues in estate planning, obtaining government benefits, and providing legal direction to those unable to manage their personal or financial affairs because of incapacity. Tom spends considerable time out in the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Trainer is an author and frequent lecturer in the field of elder and special needs planning, and has taught in the legal assistant program at Oakland University. He served the community as an officer and director of the Rosemary and Larry Berger Education Foundation, a private foundation providing scholarships for high school students and funding for educational endeavors. He was chairman of the Wayne State University – Institute of Gerontology Executive Committee, and served on its Leadership Council for Endowments and Scholarships and on its Cognitive Neuro Sciences subcommittee. He was the Chairperson of SPEC Associates, a 501(c)3 research and evaluation organization located in downtown Detroit, which provides research services assisting foundations, non-profit organizations and government agencies become more effective at helping people.
J.D., University of Detroit School of Law, 1979
B.S., William James College, at Grand Valley State University, 1975
Bar and Court Admissions
State Bar of Michigan, 1979
State Bar of Michigan
Member and former Chairperson, Elder Law and Disability Rights Section;
Committee Member and former Chairperson, Senior Justice Committee (1995);
Member, Probate and Estate Planning Section;
Committee Member, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (1993 to 2003)
Mr. Trainer maintains an “AV” peer review rating with Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest peer review rating for attorneys. He has been selected for inclusion in the Michigan Super Lawyers magazine featuring the top 5% of attorneys in Michigan every year since 2008. Mr. Trainer received the Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Award for 2012 for his leadership in the field of Elder Law. He is a member of the Elder Law Certificate Advisory Panel for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He has served on the Michigan Supreme Court Task Force of Guardianship Reform, and on both the Michigan and the National Advisory Panels on Alzheimer’s Diseases and Related Conditions. He is a former chairperson of the Legal Hotline for Older Michiganians and was a member of the Michigan Supreme Court Task Force on Guardianships and Conservatorships.
Michigan Guardianship and Conservatorship Handbook; Co-Editor and Chapter Author (ICLE rev ed 2000 & ongoing Supplements)
Advising the Older or Disabled Client; Chapter Author on Special Needs Trusts (ICLE 3d ed 2004 & ongoing Supplements)
The Rights of Older Persons; Contributing Author, Chapter 10 – Guardianship, Conservatorship and Civil Commitment 1989
(2nd Edition, Southern Illinois University Press)
What happens to your monthly income if you go into a nursing home; Commentator, Spring 2013
Medicaid and the death of a good estate plan; Commentator, Spring 2012
Think twice before spending retirement savings; Commentator, Winter 2010
Parents of young adults need powers of attorney; Commentator, Summer 2010
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: Legal Issues in Care and Treatment; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services