Getting Back to Basics - Trust Officers

Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Time: 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Location: Boulevard Inn
Speaker: Hon. Thomas E. Nelson - Chief Judge

Judge Thomas Nelson, Chief Judge of Berrien County Trial Court, will speak to the group to provide a general overview of the probate court, the administration of trusts & estates, and what he sees as issues presented in court including any recurring themes/issues/problems that arise. His discussion may also briefly touch on issues he has seen with trustees and personal representatives, bond requirements and related items. The presentation is geared towards providing information that will help us in all our professional practices.

Networking begins at 4:15pm with the program starting at 4:30pm on Tuesday, March 18th at the Boulevard. Appetizers will be provided.

Following is a biography of Judge Thomas Nelson:

Judge Thomas E. Nelson is a lifelong resident of Berrien County.  He was raised in St. Joseph and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Indiana University. Elected in 1994 as a Probate/Juvenile Judge for Berrien County, Judge Nelson presently serves as the Chief Judge of the Berrien County Trial Court.

Judge Nelson previously worked as an attorney and the Deputy Director of Berrien County Legal Services, as an Assistant Prosecutor, as the Chief Civil Counsel for Berrien County, and as manager of NBD Bank's local Trust and Estate Settlement Division.

Professionally, the Judge is a member of the Michigan Bar Association, the Berrien County Bar Association, Southwestern Michigan Estate Planning Council as well as the Michigan Probate Judges' and Southwestern Michigan Probate Judges' Associations.  Judge Nelson previously served as co-associate editor of Inter-Com, a publication of the Michigan Probate Judges' Association.  In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of that Association.  Judge Nelson has served as a lecturer for the Michigan Judicial Institute on a number of juvenile, probate and family law topics.

The Judge has been active in the community, having served as a board member or volunteer with a number of charitable organizations.  Those include the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor Kiwanis Club, Berrien County Juvenile Court Citizens' Advisory Council, Berrien County Historical Association, Inc., Berrien County Legal Services Bureau, Inc., Berrien County Guardianship Services, Inc., HOST Mentoring Program, Dream Academy Board, and the Michigan League for Human Services.  Judge Nelson is currently a Board Member of the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor Kiwanis Club.  He has also served as a speaker on various estate planning, probate, juvenile and family law topics for a number of local professional and civic organizations.

Judge Nelson is a member of First Church of God in St. Joseph and is a Gideon.

Judge Nelson is married to Dr. Prudence Barrett, a local pediatrician.  He has two step-sons, 35 year old Thad and 30 year old Nick.


If you have any questions above the event, please contact Laurie Schmidt (983-0755).

See Upcoming Event Calendar