Attorney Terri Winegarden established Winegarden Elder Law, PLLC, after having previously worked as an associate attorney for the Ternes Elder Law Firm, PLLC, from 2011 until Mr. Ternes passed away in 2014. Sharing the late Mr. Ternes’s passion for serving the elderly, Ms. Winegarden’s practice focuses on elder law and disability matters, particularly Medicaid planning, estate planning, special-needs planning, guardianship and conservatorship petitions, probate and trust administration, and Veteran Administration benefits claims.
Ms. Winegarden grew up in Petoskey and graduated from Petoskey High School in 1982. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1986, and, thereafter, graduated cum laude from the University of Toledo College of Law in 2001. While at Toledo, Ms. Winegarden participated in the College’s London program and, to this day, takes advantage of every opportunity to return to London.
Ms. Winegarden is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and its Elder and Disability Law and Probate and Estate Planning Sections. In 2018, she was elected to the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section Council by her peers. Ms. Winegarden is also a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the Estate Planning Council of Northern Michigan. She holds a Certificate of Completion in the areas of probate and estate planning, issued by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. As a certified VA-accredited attorney-advisor by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, Ms. Winegarden also represents veterans and their families with VA benefits claims.
Having graduated from the University of Michigan in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Archeology and History, Ms. Winegarden, for several years, participated in archeological excavations in England, Israel, and the Southwestern United States. After graduating law school, she worked as an attorney for seven years at the Center of Civil Justice in Saginaw, Michigan, representing low-income clients. While in Saginaw, Ms. Winegarden also served on the board of the University of Michigan Flint’s Women’s Education Center and the Saginaw Community Action Agency.
Currently, Ms. Winegarden sits on the board of the Petoskey Friendship Center, Mid-Michigan Child Care Agency in Freeland, Michigan, and is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Petoskey.