About

We cherish the opportunity to help secure what you love.

Whether you’re looking to protect your family, your business, or both, we provide a comprehensive and holistic plan specifically designed for you. We establish long-term relationships to ensure your plan works for your busy, changing life.

U.P.Ward Legal's main goal is to keep clients out of conflict and out of court with plans that are personalized to each specific situation. We are organized to act as your trusted advisor, give personalized attention to your unique situation, and bill on a flat fee basis so there are no surprises. We would be honored to serve you!  

Traci B. Ward
Founding Member
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U.P.Ward Legal was formed as the result of my family's relocation from Dallas, Texas to Houghton, Michigan in June 2020. I was born and raised in Escanaba, Michigan but spent seventeen years living and working in Florida and Texas. Prior to moving back to Michigan, I practiced litigation in Dallas, Texas. My days were spent working on claims involving worst case scenarios - fraudulent business deals, poorly drafted contracts and trusts, business deals gone wrong, and negligent contractors. I've seen litigation cause long-lasting ill will between neighbors, friends, business partners, and family. It is expensive, time consuming, and draining for clients.

Much like litigation, I have also witnessed, on more than one occasion, deaths in a family that cause long-lasting family disputes and permanently hurt feelings, which ultimately leads to depletion of assets. So, I shifted my practice area to wealth, estate, and business planning in an effort to help clients avoid worst case scenarios, and to help navigate the two certainties in life - death and taxes - along with the many other uncertainties, with as much peace of mind as possible. 

I am a graduate of Escanaba High School, Western Michigan University (B.B.A.) and Baylor University School of Law (J.D.). Between college and law school, I worked in marketing at an engineering company in Escanaba, Michigan, and then in real estate development in Tampa, Florida. I was fortunate to start my legal career at a mid-sized, general practice firm just north of Dallas, which allowed me experiences beyond my years. The high level of experience I obtained there eventually led me to practice at a large law firm in Dallas. I loved my firm and my colleagues and had no intention of ever leaving. 

A husband, two bonus sons, two baby boys in two years, surving a second cancer diagnosis, family health issues, and the Covid pandemic changed all that. The Covid shelter in place orders allowed my husband and me time to pause and contemplate how we wanted to fill the rest of our days. It wasn't in a big city, it wasn't in traffic, and it wasn't sitting behind a computer in a downtown office. We wanted to be closer to family, live in a smaller community with lots of outdoor activities, and have time to enjoy our family. Houghton checked all of those boxes, and then some, and we are so grateful to be here!

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