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Estate Planning

Streamlined Planning

Estate planning made easier for you

Our trust administration team has a wealth of knowledge that can be helpful in creating and managing your estate plan.  In many cases, we can streamline the planning process for clients and counsel.  We are often able to identify tax savings strategies that can be incorporated into the overall plan.

hands-on Approach

Your estate plan is fluid

We meet with our clients regularly. Consistent review allows for your documents to be brought up to date to address any relevant changes in life or goals and/or changes in the law.  The easy rule of thumb is that any significant life or asset change should be considered in the context of your existing plan. 

Early planning is often prompted by entering a committed, long-term relationship that might include marriage, buying a home, and beginning to accumulate financial assets. 

On-Going planning is revisited as assets grow and diversify, warranting more complex tax planning, and beneficiaries change for any number of reasons, including birth, death, divorce, or new charitable goals. 

We take great pride in being there to support your loved ones during what will be one of the most difficult times in their lives, your loss.  Appointing us to attend to the details allows your beneficiaries to keep their focus on the far more important aspects of life and family.

In-House Expertise

An estate plan tailored to your financial situation, assets & goals

A combination of the tools below that will allow you to achieve your legacy goals without requiring probate administration and without incurring unnecessary estate tax.  The appointment of agent, executor, and co- or successor trustee is a critical and often complicated task. We can assist you in selecting the appropriate individual(s) or in determining whether we are a good fit. 

Identifies someone to whom you will designate the power to act for you in financial matters should you become unable to attend to them during life.

  • In certain situations, we can act as agent under a Limited Power of Attorney.

Appoints an advocate for your healthcare wishes should you be unable to express them yourself.

Appoints an executor to administer your probate estate (comprised of any assets that are held solely in your own name) under the supervision of the Probate Court.

For appropriate accounts, like IRAs, annuities, life insurance policies, and bank and investment accounts held in your own name.

  • Vermont is also one of a handful of states with an Enhanced Life Estate Deed for the transfer of real estate. If you own the titled property upon your death, an Enhanced Life Estate Deed transfers title to your named beneficiary(ies) immediately with no need for probate. Your beneficiary(ies) need only file your death certificate in the land records of the town in which the property is situated.

A common and powerful estate planning tool that is often misunderstood as complicated or unapplicable.  A Revocable Living Trust holds your assets under your management and for your benefit, and also appoints a successor trustee who can step in whenever you choose, or when you become incapacitated or die, to manage trust assets for your benefit, pay your final bills and expenses, and distribute or continue to manage the remaining assets on behalf of your beneficiaries.

  • Trusts are not subject to probate administration and are an efficient way to dispose of assets on death.  
  • Trusts are only effective if you remember to fund your trust by proper titling of your assets.  Retitling must be done with care and is a critical part of the service we offer our clients.
  • There are a myriad of trust vehicles for more specific purposes, including but not limited to providing for charitable interests or disabled or minor beneficiaries.  A review of your assets and goals will reveal whether one of these more specialized planning vehicles is appropriate.

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Additional Services

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