Probate & Trust Administration
Our Probate and Trust Administration services direct the fiduciaries appointed in trusts and wills through the legal process after death of the grantor or settlor of the trust, the testator of the will, or the decedent of the intestate estate.
Working with the initial petitioner or the named executor in the Will, we review the Will and advise and guide the clients through the probate process, advising them of opportunities and strategies to maximize the benefit to the estate and therefore the beneficiaries. The executor or administrator is the person named in the Will or appointed by the Court to lead the estate through the Probate procedure. The process involves the filing of the initial papers to create a probate estate, finding and filing a valid Will, compiling the lists of heirs and beneficiaries, making an inventory of the assets and listing the claims against the decedent. We confirm that the appropriate state and federal taxes have been or will be paid. Ultimately, the Probate Court will issue its decree of distribution naming the heirs and the property they are to receive. We work to make the process as simple, transparent and efficient as the circumstances permit.
The process for trusts mirrors the probate process and its goals are similar. Working with the trustee named in the trust, we review the trust for guidance and authority to complete the wishes of the creator of the trust (grantor/settlor) for the benefit of the beneficiaries. We are able to advise the trustee on strategies and opportunities available under the terms of the trust and state law. If estate taxation is involved, we are able, with CPAs and other tax professionals, to position the trust estate as well as circumstances permit to reduce and avoid taxes. Again, the purpose overall is to guide the trustee through the process efficiently and effectively to its conclusion‒the distribution of the assets in the trust to the beneficiaries according to the wishes of the grantor or settlor of the trust as expressed by the terms of the trust.
Attorney Experienced in Probate & Trust Administration Law
Mark practices as an attorney and teaches law at Vermont colleges. Mark is experienced in Administrative, Business, Civil & Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense, Education, Family, Government, International, Non-Profit, Probate & Trust Administration, Professional Licensing and Wills & Trusts.
Andy practices law and serves on multiple Chittenden County planning commissions. Andy is experienced in Administrative, Appeals, Arbitration/Mediation, Business, Civil & Commercial Litigation, Government, Probate & Trust Administration, Wills & Trusts, Wrongful Termination/Employment, Telecommunications and Zoning & Land Use.