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Burlington, VT office 802.540.0529
Hanover, NH office 603.643.6072
Rutland, VT office 802.773.3822
Woodstock, VT office 802.457.9492

January 17, 2012 Newsletter Archive


Estate Planning Basics
January 30 at 5:30 PM
at Melendy Moritz Hanover Office

Please join our new Associate, Meg Himmelsteib, for a conversation about the Basics of Estate Planning.

If this is you, you are not alone. Please take a take advantage of this great opportunity to learn about the basics of estate planning. We will be discussing the various elements of a successful estate plan and answering any questions that might come up.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public, so please feel free to invite friends, family members, and colleagues.

SPACE IS LIMITED - To facilitate open discussion we want to keep this conversation intimate.

Please RSVP to Meg at (802) 457-9492 at extension 105 or meg@melendymoritz.com.

Can't make it on the 31st? Repeat informational sessions will be held in Woodstock on February 13th and March 13th, and Hanover on March 6th.



Create the Most Meaningful and Enduring New Year's Resolution Now


As we all know, the New Year brings the opportunity to make (and keep!) resolutions meant to create a healthier and happier life for you and your loved ones. Among the resolutions that can help you achieve this goal is a thorough review of your estate plan. If you have already executed your estate planning documents (a major accomplishment in itself), why not make sure every provision is exactly to your specifications?

First, review your plan and determine who you have named for roles such as Executor, Agent, Trustee, and Guardian. Is this information still current and in accordance with your objectives? Major life changes such as divorce, relocation, death, or the birth a child might make you want to reconsider who you named, if anyone, for this role. Have you named alternates in case your primary choice is unable to serve?

Next, what kind of disposition does your estate plan have? Have you set up trusts for your children or grandchildren, or will they receive gifts outright? Has there been any change in your or your family members' financial situations? Are there charities that you had planned on incorporating into your documents? Consideration of these questions may prompt you to discuss the current make-up of your plan with family members, giving them a forum to voice concerns or objections. Though not always pleasant, having an honest family conversation now could prevent rifts between family members later.

If you have a trust, have you retitled your assets into the name of that trust? A trust is an excellent way to avoid probate, while giving you flexibility regarding how you hold and distribute assets. But a trust can only achieve these results if it is properly funded. Take a moment to make sure you have retitled bank accounts, investments, and other property into the trust's name to ensure adequate funding. Similarly, check on beneficiary designations for retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

Finally, are there tax provisions in your plan? Check what year you executed your documents, and determine whether the provisions are current. Over the past decade, there have been (and continue to be) changes to the estate tax that may affect the disposition of your estate.

Though daunting to consider, a review of your estate plan can be done quickly and efficiently, with the end result that you have the peace of mind that your affairs are in order.

To facilitate the review process, Melendy Moritz is holding a series of free informational sessions designed to give you an overview of estate planning basics and provide a forum for your questions. Please see the attached invitation for details, and feel free to bring friends, family or colleagues. We look forward to seeing you and continuing this discussion on estate planning.

Melendy Moritz PLLC is a client centered boutique firm. We focus on your unique needs by providing the individualized legal counseling and advising tailored to your specific situation.

We concentrate on the planning that matters to you.
Call us at 603.643.6072 or 802.457.9492


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