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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

July 2, 2009 Newsletter Archive



Upcoming Presentations: "Getting Organized: A Guide to Helping You Get Your Legal and Financial Affairs in Order" will be presented by Daphne Moritz; July 8 at 12:30 at Upper Valley Senior Center in Lebanon and July 14 at Thompson Senior Center in Woodstock at 12:30.

Welcome to MelendyMoritz E-News

With this email Melendy Moritz PLLC launches our periodic e-newsletter, Melendy Moritz E-News. In each issue we will bring you current and pertinent information on topical matters such as your finances, trusts, estate planning, taxes, health care directives, real estate issues, and planning for your long term care needs. This newsletter gives us an opportunity to let you know our thoughts on recent topics in the news and we look forward to hearing from you about your comments on the e-newsletter. We are also very interested in your ideas for future newsletter articles.


Estate Planning Matters in this Economic Climate

The current economic reality has caused some of us to avoid reflecting on our financial matters because so much of the downturn is well beyond our control. However, whether finance or family related, there is a need to stay aware of matters to be more prepared for our futures.

While there will likely be a new estate tax law by the end of 2009 the specifics of that new law remain unknown, although it is almost a certainty that 2010 will not result in full repeal of the estate tax. However, not reviewing your estate plan while waiting for Congress to act can be a costly mistake.

Estate tax law issues are not the only reasons to review your estate plan now. Another reason includes avoiding the high cost and stress of the probate process. Often clients desire to have their assets pass to beneficiaries without necessitating the probate court's involvement. However, if your plan consists only of a Will, or if you have not funded a trust, or if you have amassed more wealth since you last reviewed your estate plan adding a fully funded, revocable trust to your estate plan will not only help ensure probate avoidance, it also helps future generations protect their legacies from their creditors and others.

If you have not recently reviewed your estate plan, updated your health care directives or your financial powers of attorney, considered how you will plan for your incapacity or created an asset protection plan for your long term care planning needs, you leave yourself and your loved ones vulnerable to many uncertainties. This is not what you want to do. Call our office and schedule your estate plan review today.


State Estate Tax Matters

Vermont clients also need to be aware that the recently passed state budget reduced the Vermont estate tax exemption from $3.5 million to $2 million and this change was made retroactive to January 1, 2009. The $2 million exemption amount is what it has been since 2007. In other words, Vermont has returned to the previous exemption amount, even as the federal exemption increased. Therefore, if your estate is valued at over $2 million you may have to pay Vermont estate taxes. There are steps that Vermont residents can take to lessen or eliminate this tax exposure, and we are happy to discuss such options.

New Hampshire residents owning Vermont real estate must be concerned about the Vermont estate tax, too. So, whether it is federal law changes or state law changes, change is in the wind, and necessitates keeping one's estate plan current.

If you would like more details regarding the new Vermont estate tax please contact us.


Firm News

Mark Melendy had the pleasure of co-drafting significant Vermont trust legislation. The new trust law, called the Vermont Trust Code, passed on its first reading through the Vermont legislation, which is a rare feat. This new Code puts into statutory form essentially all of Vermont trust law. New Hampshire passed similar legislation in 2004.

Kirk Kardashian has decided now is the time to give his primary focus to his writing career and is winding up his work for us. We wish him well as a budding new writer!


Serving New Hampshire and Vermont, Melendy Moritz PLLC, Legal Counselors for Individuals and Small Business Owners, offers legal services in the areas of estate planning, creating wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, long term care and, special needs planning , real estate and tax matters, and business and farm succession planning. Visit us on the Web at www.melendymoritz.com or call (603) 643-6072 or (802) 457-9492.

 

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