Valsangiacomo, Detora & McQuesten’s wills and estates practice involves meeting with our clients to understand their family and property and to assess what they wish to accomplish; age, family relationships, property ownerships or legal obligations all have a significant impact on the planning process. The need for a will, trust, power of attorney, or health care advance directive all need to be explored and explained to our client. Wills, trusts, power of attorneys, and health care advance directives have a role in every individual’s life and family, and can help to accomplish the client’s life goals.
The planning described above takes place before the client’s death. A trust, will or other property arrangements can control and direct the transfer of the client’s assets after their death.
The probate of estates occurs after death and is a process established by the state for orderly transfer of assets, payment of bills or claims and distribution of assets in accordance with an individual’s wishes. In the absence of any plan, Vermont statute provides a method for accomplishing post-death distributions.
A third area of our wills and estates practice includes arrangements created for the benefit of the living such as special needs or other trusts, guardianships, powers of attorney or health care advance directives including health care powers of attorney.
Although similar patterns exist, everyone’s situation and need is different and the assumptions made about appropriate arrangements based upon a single experience with this process through a family member, close relative or friend is not usually a reliable guide to what an individual needs in any given situation. We work to establish the appropriate and desired estate plan based upon each individual client’s needs and wishes.