NEET has focused solely on estate planning and related areas since 2004. The firm offers a free
initial consultation, fixed fees for most services, and exemplary customer service throughout the estate planning process.
Browse the practice areas below to learn more about how NEET can assist you with estate planning, probate, or estate administration, and be sure to review NEET’s dozens of client testimonials to learn how NEET has helped others.
Incapacity planning is the most basic form of planning and should be completed by everyone over the age of 18.
Incapacity planning documents include an Advance Directive for Health Care, HIPAA Release, and Power of Attorney for Finances. These documents enable a family member or trusted friend to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf under some circumstances and to have access to your medical information in the event of an accident or illness. NEET can assist you and your family members complete these important documents.
Guardianships are often appropriate for adults who have been diagnosed with a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. A guardian is appointed by the court and given specific powers and responsibilities to make decisions for the person under guardianship in order to assist them with their personal and financial affairs.
If you are concerned about the possible need for a guardian for yourself or someone else, it is best to act sooner rather than later, because a court proceeding where the person can consent to the proposed guardian (a voluntary guardianship) is far easier and less invasive of your privacy than a guardianship without one’s consent (an involuntary guardianship). NEET is able to assist with the court process, as well as assisting with transferring an existing guardianship from another state into Vermont, or from Vermont to another state.
Will-based estate plans are appropriate for most clients.
The Last Will and Testament Portfolio is for families who want to ensure they have basic planning in place and that the right people will care for their children and their children’s inheritance if something should happen to both parents.
Will-based planning is often appropriate for individuals or married clients whose net estate is below Vermont’s estate, tax exemption threshold, and where avoiding probate is not a primary goal.
The Last Will and Testament Portfolio include counseling regarding incapacity planning and wills, preparation of a will and appropriate incapacity planning documents, and preparation of ancillary documents to assist your survivors to wrap up their affairs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Revocable Living Trust plans provide a tailored approach for clients seeking greater flexibility and expanded planning options, as well as for those desiring to avoid probate and reduce estate taxes.
Revocable Living Trusts are appropriate for estates above the Vermont estate tax exemption threshold, as well as for specific situations, such as blended families, special needs children, and where the client owns property in more than one state, among others.
The Revocable Living Trust Portfolio includes counseling regarding incapacity planning and revocable living trusts, preparation of a revocable living trust, and appropriate incapacity planning documents, and preparation of ancillary documents to assist your survivors to wrap up your affairs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
If a loved one has recently died, it’s important to understand the probate process in Vermont. Probate administration is the most common process for wrapping up a deceased person’s affairs.
In Vermont, the process involves the submission of the will to the probate court for validation, taking stock of and protecting the decedent’s assets, paying legitimate claims against the decedent’s estate, and distributing the estate assets to the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries. The probate process requires many steps and often addresses unexpected issues while being subject to the probate court’s procedural requirements.
NEET offers assistance with all phases of the probate process. If you have questions about how to proceed following the death of a loved one, call NEET soon to avoid missing important court deadlines for filing the will and starting the probate process.
When your primary estate plan is in place, some clients engage in advanced estate planning to reduce taxes, freeze the value of a current asset and pass future gains to your children, or protect family and business interests, among other objectives.
Advanced planning employs various estate planning methods, including asset freezes, transferring assets at below fair market rates so that you can transfer more of an asset within available gift tax exemption amounts, or passing highly appreciated assets to a nonprofit to avoid capital gains exposure. The most common advanced planning includes:
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT) to ensure insurance proceeds are outside of your taxable estate to save on estate taxes and ensure cash funds are available in the event an estate tax is due.
Split interest trusts to freeze the value of an asset to keep future appreciation out of your taxable estate and push appreciation to your beneficiaries estate tax free, including grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT), and intra-family loans and gifts that can save money in several different ways.
Charitable giving vehicles, such as Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) and charitable lead Annuity Trusts (CLATs) to reduce your estate tax exposure, ensure an income stream for the remainder of your life, and make a donation to your favorite charities.
NEET will help you decide which approach makes the most sense for your situation and put a
plan into place that will best accomplish your objectives.