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Estate Planning and Estate Administration
Verrill Dana’s Private Clients Group is among the largest and most experienced in Northern New England. The lawyers in the Group work closely with individuals and families to understand the clients’ priorities and goals and their intentions for the legacies they wish to provide. The Group’s estate planning lawyers advise clients regarding estate, tax and financial planning and succession planning for closely held businesses. They have extensive experience in estate planning techniques and in drafting documents in a clear and understandable manner that carry out the clients’ intentions successfully and efficiently. Members of the Group also frequently advise donors and charitable organizations concerning charitable gift planning and the organization and operation of charitable entities.
The process of estate settlement is as important as estate planning. The Group’s lawyers are skilled in the personal and technical aspects of estate administration including attention to post-mortem tax planning. Members of the Group also represent fiduciaries in their roles as personal representatives and trustees.
Members of the Private Clients Group practice in the Probate Courts of the State of Maine and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in conjunction with probating estates and in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, as well as in litigation involving estates and trusts.
As a part of their service to clients, members of the Private Clients Group will serve as trustees of trusts and as personal representatives of estates. Service as a fiduciary requires not only technical skills but the exercise of sound judgment in a variety of situations. With a tradition of fiduciary service upon which to draw, lawyers in the Private Clients Group are well-suited to deal with sensitive issues that can arise in a fiduciary relationship. They offer full service personalized trust management to individuals who are clients of the firm and their families. The firm’s fiduciary practice is organized to encourage direct communication with lawyers and administrative personnel. Members of the Private Clients Group bring to the beneficiary/fiduciary relationship an in-depth understanding of the beneficiary’s circumstances, sound judgment, and diligent attention to trust administration.
The members of the Private Clients Group will also serve as a “family office” for their clients to support those clients with their personal and household finances. Such personal affairs management services include payment of bills, checkbook reconciliation, management of health and home insurance relationships, assistance with gathering tax information for accountants, maintenance of financial records, and other services as needed. Clients receive quarterly statements detailing all transactions made on their behalf.