Vermont Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, June 6, 2019

New England Qualifying Track Meet Sponsorship

We were so proud to be able to support our local school at the Essex Invitational.  We received the following note from Heidi Stewart of Essex.


Thank you so much for being a sponsor for the New England qualifying track meet! Hundreds of Vermont's best track and field athletes competed in the Essex Invitational in hopes to go on to compete at New Englands this Saturday. Nothing could have been possible without the contributions of our amazing sponsors! Thank you again for sponsoring and attached I sent along pictures of the front and back of the t-shirt and the program, that was bought by hundreds of families, that contains the business' name. 

Thanks again!

Heidi Stewart

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Friday, May 17, 2019

4th Annual Golfing4Life

Hi Everyone!  This is Bogey.  I would love to have you register and/or be a sponsor at Golfing4Life this year.  The plan is to have a wonderful, fun filled event for our 4th year!  Please register by RSVPing to this email or call/text 802-922-5951! 



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Monday, May 13, 2019

Lawyer Joke

Q: What do you need when you have 3 lawyers up to their necks in cement?

A: More cement.


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Monday, May 13, 2019

4th Annual Golfing4Life Tourney

Jarrett & Luitjens is proud to co-host its 4th Annual Golfing4Life Tournament on July 24th at the Links at Lang Farm.  Last year we raised over $10,000, funds which directly benefit the Cancer Patient Support Foundation of Williston’s Emergency Relief Fund.   To join the fun and support this worthy cause, contact Holly Keough for more information.


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Monday, May 13, 2019

No Magic Carpet Ride for “Medicaid” Trusts

The road to eligibility for long-term care Medicaid benefits can be long and winding, so it can be tempting to board a magic carpet ride and try a so-called “Medicaid” trust, more descriptively referred to as an irrevocable income-only trust.  The theory behind such a trust is that assets owned by the trust are protected from creditors, primarily in consideration of long-term care costs and the desire to become eligible for government benefits.  However, there is no free ride, and transferring assets into an irrevocable trust comes with risks and costs.

IRREVOCABLE: As its name suggests, you cannot change the terms of the trust.  If circumstances change requiring a modification, you would need Court approval and/or consents of all interested parties.
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Wills: Not as Powerful as You Think

Without question, the most common misunderstanding about a Will is that it avoids probate.  THIS IS FALSE.  It’s almost the same as believing the bank will accept your Monopoly money.

Imagine this: your uncle passes, and you are named Executor in his Will.  Can you take a copy of that Will to his bank and access his funds?  Not unless you are the Hulk using your super strength to open the bank vault at night!  The Will on its own carries no legal authority.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Lawyer Joke

Two little girls were having a heated argument about who had the better dad. One girl declared, “My dad’s a carpenter and builds buildings.”   Her friend replied, “Well, my dad’s a lawyer and makes loopholes.”


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Monday, February 11, 2019

New Numbers for 2019

Estate/transfer tax

Vermont estate tax exclusion:


Federal estate tax threshold:


Federal gift tax exclusion (annual):


Vermont Medicaid

Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $126,420

Minimum Maintenance Needs Allowance (spousal allocation): $2,114

Home Equity Limit (singles): $585,000


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Tip Corner


Freezing Credit: A new federal law effective 9/21/18 permits consumers to freeze their credit, free of charge.  For more information, visit:



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Monday, September 10, 2018

Lawyer Joke

Lawyer Joke


Q: What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand?


A: Not enough sand.


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Friday, August 31, 2018

Estate Planning: Not a Game of Hide and Seek

Games are usually a lot of fun, but you don’t really want to play hide and seek with your estate planning documents.  After you have signed and implemented your plan, you may want privacy, but you should not hide your documents from everyone.  If you excel at concealing, it may not be found when needed.  How and with whom you share will depend upon the document and your goals, but here are some considerations:

Will—while this document has no effect until after death, it has zero effect if never discovered; you can store the original:

¨ In a fire-proof safe at home. if someone else knows location and its key

¨ In a safe deposit box at a bank, if someone else has joint access and a key to the box; without a surviving joint owner, no one will be allowed in the safe deposit box after your death without Court authority; if the joint owner cannot locate a key, there will likely be additional procedures and costs involved in accessing the box

¨ At the Probate Court in the county in which you live, for a modest fee (currently $30); however, if you move out of the county or update your will, it will be necessary to either retrieve your original will or replace it with the updated version


Trust—a revocable living trust is effective during your lifetime, and the Trustee may need to produce a copy of it, or a Certificate of Trust, when managing its assets.
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