WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATE PLANNING

 
Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Our estate planning team disagrees, and guides our clients accordingly.

We do not regard taxes, probate fees, and long delays in completing asset transfers as unavoidable consequences of death and have developed core estate planning documents with the specific objective of eliminating or minimizing the tax burdens and administrative costs associated with transfers of property to succeeding generations.

 

In addition to devoting time and intellectual energy to developing and maintaining effective estate planning document packages, our estate planning counsel has the patience and compassion to listen carefully to the needs of families and provide meaningful guidance through the estate planning process.

 

The experiences gained through assisting thousands of families with advance estate planning and post-mortem estate management have enabled our estate planning professionals to deliver a unique blend of technical proficiency guided by genuine wisdom. Whether an estate plan consists of simple wills or complex trusts and related estate planning vehicles, our clients leave the office with effective documents, greater wisdom, and a working relationship with experienced and available legal counsel.

 

Our lawyers can help you with all your legal needs.

 

CAPABILITIES

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We routinely practice in Carroll and Coos, as well as other New Hampshire counties and western Maine, working with our clients and their local or out-of-state accountants and financial planners in the preparation of comprehensive plans that address transfer and management of assets, tax minimization, and family dynamics. We assist you with estate tax planning and business succession planning through the use of revocable and irrevocable trusts, gifting programs, post-mortem tax planning, generation-skipping trusts, offshore trusts, and powers of attorney for finances and for health care. From simple wills to complex estate plans, our attorneys work with individuals, couples, families, and business owners. We assist and advise you from a simple will to complex estate plans, including asset preservation and post-divorce planning.

 

As federal estate tax thresholds and client retirement assets have increased dramatically, we recognize that for many families, estate income tax issues have become more important. The topics can be challenging to the layperson, and we are committed to discussing these and other issues in a no-nonsense, practical manner. Family vacation homes, either here or in other states, are common to our clients, and we have a long history of sharing our knowledge of local planning and zoning issues on the creation of plans to manage, or divide, these properties for multiple generations. Planning for the disability of a client, or a dependent family member presents a special challenge. We routinely prepare special needs and other trusts, consult as to Medicaid eligibility and represent proposed guardians and wards in the guardianship process.

No two estate plans are exactly alike. Each client brings a unique mix of assets and family dynamics, and each requires a plan that coordinates legal documents with beneficiary designations and other transfer mechanisms. We have prepared plans for local entrepreneurs with thriving multi-faceted businesses and real estate holdings, for retirees recently transplanted up from major metropolitan areas, for couples with modest means, for families with multiple marriages, and for young parents seeking a stable framework for their young children. Our commitment to our clients extends beyond the initial preparation of an estate plan and includes ongoing advice and service as legal needs arise. We often provide advice to our clients as to matters of trust and estate administration, including minimizing income taxes and structuring distributions to beneficiaries.

PRACTICE AREAS

 

REPRESENTATIVE WORK

YOUR WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS & STAFF

 

Monica Ellison

Monica joined Cooper Cargill Chant in July 2015. She supports the firm’s estate planning attorneys and has extensive experience with regard to wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and Trusts.

Legal Assistant

Partner

Since joining the firm in 1987, he has served the business and estate planning needs of institutional and individual clients in New Hampshire and Maine by combining his legal and accounting skills to their advantage.

Kenneth R. Cargill

Theresa J. Grisez

Theresa Grisez (“Tracy”) joined Cooper Cargill Chant as an associate attorney in 2018, and practices in the areas of estate planning, family law and general civil litigation.

Associate Attorney

Legal Assistant

Khristina assists several attorneys in Residential & Commercial Real Estate Transactions as well as Estate Planning, Scheduling and Secretarial duties.

Khristina L. Eastman

Leslie M. Leonard

Leslie’s practice focuses on family law, wills, trusts & estate planning, real estate & title services, employment law, and social security disability.

Partner

Bridgid Anderson

Bridgid works as the Probate Legal Assistant at the firm currently, and also assists in the real estate department. 

Legal Assistant

Kimberly Zipf

Kim supports the firm's real estate, commercial, and probate attorneys in their respective areas of practice.

Legal Assistant

Of Counsel

Deborah's  philosophy is that careful planning can minimize the family confusion and discord caused by death, and further, that the financial cost of planning typically outweighs the eventual cost of failing to plan.

Deborah A. Fauver