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Trusts and Estates

Trusts and Estates

Our Trusts and Estates attorneys provide guidance on matters involving estate and tax planning, estate settlement and trust administration. In all areas, our priority is to understand our clients’ goals, concerns and circumstances and then provide counsel that is not only technically sound but tailored to each individual client’s needs. Our commitment is to offer a consistent and personal level of service to all clients and their families.

Estate Planning

A wide variety of families and individuals including business owners, executives of public and private companies, professionals, retirees, philanthropists and sophisticated private investors rely on us for estate planning advice during all stages of their adult lives, often in consultation with those clients' other professional advisors. We assist them with a full range of services from simple wills to the most sophisticated gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax-savings techniques that utilize various types of trusts, other entities (such as partnerships, limited liability companies and foundations) and charitable-giving vehicles.

Estate Settlement

With our extensive experience and sophisticated systems, we provide comprehensive services in the probate courts as well as in the preparation and filing of estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns. In addition, we represent and advise corporate fiduciaries actively settling estates.

Trust Administration

Since 1985 the Trusts and Estates group has actively administered trust accounts for which members of the firm serve as trustees.  With the assistance of investment advisors, all trusts receive continuous investment supervision and are reviewed formally at least quarterly.  Periodic statements are provided and income tax returns are prepared.   In addition, the group represents and advises individual and corporate trustees administering trusts.

Fiduciary Litigation

Shipman & Goodwin has extensive experience in the representation of individual and institutional fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trust and estates litigation including will contests, trustee surcharge and removal proceedings, contested accountings, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, suits involving lifetime transfers and trust and will construction actions.


March 30, 2018  Trusts and Estates Newsletter 2018
February 1, 2018  A Strategy for Maintaining the Tax Efficiency of Charitable Contributions In 2018
November 17, 2017  Trusts and Estates Newsletter 2017
October 13, 2016  Trusts and Estates Newsletter 2016
August 7, 2015  Connecticut Increases Probate Court Fees for Certain Estates
May 2014  Connecticut's Family Businesses
February 20, 2014  Trusts and Estates Newsletter
August 1, 2013  Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples
February 19, 2013  Federal Legislation Avoids "Fiscal Cliff" for Gift and Estate Tax
December 2012  The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege
July 23, 2012  Not So Fast: The Complexities of Making Lifetime Gifts Using the $5.12 Million Federal Gift Tax Exemption
2012  Probating the Will (Chapter 2)
December 2011  Federal and Connecticut Estate Tax Recap
2011  Fundamental Testamentary Planning (Chapter 3)
May 19, 2011  Retroactive Connecticut Estate and Gift Tax Legislation Passed
May 2011  Qualified Disclaimers By Beneficiaries of Decedents Dying In 2010
February 15, 2011  Estate and Gift Tax Changes
December 21, 2010  New Legislation Affects Federal Estate, Gift, and GST Taxes
November 2010  Year-End Planning Reminders
2010  Estate Planning in Uncertain Times
May 2010  Transfer Tax Apportionment
January 29, 2010  Important Estate Tax Law Changes Now in Effect
February 23, 2009  Good News: Required Minimum Distributions Waived for 2009
August 11, 2008  Federal Estate Tax Update
January 2008  Legislative Update - Year End Tax Legislation Passed by Congress
January 2008  Bryon Harmon quoted in CTBusiness Magazine article entitled "An Eye on the Future"
December 19, 2007  Personal Planning Letter


December 6, 2018  CLE Event: Webinar: Key Considerations when Planning for Financial Powers of Attorney and Health Care Instructions
November 28, 2018  CLE Event: 2018 Year End Tax Seminar
October 9, 2018  Webinar: Relocation Roadmap - A Guide to Avoiding Tax Traps When Changing Residency
June 11, 2018  CBA 2018 Connecticut Legal Conference
September 13, 2017  Webinar: A Legal Primer: Tax and Charitable Giving for Independent Schools
June 21, 2017  Financial Health for Physicians "A Prescription for Peace of Mind"
March 8, 2017  Annual Meeting of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
February 10, 2017  2016 Fiduciary Update: Significant Developments Affecting Corporate & Professional Trustees
June 22, 2016  Distribution Issues in Decedents' Estates: Disclaimers & Mutual Distributions
April 18, 2016  Webinar: 2015 Fiduciary Update - Significant Developments Affecting Corporate and Professional Trustees
February 9, 2016  2015 Fiduciary Update: Significant Developments Affecting Corporate and Professional Trustees
April 29, 2015  Choosing A Trustee
October 15, 2013  When and How to Start Saving for College: Understanding Your Options
July 11, 2013  The Estate Planning Landscape in 2013: Five Ways it has Changed
May 29, 2013  Are you ready for the new probate rules that take effect on July 1, 2013?
April 24, 2013  Five Changes to the Estate Planning Landscape and What They Could Mean to You
May 29, 2012  The Modern Prudent Investor Rule
November 9, 2011  Tax360 Conference - Federal Transfer Tax Developments
June 23, 2011  2011 Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting
May 6, 2011  A Guide to Probate Accounting
February 16, 2011  2011 Heckerling Update
February 11, 2011  Estate, Gift and GST Tax Developments
February 7, 2011  Portability of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount under the Tax Relief Act of 2010
November 18, 2010  2010 National Philanthropy Day┬« Conference
October 21, 2010  Post-Election Transfer Tax Issues
May 20, 2010  Empowered Giving: Just for Women
May 6, 2010  An Estate Planning Update
September 17, 2009  Planned Giving Group of Connecticut Meeting
June 24, 2009  Greater Hartford Probate Forum
June 16, 2009  CSCPA Financial Planning & Investment Conference
March 26, 2009  Caring for Loved Ones
March 5, 2008  Charitable Giving with Charitable Trusts
September 27, 2007  IRA Legislation
November 9, 2006  Why Start A Bequest Program and How to Use the Leave A Legacy Program
September 14, 2006  New Opportunity for Gifts from IRAs -- Courtesy of the Pension Protection Act of 2006
January 26, 2006  Charitable Giving Update
2006  Litigation of Estates, Trusts and Guardianships in Connecticut
October 2, 2005  Taking Care of Ourselves and Those We Love
September 9, 2005  How to Protect Assets During Life and Avoid Estate Taxes at Death in Connecticut
June 16, 2005  Fiduciary Liability
May 25, 2005  End of Life Issues: Living Wills, Health Care Agents, Etc.
April 26, 2005  Physician Asset Protection in a Rough & Tumble World
April 2005  Advance Directives
June 22, 2004  Tax Issues in Estate Planning and Probate in Connecticut
September 18, 2003  Compact Sophisticated Estate Planning IV
October 1, 2002  Estate and Asset Protection Planning for Physicians
July 31, 2002  Connecticut Probate: Beyond the Basics
March 27, 2002  Charitable Giving Update
March 18, 2002  Family Business Succession Planning After EGTRRA 2001
October 25, 2001  Sophisticated Estate Planning Strategies for the Advanced Practitioner in Connecticut
September 26, 2000  Basic Wills and Trusts for Connecticut Paralegals
April 2000  Why Wills are Necessary
1995  An Overview of the Federal Estate Tax, Federal Estate Tax Planning and Drafting
1994  Disclaimers in a Nutshell
1994  Federal Estate Tax Audit Procedures
1993  Investment Rules for Conservators, Trustees and Executors
1990  Use of Disclaimers in Estate Planning
1984  Client Migration to Florida
1983  Disclaimers in Connecticut
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