Vermont’s probate courts are responsible for overseeing several processes for families who are going through life transitions. We have over forty years of experience with probate matters, first in Connecticut and then in Vermont since 1990, and can answer your questions about them.

1. Adult guardianships provide support for people who cannot manage some or all aspects of their affairs due to infirmity of one kind or another, and come in two categories:

• Voluntary guardianships, where the person who will be the subject of the guardianship action agrees that they need assistance; and

• Involuntary guardianships, where the person who will be the subject of the guardianship action is either unable to give consent due to their infirmities or refuses to give consent in the face of concern on the part of their family members that they do need assistance.

2. Minor guardianships provide support for children when their parents or other caregivers cannot manage their care due to life crises or other inability on the part of the caregivers, which likewise can be voluntary or involuntary, depending upon the positions of the caregivers.

3. Administration of estates following the death of a family member are also overseen by the probate courts and also come in two variations:

• a testate estate, which is opened when the decedent left a Last Will and Testament mapping out what he or she intended to happen to the possessions left behind; and

• an intestate estate, which is opened when there is no will to guide the family and which relies much more heavily on relevant provision so Vermont law.

If you’re faced with one of these situations, know that we are available to help you through the process and are ready to discuss how we can meet your needs.