It is hard for me to believe that I am entering my third decade of law practice as a tax and estate planning specialist. The human element first attracted me to this area of the law – the daily satisfaction of working with individuals and families to plan for the future. Along the way, I developed a passion and a knack for the elements of fundamental and more complex tax planning.
My work with clients involves the most intimate of their personal legal needs, including planning for marriage, birth and adoption of children and grandchildren, major illness and, eventually, death. During any given week, I may:
- Meet with clients to explore and identify their estate planning needs and objectives
- Once identified, explain the various effective means for meeting those objectives
- Consider and, if appropriate, recommend lifetime gift and tax planning to maximize the transfer of wealth for the least tax cost (typically, these strategies might include the use of a life insurance trust, grantor retained annuity trust, sale of property to a “defective” grantor trust, charitable lead trust, charitable remainder trust or family limited partnership, among others)
- Draft wills and trusts to implement tax and estate planning
- Assist clients and their advisors to administer existing trusts, facilitate a change of trustees and interpret trust documents
- Review and assist clients with asset protection planning
- Negotiate and draft marital agreements
- Discuss planning for incapacity and implement appropriate planning, including medical directives (living wills, medical powers of attorney and statutory powers of attorney for property)
- Review a shareholders’ agreement and make recommendations for business succession
- Provide unsolicited parenting advice born out of my own experience in the parental trenches (I am a mother of two teenagers: Madeleine and Will)
Prior to founding Tuthill & Hughes LLP in 2007, I spent fifteen years, the last seven as a partner, at a large regional law firm. Our boutique practice continues to adhere to the best practices of our former firm, including the highest ethical standards, attention to every detail and excellent client service. It gives me great satisfaction to deliver this exemplary level of legal service to my clients.
Colorado Super Lawyer, 2009 – 2012
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, fellow, 2009 -Present
The Best Lawyers in America, 2008 – Present
The Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable
The Denver Estate Planning Council
Denver Health Level One Board 2007 – 2011
Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors 2008 – Present
Phi Beta Kappa, 1989
Colorado Estate Planning Handbook, Fifth Ed. (Orange Book Handbook) (David K. Johns et al. eds., CLE in Colo., Inc. Supp. 2011), Author of Chapter 13-Split Interest Charitable Trusts and Chapter 31-Charitable Dispositions
Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Organizations, First Ed. (Karen E. Leaffer, ed., CLE in Colo., Inc. 2011), Co-Author Chapter 1-Selecting, Forming, and Maintaining the Organization
J.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1993
B.A., Political Science,
University of Denver,
summa cum laude, 1990
Colorado since 1993
American (Member, Trust and Estate Section)
- Favorite TV Show? – Law & Order – They always catch the bad guy and Mariska Hargitay is such a strong female lead.
- Dogs or cats? – Definitely dogs.
- Collections? – Strangely, salt and pepper shakers. Not sure how this evolved.
- Guilty Pleasure? – TAG Burger with bison, “old school style” and truffle fries. Oh my.
- Pet Peeve? – Dishes in the sink. Drives me crazy.
- Inside scoop? – I spend most weekends outside in my yard. I love to garden – hands in the dirt, which is why my nails are never painted!