Shelly D. Merritt is an estate planning attorney with over thirty years of experience representing individuals, families, closely-held businesses, executives, and small business owners. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a past Council Member of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Colorado Bar Association, and past Co-Chair of its Trusts and Estates Section Statutory Revisions Committee. Her practice emphasizes estate planning, trust administration, probate, and small business law with a focus on complex wealth preservation plans, including multi-generational planning, international succession planning, and business succession planning. She also advises and assists clients with tax issues relating to businesses and tax-exempt entities; formation of business entities (profit and non-profit); and sales and purchases of businesses.
EDUCATION & ADMISSIONS
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF LAW, 1991
BACHELOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON, 1987 (with honors)
Certified Public Accountant
Fellow American College of Trust and Estate Council
STEP Certification in International Succession and Probate
AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell
Included in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Trusts and Estates* 2008-2022 editions
Included in Super Lawyers, editions 2009-2022
Member, Society of Trust and Estate Council (STEP)
Past Council Member, Trusts and Estates Section of the Colorado Bar Association
Member, Statutory Revisions Committee of the Trusts and Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association (Co-Chair 2007-2008)
Member, Boulder County Bar Association Estate and Probate Section (Co-chair 2001-02)Programs Chair, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, 1998
Board Member, Boulder Valley Women’s Health (2014-2020, Treasurer 2017-2019)
Board Member, Treasurer and Chair of Legal Committee The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, 2004-2010
Volunteer, Wills on Wheels, 2000
Volunteer, Pro bono estate planning clinic, and Call a Lawyer hotline, San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, 1994
Author, Community Property Chapter, Colorado Estate Planning Handbook, 2005
Author, Planning for Community Property in Colorado, The Colorado Lawyer, June 2002 issue
Author, Reforming Charitable Remainder Trusts in Colorado Under the New IRS Procedures, The Colorado Lawyer, September, 1999 issue
Navigating The New 199A The Mechanics, Issues, and Opportunities, Colorado Society of CPAs May 10, 2018
Tax and Estate Planning Issues for Non-Citizen Clients and Clients Owning Foreign Properties, Colorado
Society of CPAs November 5, 2015; Boulder County Estate Planning Council September
Presentation, Tax and Estate Planning Issues for Non-Citizen Clients and Clients Owning Foreign Properties, Colorado Society of CPAs November 5, 2015; Boulder County Estate Planning Council September 8, 2015; Colorado Bar Association August 2, 2016
Presentation, Understanding and Using Specialized Trusts, Including GRATs, IDITs, Pet Trust, and More, Co-Presenter, Colorado Bar Association CLE, May 6, 2015
Presentation, What Kind of Trust Does My Client (or Client’s Spouse) Have and Is It Reachable By His or Her Creditors or Divorcing Spouse?, Presenter, Family Law Section of the Boulder County Bar Association, September 17, 2014
Presentation, Electing In and Out of the Automatic GST Allocation Rules on Form 709: When, Why, and How, Colorado Society of CPAs, May 1, 2014
Presentation, Current Charitable Planning Strategies and Issues, Co-Presenter, Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable Technical Series, September 23, 2013
Presentation, Planning For the New Colorado Client (Considerations for Clients Moving to Colorado From Other States), Co-Presenter, Trust and Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association 33rd Annual Estate Planning Retreat, June 13-15, 2013
Presentation, Using Trusts to Protect Assets From A Child’s Creditors and Divoring Spouses, Co-Presenter, Taxation Estate Planning and Probate and Family Law Sections of the Boulder County Bar Association, April 30, 2012
Presentation, “Crummey Trusts” The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Understanding and Using Sepcialized Trusts, Co-Sponsored by the Turst and Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association, April 29, 2010
Presentation, Gifts to Trusts and Navigating the Form 709, Including When to Elect In or Out of the Automatic GST Allocation Rules, CSCPAs Boulder/Longmont Chapter, October 22, 2009
Presentation, Colorado Trusts and Estate Law Update (September 2007-August 2009), 23th Biennial Advanced Estate Planning Symposium, September 10-11, 2009; Boulder County Bar Association, September 23, 2009
Presentation, Crummy “Crummy Trusts” Issues, 2008 Annual Estate Planning Retreat, June 12-14, 2008
Presentation, Trusts and Estates Law Updates, Colorado Bar Association Annual Legislative Update, June 11, 2008
Presentation, Community Property and Joint Trusts, CLE in Colorado, Inc., November 9, 2007
Presentation, Joint Trusts: Advantage and Pitfalls, Boulder County Bar Association, Estate Planning Council, October 2, 2007
Presentation, Advising Nonprofit Organization in Colorado, Colorado Bar Association Business and Taxation Law Section, May 17-18, 2007
Presentation, Estate Planning Update: Recent Developments in Estate and Gift
Tax, Boulder County Bar Association Trust and Estate Section, August 23, 2006
Presentation, Estate and Gift Tax Update: Recent Developments in Estate and
Gift Tax, Colorado Society of CPAs, August 9, 2006
Presentation, Estate and Gift Tax Update: Recent Developments in Estate and
Gift Tax, Larimer County Trust and Estate Bar Committee, May 24, 2006
Presentation, What Every Advisor Should Know About Dynasty Crummey Trusts, Boulder County Estate Planning Council, August 8, 2005
Presentation, Community Property Issues in Estate Planning for Mobile Clients, Colorado Bar Association Trust and Estate Section Annual Estate Planning Retreat, Telluride, June 9-12, 2005
Presentation, Estate Planning Update: Recent Developments in Estate and Gift Tax, Centennial Estate Planning Council, March 10, 2005, and Boulder County Bar Association Taxation, Estate Planning and Probate Section, March 23, 2005
Presentation, Family Limited Partnerships, Partnership Tax Class at CU, November 8, 2004
Presentation, Estate Planning Update: Where Are We Now?, Community Foundation Serving Boulder County CLE, October 7, 2004
Presentation, Family Limited Partnerships After Strangi: Still a Viable Planning Technique?, Colorado Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section, November 2003
Presentation, Family Limited Partnership Update,2003 Advanced Estate Planning Symposium University of Denver College of Law, September 2003
Presentation, The GST Tax and the New Automatic Allocation Rules, Boulder/Longmont Chapter, Colorado Society of CPAs, June 2003
Presentation, Maximizing the Leverage of Today’s Ultra-Low Federal Interest Rates, KCS Breakfast Club, May 2003
Presentation, Intermediate Sanctions, Caplan and Earned LLC, January 2003
Presentation, A Primer on Trusts: The Basics and Beyond, Family Law Section, Boulder County Bar Association, February 2002
Presentation, Community Property Considerations with Colorado Residents, Boulder/Longmont Area Chapter, Colorado Society of CPAs, September 2002
Presentation, The GST Tax and the Impact of the 2001 Tax Act, Trust, Estate Planning and Probate Section, Boulder County Bar Association, September 2002
Presentation, Pesky Reporting Issues Panel – Corporate Reports, Article 9 UCC Filings, and Changes, in Secretary of State Filings, HFMA Colorado Chapter and Colorado Bar Association Health Law Section, November 2002
Presentation, The Impact of Community Property on Colorado Estate Planning, 2001 Advanced Estate Planning Symposium University of Denver College of Law, September 2001
Presentation, Use of Dynasty Trusts in Estate Planning, Boulder County Bar Tax Section October 25, 2000 and& Boulder County Estate Planners Council February 6, 2001
Presentation, Estate Planning and Administration Issues with Imported Community Property and Joint Revocable Trusts, Colorado Bar Association CLE Seminar, October 2, 1998,
Presentation, Principles of Estate Planning with 1993 Legislative Update, CPA seminar, December 1993
Presentation, Guardianships and Related Alternatives, Community Services for Individuals with Disabilities Awareness Night, San Antonio, TX, October 12, 1993
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