WILLIAM E. DRISLANE, ESQ.

Bill is a Trusts & Estates attorney with a practice in Chittenden County, Vermont.

His firm helps clients throughout northern Vermont and upstate New York with estate and tax planning, assisting individuals and couples in developing plans, instruments and transactions to transfer estates according to their wishes. 

Services include the development and drafting of wills and revocable trusts, charitable gift planning, family trusts for children, and plans for the funding of trusts.  Estate and income tax planning instruments and tools include irrevocable life insurance trusts; marital/credit shelter trusts; disclaimer trust plans; QTIP trusts; charitable trusts and the formation and use of limited liability companies.

The firm  helps clients open and administer estates before the probate court, including estate and fiduciary tax preparation, deeds and transfers of real property, accountings and representation before the court.

Comprehensive court services include analysis, litigation and settlement of estate and trust disputes.  The firm represents clients on all sides of estate and trust matters in probate and civil courts.  Bill has served as special master, neutral mediator, court advisor and expert witness on estate, trust and tax matters.

Other services include long term care and Medicaid planning, assistance to disabled individuals, the elderly and their families.  Also, help with guardianships; and the drafting and use of supplemental needs trusts.

The firm accepts fiduciary appointments as trustee of trusts, and executor and administrator of estates.

Bill is licensed to practice in Vermont and New York, is a member of the Vermont Bar Association and New York Bar Association, and participates in the probate, trust, estate and elder law sections. In 1996 he was law clerk to Honorable Susan Fowler at the Chittenden County Probate Court; and has served on the Advisory Committee on Probate Rules by appointment of the Vermont Supreme Court. He has spoken at numerous seminars and presentations on the subjects of probate, trusts, estates and taxes.

He currently serves as president of the board of directors of Camp For Me, Inc., operating a day camp for adopted children in Vermont, and is also a board member of Young Tradition Vermont, Inc., a group dedicated to promoting traditional music and dance for young people.  He served for many years on the board of directors of HomeShare Vermont, and was president of the board from 2001-2007.

Bill received his undergraduate degree from Boston University School of Liberal Arts in 1974, and his law degree from Western New England College School of Law in 1994. He was manager and business owner of the Albany, New York tax preparation firm Tax-Prep from 1977 through 1992, started by his parents in 1967.  He is a native of Albany, New York; and served in the US Navy 1967 - 1971 as a communication specialist.  Bill resides in Jericho Center, Vermont with his wife Liz Thompson and their boy Will.

MICHELLE M. ACKEL, LEGAL ASSISTANT

Michelle M. Ackel has been with Drislane Law Office since 2009. Her prior legal assistant experience is focused in the fields of estate administration; estate planning; and real estate transactions. Her background also includes that of banking services representative; bookkeeper; tax preparer; and mortgage processor.

Michelle received a Paralegal Certificate from Champlain College in 2005, and has studied in courses in accounting, tax preparation, and business through both Champlain College and Community College of Vermont.