William E. HartCounsel
Bill Hart is a member of the firm’s Trusts and Estates and Business and Finance Departments. He focuses on estate planning work for people of all walks of life, including professionals, owners of closely-held businesses, people with artistic and literary property, and those with real estate holdings in other states and countries. His practice includes probate estate and trust administration, business matters, non-profit organizations, and taxation.
In the community, Bill has served as chairman of the planned giving committee of South Congregational Church in Amherst, as a building committee member for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, as a trustee of Amherst Academy. He has served as Cubmaster and Scoutmaster for the “best troop in the universe.” He serves on the professional advisors board of the Mason-Wright Foundation and is actively involved as a planned giving advisor and volunteer for numerous non-profit organizations. Bill speaks frequently to professional and community groups about estate planning. He was named the Best Lawyers in America® 2015 and 2017 Springfield, Massachusetts area Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year.” He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® each year since 2013.
Bill is a past director of the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County and a past president of the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council.
Related Professional Experience:
Bill commenced his practice with the firm of Harter, Secrest & Emery in his hometown, Rochester, New York, in 1972, and he has practiced in Massachusetts since 1977. He was previously a partner of Brown, Hart & Kaplan, of Amherst.
Past Speaking Engagement
Planning for Issues that Arise at Death Including Taxation at Amherst Woman’s Club (Hosted by Five College Learning in Retirement).
- Contributing author, Bulkley Richardson’s Trusts & Estates Quarterly, Fall 2017
- Contributing author, Bulkley Richardson Trusts & Estates Quarterly, Summer 2017.
- Co-author, with Liz Sillin, Two MCLE chapters in the 4th edition of Drafting Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts, (April 5, 2017).
- Contributing author, Bulkley Richardson’s Trusts & Estates Quarterly, Winter 2017.
- Author in “Drafting Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts,” MCLE, 1992 – present.
- disposition of assets by lifetime gifts
- basic and complex trusts
- second-home planning
- business succession planning
- conservation restrictions on real estate
- family limited liability companies and limited partnerships
- retirement account beneficiaries
He provides individual and business clients with tax-sensitive, strategic counsel with respect to a wide variety of matters, including:
His work helps clients minimize estate, gift, income and generation-skipping taxes in connection with the transfer of assets within families and to charities.