Michelle M. Arruda

We recently moved to New Hampshire and needed our dated estate documents including a revocable trust updated to be consistent with current federal law and New Hampshire law. Mrs. Arruda was excellent to work with and did a very thorough and comprehensive update of our documents and had a number of helpful suggestions to make our estate documents more responsive to our wishes. She provided extremely comprehensive instructions for titling our assets in the trust as well as other suggestions.
- Client Review, Martindale.com

For over 27 years, I have counselled individuals, families, and “fiduciaries” (executors, trustees, agents under powers of attorney, and legal guardians) on a wide variety of estate planning, probate, and trust administration matters. The clients I work with come from all walks of life from across New Hampshire and beyond, and I enjoy finding appropriate and creative ways to fulfill each client’s unique goals.
My practice includes traditional planning for death and incapacity, which involves preparing documents such as wills, powers of attorney, and medical advance directives; counseling clients who wish to avoid probate about the advantages of a living trust and assisting them in “funding” the trust; and effectively coordinating beneficiary designations for assets such as life insurance and retirement plans. My practice also includes sophisticated planning for clients interested in preserving family wealth through the generations; providing for the long-term management and use of a special family property; transferring a business to the next generation; setting up a family trust for children or other beneficiaries; and philanthropy. Sophisticated planning includes, but certainly is not limited to, tax planning strategies.

On the “administration” side, I assist executors in settling estates, large and small, and advise fiduciaries about their responsibilities in handling the assets and other matters under their care. Conversely, I also advise beneficiaries of estates and trusts, helping them to understand their rights and interests and communicating with executors and trustees on their behalf.

I also work with fiduciaries and beneficiaries to engage in post-mortem planning to more effectively or efficiently carry out a decedent’s estate plan; to move existing irrevocable trusts to New Hampshire, which has favorable trust and tax laws; and to modify existing trusts in order to fix a broken plan or to adjust, update, and modernize a plan in light of changed laws and changed circumstances.

I work primarily out of our Concord office, but I am available to meet with clients at any of our other locations. On the personal side, I’m happily married and have two terrific sons who make me incredibly proud. I like to cook (mostly because I like to eat), hike, and travel. I also enjoy walking and caring for my dog, Brady. My guilty pleasure: ice cream.


  • "Lead Your Charitably-Inclined Clients to a "CLT," New Hampshire Bar News, March 20, 2019
  • "Busy Year for Trust and Estate Legislative Proposals," New Hampshire Bar News, March 22, 2017, co-authored by Michael Panebianco
  • "So, Your Clients Have Assets in Canada, Eh?" New Hampshire Business Review, March 16, 2016, co-authored by Patricia McGrath
  • "Elder, Estate Planning & Probate Law: Is a New Tax Tail Wagging the Estate Planning Dog?," New Hampshire News, March 19, 2014
  • "The Policy and Provisions of the Trust Modernization and Competitiveness Act of 2006," New Hampshire Bar Journal, December 2006 (co-author)
  • "The Uniform Trust Code: A New Resource for New (and Old!) Trust Law," New Hampshire Bar Journal, December 2005
  • “The GRAT: An Effective Wealth Transfer Device for the S Corporation Shareholder,” Journal of S Corporation Taxation, Winter 1995 (co-author)
  • "The Role of Family Partnerships in Estate and Business Planning," The Will and the Way, North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section Newsletter, May 1993

Speaking Engagements

New Hampshire Bar Association

  • "Essentials of Estate Planning," September 11, 2020
  • "Charitable Trusts & Donor Advised Funds with NHCF," May 1, 2019
  • 36th Annual Tax Forum, Concord, NH, November 28, 2018
  • 34th Annual Tax Forum, Concord, NH, November 3, 2016
  • 32nd Annual Tax Forum, Concord, NH, November 14, 2014
  • Probate and Trust Estate Administration, Concord, NH, May 29, 2014
  • Advanced Estate Planning, Concord, NH, April 19, 2013
  • Advanced Estate Planning, Concord, NH, March 30, 2012
  • 28th Annual Tax Forum, Concord, NH, November 19, 2010
  • "The Business Owner Died - What Do I Do?", Concord, NH, May 13, 2009
  • Trust Administration, Concord, NH, June 15, 2007
  • Trust Modernization Act of 2006, Concord, NH, November 8, 2006
  • The Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Concord, NH, March 24, 2005
  • New Hampshire Uniform Trust Code, Concord, NH, September 16, 2004
  • 21st Annual Tax Forum, Concord, NH, October 23, 2003
  • Advanced Trust and Estate Administration, Concord, NH, June 7, 2002
  • 19th Annual Tax Forum, Bedford, NH, November 15, 2001
  • Fundamentals of Estate Planning, Concord, NH, March 30, 2001

New Hampshire Bar Association/Elder Law, Estate Planning Practice Section

  • What Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate Lawyers Want to Know from Real Property Attorneys and What Real Property Attorneys Want to Know from Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate Practitioners, Portsmouth, August 8, 2012 
  • Disclaimers in Light of 2010 Tax Act, Concord, NH, March 2, 2011
  • New Hampshire Uniform Principal and Income Act, Concord, NH, September 12, 2006

Other Speaking Engagements

  • "The NH Uniform Power of Attorney Act: What's New and What's Not?" 2018 First American Title NH Real Estate Seminar, Bedford, NH, May 10, 2018
  • "Dude, Where’s My Trust? Income Tax Domicile of Trusts In Massachusetts and Surrounding States," Boston Bar Association, December 2, 2016
  • "Resolving Domicile-Related Tax Disputes Efficiently: A Review of the Bank of America Decision, Other Recent Domicile-Related Case Law," Boston Bar Association, November 3, 2015
  • ACTEC 2013 New England Regional Meeting, Bretton Woods, NH, September 7, 2013

Community Involvement

  • Leadership New Hampshire, Class of 2015
  • The Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges, Board of Trustees (2020 to present), Treasurer (2021 to present)
  • Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH, Board of Trustees (2012-2018)
  • New Hampshire Association for the Blind (n/k/a Future In Sight), Board of Directors (2003-2015), (Chair 2009-2012)
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Concord, NH committee (1996-2014)
  • Hopkinton Public Library Foundation of Hopkinton, NH, Board of Trustees (2004-2010)

We Can Help You

Contact us today to learn more about how the attorneys at Devine Millimet can help you with your legal needs.

            Services & Industries

            Probate & Trust Administration

            Probate & Wealth Transfer Litigation

            Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

            Bar Admissions

            New Hampshire


            Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude, 1992

            University of Pennsylvania, BS, magna cum laude,1987

            Awards & Affiliations

            New England Super Lawyers - Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney, 2007 - 2009, 2014 - 2020

            Received the Best Lawyers® 2012 & 2018 Trusts and Estates "Lawyer of the Year" award in Concord

            Included in The Best Lawyers in America© for her work in Trusts and Estates since 2008

            Recognized by Best Lawyers® since 2007

            AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

            Ranked in Chambers USA, High Net Worth, Band 1, Private Wealth Law, since 2016

            American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow, 2011 - present

            New Hampshire Estate Planning Council, 1997 to present (President 2007 - 2009)

            New Hampshire Bar Association, Member of Trust and Estate Section and of Taxation Section (1996 to present) (co-chair of the Trust and Estate Section from Spring of 2015 to Spring of 2016)