Trusts & Estates

Dermody, Burke & Brown (DB&B) has been providing trust & estate accounting, tax and administration advisory services to a wide variety of clients since 1956. We know that trusts & estates have unique needs. It is because of these special needs that we have developed a team of professionals who specialize in serving trustees & executors. With our team approach and commitment to client service, you can be assured of quality and timeliness in the services we perform for you.

Informed Advice

Our long experience working with trusts & estates has resulted in an in-depth knowledge of the issues and challenges facing such legal entities. The significant and rapidly changing rules affecting trusts & estates require the constant attention to detail that DB&B provides to our clients. We can help you navigate the many tax regulations and court requirements, which can be overwhelming and seem to change on a daily basis.

National Resources, Hometown Touch

As a member of Allinial Global, we can offer our clients the level of resources and technical trusts & estates support usually found only in national firms. Allinial provides us with a forum in which its membership quickly responds to technical questions, resource, and personnel, should any out-of-the ordinary issues arise.

Our Trusts & Estates Services Include:

Fiduciary Accounting for State Courts
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Guardianships
Tax Services
  • Estate Tax Return Preparation and Filing
  • Fiduciary Income Tax Return Preparation and Filing
  • Individual Income Tax Return Preparation and Filing
  • Gift/Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Return Preparation and Filing
  • Compliance with IRS and State Rules and Regulations
Trust and Estate Advisory Services
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Maximization of Deductions for Trusts/Estates
  • Assistance with Trust/Estate Administration 
  • Coordination of Trust and Estate Settlements
  • Calculations for the Establishment of Testamentary Trusts
  • Gift & Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning
  • Calculation of Statutory Fiduciary Fees
Eployee Lising

For more information email or call 315-471-9171 to contact:

Michele Dickey, CPA

Michele Dickey, CPA

Michele has over thirty years of experience in tax accounting, consulting, financial statement preparation and compliance services.  She works with closely held businesses within a wide range of industries. Michele has past experience as a Certified Valuation Analyst providing business valuations for companies involved in buy/sell agreements, charitable contributions, family limited partnerships and gifting programs.

Michele received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Le Moyne College.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves on the Upstate Foundation’s Professional Advisory Council for Legacy Giving and also serves as treasurer for the Estate Planning Council of Central New York. Michele is a past board member and treasurer for the YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County, Inc., a past board member for the Children’s Consortium and Meals on Wheels of Syracuse, and a past member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.  

Paula Ellenberg, CPA, CVA, MST

Paula Ellenberg, CPA, CVA, MST

Paula joined Dermody, Burke & Brown as a Senior Manager in the Tax Department in 2013.  Paula is a Certified Valuation Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant, also licensed in Virginia and D.C.  She specializes in providing consulting, tax and valuation services to small businesses and their owners, including, auto dealerships, real estate developers, construction contractors, and various service organizations. Paula also leads our Trusts and Estates department at the firm.

Paula holds a Masters of Taxation from American University and a Bachelors of Business Administration from Marymount University.  She has worked as a Chief Financial Officer and brings over thirty years of tax, trust and estate experience to the Firm.  Paula is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA).

Elizabeth Stapleton, CPA
Elizabeth Stapleton

Elizabeth Stapleton, CPA

Elizabeth Stapleton, CPA is a Manager in the Tax department at Dermody, Burke & Brown. She specializes in trusts and estate accounting, tax and advisory services. As a Tax Manager at the firm, Elizabeth provides tax preparation and consulting to individuals who are creating or revising their estate plans, estate executors and administrators, and grantors and trustees of both lifetime and testamentary trusts.

Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Public Accounting Master of Business Administration degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Albany Law School.  Before transitioning to public accounting, Elizabeth practiced trusts and estates, elder, and real estate law for a private practice law firm in the Southern Tier. During her time as a practicing attorney, Elizabeth counseled clients during both the estate planning and administration and probate processes, and handled a variety of real estate issues, including both transactional and litigated matters.  Elizabeth’s past law experience positions her with a unique, full-range of expertise in trusts and estates that is very beneficial to her tax clients.

She is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

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