Estate Settlement Challenges and How to Avoid Them

Date: Thursday, February 1, 2024
Time: 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Weber's Inn
Speaker: Julie Cotant & Jessica Wiltjer

Julie Cotant:

As a senior trust officer with Plante Moran Trust, N.A. my expertise is estate settlement. I work with families to ensure that a decedent's wishes are fulfilled by distributing assets according to his or her trust document. I also handle ongoing trust administration. The best part of my job is helping families navigate difficult times and relieving any extra burdens so they can focus on their loved ones.

Before joining Plante Moran Trust, N.A. I was an attorney in private practice for 14 years. I specialized in probate and trust administration; probate, business, and commercial litigation; and estate planning. During my practice, I was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014, 2015, and 2019), which is a peer-nominated recognition reserved for less than 2.5 percent of the legal profession. I was also on DBusiness’s list of Top Lawyers in 2019.

I earned my B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and my J. D. from Wayne State University Law School.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my three kids, reading (especially in the self-improvement genre), and trying new restaurants and activities.

Jessica Wiltjer:

I lead the firm’s estate tax compliance practice. Our team works closely with family members and their trusted advisors to navigate the tax reporting requirements unique to the passing of a loved one. My expertise includes estate tax compliance, fiduciary income tax, and planning as it relates to high-net-worth individuals. My clients are the executors and trustees of a decedent’s estate.

I was attracted to this career because I enjoy working with a variety of clients and having new challenges with each engagement. My clients appreciate that I’m knowledgeable in an area that is unknown to most and compassionate as we work through the process. With more than 25 years of experience, I consider it my greatest career accomplishment to have found an area of focus that I’m passionate about and truly enjoy.

I’ve recently spoken on “Conducting an Estate Settlement Fire Drill – What Should Be on Your Checklist?” for the Family Office Exchange and “Preparing Gift and Estate Tax Returns” for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. I’m also involved in the Greater Grand Rapids 100+ Women Who Care. I hold a B.B.A. in accounting from Western Michigan University.

When I’m not at the office, I enjoy golfing, watching the Detroit Tigers, walking with my family and our dog, “collecting” craft beers at new breweries, and reading on my deck during the amazing Michigan summers.

See Upcoming Event Calendar