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.
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.
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 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).
Carolyn Lawless, CPA
Carolyn has over thirty-two years of public accounting experience. She specializes in tax advisory services including tax planning and preparation for various entities including corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates and individuals. Carolyn also performs reviews and compilations for small businesses in various industries.
Carolyn received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Niagara University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Carolyn serves on the Central New York Community Foundation Professional Advisor Council, is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Central New York and serves on the finance committee of Our Lady of Hope Church in Syracuse. She was past President and is a current board member of both the Central New York Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Estate Planning Council of Central New York. Carolyn is also a past treasurer of the Historic Oakwood Cemetery Preservation Association and a past advisory board member of Francis Corps.
Tammy Reyes, CPA/PFS, MT
Tammy has over twenty-four years of experience in the public accounting industry. She joins the firm with previous tax leadership experience and a specialization in the taxation of trusts and estates and high net worth individuals. Tammy also serves corporate and partnership clients. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a personal financial specialist (PFS) and registered financial consultant (RFC).
Tammy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Binghamton University School of Management, a Masters in Taxation from University of Denver, and a Certificate in Financial Planning from Kaplan College. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants. Tammy is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Central New York and serves as the treasurer and board member for the Landmark Theatre. She is also a past board member and treasurer for Wester Federal Credit Union and Baltimore Woods Nature Center.
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).