HM Payson since 2011
Hopkinson & Abbondonza


Maine State Bar Association
U.S. District Court of Maine
Maine Estate Planning Council
Elder Law Section of the Maine State Bar Association


University of Maine, B.A. 1999
University of Maine School of Law, J.D. 2002

Giving back

Board Member, Maine Estate Planning Council

Michelle Santiago brings a unique blend of legal and financial planning expertise to her role as HM Payson’s Chief Trust Administrative Officer.

Michelle grew up in central Maine and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maine at Orono, where she also worked as a teaching assistant for a constitutional law class. Her passion for law and policy led her to Washington, D.C., where she worked in Senator Collins’ office, and then to the University of Maine School of Law, where she earned her J.D.

After law school, Michelle worked at the Portland law firm Hopkinson & Abbondanza, advising clients in the areas of estate planning and trust and estate administration. After joining HM Payson in 2011, she studied for and earned her CFP® certification. That credential, combined with her law degree, gives Michelle a unique ability to guide clients through legal processes in alignment with their financial priorities.

In her current role, Michelle works directly with clients and their families on various trust, estate, and financial planning matters and oversees the administration of trusts for which HM Payson is named as trustee. She values the opportunity to work with multi-generational families as a part of their broader teams, collaborating closely with clients’ estate planning attorneys, CPAs, and other key advisors.