Estate Planning

As an estate planning law firm with a holistic approach, our mission is to treat each client first and foremost as a person with relationships and history, rather than merely an economic entity.

Although asset protection planning is an important component of any estate plan, our goal is to craft an estate plan suited to your needs. The legal tools we propose, including trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney, veteran’s benefits, Medicaid, health care proxies and declarations of homestead will be explained in layman’s terms so you may make an informed decision. We work closely with financial and accounting professionals to create the best plan for you.

We listen carefully to our client’s goals and consider the nature of assets to be transferred under an asset protection plan. We also consider the future housing plans and relative health of each client and family members. Family relationships and available support systems are also important in considering the assets protection strategy. Structuring asset succession for smaller and larger estates is part of our available counsel.

Estate and Gift Tax Planning

For clients whose assets exceed the state or Federal estate tax exemption, we advise on the best vehicles to minimize tax consequences, preserve inheritance and insure fluid business succession for the next generation. This is particularly important in Massachusetts, which unlike neighboring states, has an estate tax.

Charitable Giving

For some clients, a sound estate plan includes the dual goal of philanthropy and tax savings. We counsel clients to achieve these goals through donations to Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Lead Trusts. Charitable giving can be a way not only to maximize tax savings, but to leave a legacy and support a client’s personal values.

Estate Administration and Probate

Upon the death of a family member, a fiduciary named in a Will or Trust needs guidance through the probate or administration process. Certain beneficiaries may need further planning according to their capacity and status. Our team is able to effectively guide and assist a fiduciary through these processes. We can create a plan to make this transition simple and straightforward for fiduciaries.

Special Needs Planning

Families who include individuals with physical and mental health challenges are especially in need of estate planning. Parents of a disabled child should consider a Special Needs Trust to provide for their child in the event of their own incapacity and insure continuum of care and benefits after their death. Special Needs Trusts are a helpful tool for such families, though they different from traditional trusts in several ways. We can explore which type of trust vehicle is best suited for your family.

Individuals with Smaller Estates

Small estates also need plans so that an estate is not illiquid for the needs of an aging person. Health care access is limited for aging population without long term care insurance. Proper planning and access to resources can insure comfortable housing arrangements which meet a client’s needs. Additionally, we counsel clients about establishing a Healthcare Proxy and a Power of Attorney. These documents are discussed as part of any larger estate plan, and address what happens in case of incapacity.