The Family Estate Planning Law Group has dedicated their practice to helping greater Boston residents care for their families. We have been helping those in need of estate planning as well as with elder law issues since 1990. Our mission is simple—to take care of families when it really matters. An epic number of estate plans fall miserably short of their goal. This is because these estate plans, wills, and trusts are woefully out of date and fail to take care of families when it really matters. In fact, these documents may do little, other than providing a false sense of peace of mind. It is important to remember that documents, on their own, will not take care of your family. Your life will change. Marriages and divorces happen, families blend, children and grandchildren are born, jobs change. If your plan does not change with your life, it won’t work.
At FEPLG, our client-centered approach focuses on you and your family and is tailored to your unique situation. Whether your primary goal is to protect your home in the event you or your spouse are forced to go into a nursing home; to create a will or trust to ensure your loved ones are properly taken care of after your death; to create a power of attorney which will give a trusted friend or loved one the power to continue your regular financial affairs should you become incapacitated; or to create an estate plan that avoids probate or saves on taxes. we want to help you tailor a plan to your specific needs. Whether you are starting from scratch, updating your current plan, or helping your parents with their own estate plan, our dedicated team of professionals can help.
It’s never too early—and never too late—to create a comprehensive estate plan. Not only will we assist you in creating and designing the best estate plan for you, we also maintain a relationship with you and assist you in updating your estate plan, once it is in place. Our highly knowledgeable estate planning attorneys work on a flat price basis, never with hourly billing. Our client care program, which we have taught to numerous firms throughout the country, helps families to ensure their loved ones are properly taken care of when it really matters, by maintaining an ongoing relationship with our families and tracking changes in their family situation, their assets and the law.
At FEPLG, we invite you to learn more about us, our mission, our services, and our ongoing Client Care Program by exploring our website. Together, we can take care of your family. Together, we plan for life.®
Our areas of legal practice areas include the following:
Elder law focuses primarily on the needs of families and individuals as they age. We focus on finding the best way to ensure a senior is cared for while protecting their home and assets from the nursing home. As the American population ages, more and more of us will be forced to deal with elder law-related issues, whether for ourselves, our parents, our spouse, or other loved ones. Nursing home care and how to pay for it is one of the most pressing issues seniors face. Traditional health insurance and Medicare do not typically pay for long-term care, and nursing homes can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000 per year, depending on the specific area. The “average” stay in a nursing home is around three years, although it can be much, much longer. With careful planning, you can protect most, if not all, of your assets, with Medicaid picking up the nursing home tab. If you fail to plan for such an eventuality, it can be more difficult—but not impossible, to protect your assets in such a situation.
There are many legal strategies associated with estate planning. The documents you will require in your estate plan will depend on your specific circumstances, as well as your wants and needs. You may choose to have only a will, a revocable living trust, an irrevocable trust, a durable power of attorney, or a combination of these documents. Each of these documents is important, but the most crucial aspect of your estate plan will be the alignment of your assets so they will be distributed according to your wishes at the time of your death. The manner in which your assets are titled and how beneficiaries are named can be more important than the actual documents in your estate plan. Further, your documents, once created, must be kept up to date in order for your plan to work properly and ensure your loved ones are properly taken care of.
Probate, Estate & Trust Administration
Probate, estate, and trust administration encompass the process through which estate assets are transferred upon your death. If probate avoidance planning has not been implemented, the state will require a court proceeding. Probate may be supervised or unsupervised. In an unsupervised probate, the estate administrator will manage assets, pay debts, file tax returns and distribute the assets in the estate. The court may, however, at any time, require that the process be supervised. In a supervised probate, the judge will approve each detail of the estate administration.
Estate Tax Planning
Estate tax planning can help you minimize taxes following your death. Depending on your individual estate, you could be subject to federal estate taxes and could benefit from the federal estate tax exemption. You could also benefit from the lifetime gift tax exemption, the annual gift tax exclusion or the generation-skipping tax transfer. “Portability” is a new concept in estate planning for married couples, which could potentially render traditional estate tax planning unnecessary. This means that a surviving spouse can inherit the estate tax exemption of the deceased spouse without using trust planning. Details are crucial in this type of tax exemption—unless the surviving spouse files a timely (within nine months of death) Form 709 Estate Tax Return and properly complies with other requirements, the portability may not be available. Massachusetts has its own estate tax. With all of these different taxes, you can benefit greatly from having a professional from FEPLG help you determine the best ways to decrease your tax burden.
Special Needs Planning
For those with a special needs child—whether that child is still a minor, or is an adult—providing for those special needs at a time when you are no longer able to do so is crucial. Parents of a special needs child must make careful estate planning choices to ensure coordination of the legal, financial, and special care needs of the child—both now, and in the future. At FEPLG, we can recommend several types of trusts to assist with the special planning challenges of a special needs child. Special needs trusts are a critical component of your estate planning for a special needs child and will ensure the child is provided for following your death. Perhaps one of the best things a special needs trust can do is to make sure the special needs child is qualified for Medicaid and other federal programs while keeping assets or money for the child’s extra needs.
Medicaid Crisis Planning
Medicaid Crisis Planning is used when Pre-Planning is not in place. Suppose the necessity for a nursing home stay comes at a completely unexpected time. In order to allow you to take advantage of Medicaid to pay nursing home expenses, our attorneys can help you through Medicaid Crisis Planning.
Perhaps you are trying to protect your personal assets from potential claims resulting from the operation of your business. You may want to prevent tenants or other people entering your investment properties from suing you and seizing your wealth. Or, perhaps you are attempting to prevent your child’s spouse from making a claim against assets your child will inherit. We will help you determine what you want to protect, then will help you develop an asset protection plan which will become part of your integrated estate plan.
Business Succession Planning
Family businesses, whether family-owned or family-controlled, make up nearly 90 percent of all businesses, representing all sectors of our economy. While most of us assume all family businesses are small, this is actually not true, with about a third of all businesses included in the Fortune 500 being family businesses. Unfortunately, many family businesses do not outlive their founders. At FEPLG, we can help you structure your family business so it will not only survive, it will thrive.
The Family Estate Planning Law Group attorneys can help you structure your charitable giving to ensure your assets go to the charities you choose as well as giving you the tax breaks you need in your estate planning. There are many issues associated with charitable giving, and you will want to make sure yours is set up properly.
At Family Estate Planning Law Group, we customize your estate plan for you, your circumstances, and your family. In life, it is not really a matter of if things will change, but when they will change, because of this, we know a "one and done" approach will not fully protect your loved ones. As part of our ongoing client care program, your estate plan is reviewed periodically to reflect the changes you experience in life and take care of your family.
Ready to protect you and your family today and when you are no longer able? Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling or completing the Get in Touch With Us form.
Together, We Plan for LifeⓇ and create the very best estate plan possible. Contact FEPLG today!
We have been so happy with all the work the team has done for us and all the attention to detail. Everything was fully explained to us and we were given all the time we needed to ask questions. All the staff members are so easy to deal with and very knowledgeable. Our estate planning has been such a pleasant experience! Thank you!”
-J.R., Dedham, MA
I came to Family Estate Planning because I wanted to take care of my family, but I didn’t know what to do. Everyone took the time to explain and make sure I was comfortable with my plan. They spelled everything out clearly and tailored it to my specific situation. I feel confident that my estate is in order and my family will be taken care of.”
-J.K., Medford, MA