Legal Issues From the Client’s Point of View

We work cooperatively with you to ensure that you can make intelligent and informed decisions at every step of the process.

Our probate law team is widely recognized for its knowledge and experience in our practice areas. We are often called on by the courts to assist in family or fiduciary matters and by professional associations to participate as instructors on continuing legal education for attorneys and paralegals.

We understand that estate planning and probate matters involve important personal and financial decisions, and we work cooperatively with you to ensure that you can make intelligent and informed decisions at every step of process. Attorney John Dugan, who leads the probate team, says “We try to put ourselves in each client’s position, understanding that probate law touches on sometimes difficult and emotional decisions. We care and think about the legal issues from the client’s point of view.”

Estate and Long-Term Care Planning

 

Each client and each estate plan is different. We help you to collect and organize your personal, family and financial information and listen carefully to your thoughts and preferences. We explain the applicable tax laws, long-terms care costs and available options to help you achieve your planning goals.

We have working relationships with multiple CPA’s, financial advisors, elder support services and insurance specialists who are well-versed and respected in their fields Attorney Dugan says, “We are able to refer our clients to highly competent professionals, so that each client can obtain reliable support services at any time.”

Long-term care planning involves development of a plan in case a client or family member may require institutional residence for age or health-related issues. This is an especially complex area because of the ever-changing age, health, family and financial considerations. Attorney Melissa Howitt points out, “The practice of elder law requires attorneys to handle a wide range of legal matters affecting an older or disabled person, such as long-term care, health care, housing, Medicaid/Mass Health planning, financial exploitation or asset protection. We provide each client with information and recommendations needed to enable the client to make good decisions for themselves and their family members.”

Administration of Estates, Wills and Trusts

Estate administration requires a working knowledge of the deceased person’s assets, liabilities, tax issues and terms of her or his estate plan. We assist clients who are appointed as personal representatives or trustees, and constantly assist in locating and collecting assets, filing past-due income tax returns, transitioning property from the estate to the heirs or persons designated in the deceased person’s will, and ensuring that the estate is properly processed and closed.

Unlike many suburban law offices, we have multiple attorneys, paralegals and assistants who are well-versed in administration, and we maintain ongoing contact with our clients to ensure that their obligations are fulfilled and their questions are answered.

Probate Courts periodically appoint one of our attorneys to serve as a substitute trustee or personal representative of an estate that is caught up in litigation.

We have developed a network of experts in residential and commercial real estate, business valuations, artwork and antiques, as well as realtors, engineers and surveyors, should you need referrals.

In the case of probate or trust litigation, we have successfully represented many clients in contested guardianships, conservatorships, trusts and estate administration.  We provide support and guidance, as well as thinking outside the box, to bring the matter to conclusion and avoid future problems. “Our job is two-fold,” says Attorney Dugan, “to bring the pending matter to a good conclusion and to enable our clients to move on with their lives.”

We have worked very hard to earn a preeminent reputation in the fields of Estate Planning, Elder Law, Trust and Probate Administration and Probate Litigation, and we are committed to continuing that same dedication and work ethic for every client who comes to us for help.

Meet the Team

John G. Dugan

John G. Dugan

Partner / Attorney

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Michael P. Doherty

Michael P. Doherty

Partner / Attorney

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Melissa A. Howitt

Melissa A. Howitt

Attorney

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Virginia W. Connelly

Virginia W. Connelly

Attorney

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Our Clients' Thoughts

“Thank you, Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, for your guidance and knowledge during a difficult process for me. You have made this process much more bearable.”
Divorce Client

“It was a pleasure working with you, Michelle Raymond. I don’t think things could have gone much smoother. Thank you for everything. ”
Mediation client

“Thanks again to all of you for a well-executed team effort in trial preparation, and the negotiated settlement precluding a trial.”
Divorce Client – Robert

“As a collaborative divorce and co-parenting coach and mediator, I have had the privilege of working with Michelle Raymond, Esq. on dozens of cases over the past decade. I have always been impressed by her skills and her capacity to collaborate and work with other professionals, her ability to listen to not only the words clients use, but the important messages underneath, and in her dedication to helping clients (even in the most complicated of cases) to stay focused and work toward resolution. I am pleased to say that while serving as a collaborative divorce coach on numerous cases with Michelle, all were resolved successfully and peacefully. ”
Betsy Ross, LICSW, CGP, Collaborative and Co-parenting Coach, Divorce and Family Mediator, Licensed Psychotherapist.

“I just want to thank you, Michelle Raymond, so much for your assistance with the settlement. . . You made the process as pleasant as possible. I never expected a divorce would be part of my life story, however, I sure am glad that YOU were part of the process. I am looking forward to a life of peace and happiness now. You are wonderful and I consider you to be a blessing in my life.”
Mediation client

“I would recommend Attorney Michelle Raymond as an attorney to anyone needing mediation or legal advice on divorce. Divorce is stressful and emotional and throughout the process of my divorce, Michelle had my best interests at heart. She has a calm yet confident demeanor and is always focused and professional. I found her to be very patient in answering all my questions and returned calls and emails in a timely manner.”
Divorce Client – Sharon

“I call Michelle “The Closer”. So many of my clients find themselves frustrated and “stuck” in their legal processes. Once I refer them to Attorney Michelle Raymond – who is savvy and not interested in the typical attorney -who-wants-your-money, thing, they find immediate and effective results. Michelle truly knows how to get the job done, as effectively as possible, so divorcing women can MOVE ON and begin their new lives.”
Linda Waters, Founder Back to Business LLC

“I hired Attorney Michelle M. Raymond after interviewing multiple attorneys when going through divorce in 2001/2002 and continue to connect as needed. She is an advocate for families; she believes in keeping the interests of the whole family in mind through every step. Michelle continues to impress me with her calm, confident demeanor and ability to make suggestions and guide with integrity in any situation. She is not easily intimidated. She knows the law and is resourceful when looking for options.”
Divorce Client Louise

“Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, you were all anyone could ask for in a lawyer, while going through a traumatic and gut-wrenching process. Your legal acumen, guidance and advice ensured I would have a financially secure future. But, on a more personal level, your support and encouragement made all the difference in my perception of myself and my abilities. In large part due to you I am very excited about this new phase of my life. I thank you every day for my whole new life.”
Collaborative Law Divorce Client

“I am so grateful for you, Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, and for your support and expertise in navigating this divorce. The fact that the whole thing moved forward with such efficiency is remarkable. Thank you for making that magic happen.”
Divorce Client

“From the start Attorney Michelle Raymond made me feel comfortable. She listened to my story and thoroughly explained the process. She knew how to calm me down and helped me stay focused so that I could get through the ordeal of my divorce. Her calm and professional demeanor along with her skills and sense of humor make her a powerhouse attorney who I was happy to have on my side. Attorney Raymond was well prepared for court and clearly loves her job helping her clients. I know that I made the right decision in retaining her.”
Divorce client – Phyllis

“Thank you, Attorney Melissa Howitt, for all of your help. You are so conscientious and did a fantastic job for us. Your demeanor and instincts were such a factor in moving this all along, and I appreciate all you have done.”
Estate Planning Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple has been a pleasure to work with. Always super responsive and on his A-game, Andrew is a true professional and has helped us immensely through some tough cases. We highly recommend him and his law firm.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have worked with various attorneys at Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan and Cannon, P.C. over the past seven years on many cases. They are always extremely organized and quick to respond. The attorneys are very knowledgeable and are able to offer advice and guidance on all of the cases that we have handled together. They really do go above and beyond to ensure that they are giving the very best legal service to me and my company as clients.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple is a professional who is passionate about helping his clients. He has been very caring while providing expert advice in decision making with regards to my case. He works hard and cares about his clients’ success.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple has been our go-to on all employment related issues for several years. He is always thorough in his responses and recommendations which is critical in today’s employment environment. I know I can always count on Andrew for prompt and detailed guidance on issues of any complexity. He is a pleasure to work with, and we feel extremely fortunate to have him as a resource.”
Employment Law Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple has been helping me with legal matters for many years now. Andrew has provided top shelf service and advice whenever I need it. He is very thorough and extremely responsive, there is absolutely no down time waiting on a response. When scheduling conflicts arise I was represented by Attorney Steve Weil and received the same service. I am extremely grateful to have these guys behind me while navigating through legal cases, I highly recommend using Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P.C.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have had the privilege of working with Attorney Andrew Kepple on many landlord tenant cases. Managing multiple sites as a landlord, I find myself in need of legal assistance quite often. The needs of my organization can range from a simple legal notice to a more involved eviction case requiring litigation. All of my requests are handled in a timely manner. Andrew is always quick to respond, thorough and professional. I have also had the pleasure of working with Attorneys Lori Atkins Drayton and Steven Weil who are both outstanding.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple is always prompt and knowledgeable when we reach out to him with a concern or issue. His professional and friendly manner make him a pleasure to work with and we trust him as a valued resource for conducting our business.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have had the pleasure of working with Steve Weil for the past 11 years for all of my legal issues at my properties. He and his colleagues are true professionals, extremely knowledgeable, and well respected by his peers and the courts. They are always very responsive and helpful with our needs or questions. I have the utmost respect for Steve and his colleagues and I am very grateful for all of their assistance. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing legal advice.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have had the pleasure of working with Attorney Andrew Kepple for many years now. He is always very prompt in responding, even after hours and always acts in our best interest. Even through the strangest of situations Attorney Kepple has consistently helped me work through them and always helped me upkeep my confidence. I have learned so much in the past year working with him and hope to continue to do so.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I couldn’t have been happier with having Steve Weil represent me in a superior court law suit. He was extremely prepared, fantastic in court, and kept me informed and updated every step of the way. Anyone that has Steve represent them is in extremely good hands.”

“Attorney Michelle Raymond’s calm, confident manner was deeply reassuring to me, both in individual meetings and in Court. She guided me to the resources and support I needed during extraordinarily challenging times. Additionally, both cases were handled in a timely and favorably effective manner.”

Divorce Client

“Steven Weil is a highly capable and caring professional who represented me from 2002-2004 and again recently in 2016. He protected my assets and interests in a lengthy and difficult case. In meetings, depositions and in court, I was always proud to have him as my representative, and can recommend him without reservation.”

“Steve Weil handled our legal matters in a sensitive and caring manner. He educated us throughout the process, helped us to know what to expect, and acted with the utmost integrity at every turn. The outcome was favorable, and I have to believe that much of that was a result of the way in which Attorney Weil conducted himself with all parties throughout a lengthy process. He is a professional who quickly gains the respect of clients, peers, and opposing parties. We would recommend him with much enthusiasm.”

Our Clients' Thoughts

“Thank you, Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, for your guidance and knowledge during a difficult process for me. You have made this process much more bearable.”
Divorce Client

“It was a pleasure working with you, Michelle Raymond. I don’t think things could have gone much smoother. Thank you for everything. ”
Mediation client

“Thanks again to all of you for a well-executed team effort in trial preparation, and the negotiated settlement precluding a trial.”
Divorce Client – Robert

“As a collaborative divorce and co-parenting coach and mediator, I have had the privilege of working with Michelle Raymond, Esq. on dozens of cases over the past decade. I have always been impressed by her skills and her capacity to collaborate and work with other professionals, her ability to listen to not only the words clients use, but the important messages underneath, and in her dedication to helping clients (even in the most complicated of cases) to stay focused and work toward resolution. I am pleased to say that while serving as a collaborative divorce coach on numerous cases with Michelle, all were resolved successfully and peacefully. ”
Betsy Ross, LICSW, CGP, Collaborative and Co-parenting Coach, Divorce and Family Mediator, Licensed Psychotherapist.

“I just want to thank you, Michelle Raymond, so much for your assistance with the settlement. . . You made the process as pleasant as possible. I never expected a divorce would be part of my life story, however, I sure am glad that YOU were part of the process. I am looking forward to a life of peace and happiness now. You are wonderful and I consider you to be a blessing in my life.”
Mediation client

“I would recommend Attorney Michelle Raymond as an attorney to anyone needing mediation or legal advice on divorce. Divorce is stressful and emotional and throughout the process of my divorce, Michelle had my best interests at heart. She has a calm yet confident demeanor and is always focused and professional. I found her to be very patient in answering all my questions and returned calls and emails in a timely manner.”
Divorce Client – Sharon

“I call Michelle “The Closer”. So many of my clients find themselves frustrated and “stuck” in their legal processes. Once I refer them to Attorney Michelle Raymond – who is savvy and not interested in the typical attorney -who-wants-your-money, thing, they find immediate and effective results. Michelle truly knows how to get the job done, as effectively as possible, so divorcing women can MOVE ON and begin their new lives.”
Linda Waters, Founder Back to Business LLC

“I hired Attorney Michelle M. Raymond after interviewing multiple attorneys when going through divorce in 2001/2002 and continue to connect as needed. She is an advocate for families; she believes in keeping the interests of the whole family in mind through every step. Michelle continues to impress me with her calm, confident demeanor and ability to make suggestions and guide with integrity in any situation. She is not easily intimidated. She knows the law and is resourceful when looking for options.”
Divorce Client Louise

“Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, you were all anyone could ask for in a lawyer, while going through a traumatic and gut-wrenching process. Your legal acumen, guidance and advice ensured I would have a financially secure future. But, on a more personal level, your support and encouragement made all the difference in my perception of myself and my abilities. In large part due to you I am very excited about this new phase of my life. I thank you every day for my whole new life.”
Collaborative Law Divorce Client

“I am so grateful for you, Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, and for your support and expertise in navigating this divorce. The fact that the whole thing moved forward with such efficiency is remarkable. Thank you for making that magic happen.”
Divorce Client

“From the start Attorney Michelle Raymond made me feel comfortable. She listened to my story and thoroughly explained the process. She knew how to calm me down and helped me stay focused so that I could get through the ordeal of my divorce. Her calm and professional demeanor along with her skills and sense of humor make her a powerhouse attorney who I was happy to have on my side. Attorney Raymond was well prepared for court and clearly loves her job helping her clients. I know that I made the right decision in retaining her.”
Divorce client – Phyllis

“Thank you, Attorney Melissa Howitt, for all of your help. You are so conscientious and did a fantastic job for us. Your demeanor and instincts were such a factor in moving this all along, and I appreciate all you have done.”
Estate Planning Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple has been a pleasure to work with. Always super responsive and on his A-game, Andrew is a true professional and has helped us immensely through some tough cases. We highly recommend him and his law firm.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have worked with various attorneys at Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan and Cannon, P.C. over the past seven years on many cases. They are always extremely organized and quick to respond. The attorneys are very knowledgeable and are able to offer advice and guidance on all of the cases that we have handled together. They really do go above and beyond to ensure that they are giving the very best legal service to me and my company as clients.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple is a professional who is passionate about helping his clients. He has been very caring while providing expert advice in decision making with regards to my case. He works hard and cares about his clients’ success.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple has been our go-to on all employment related issues for several years. He is always thorough in his responses and recommendations which is critical in today’s employment environment. I know I can always count on Andrew for prompt and detailed guidance on issues of any complexity. He is a pleasure to work with, and we feel extremely fortunate to have him as a resource.”
Employment Law Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple has been helping me with legal matters for many years now. Andrew has provided top shelf service and advice whenever I need it. He is very thorough and extremely responsive, there is absolutely no down time waiting on a response. When scheduling conflicts arise I was represented by Attorney Steve Weil and received the same service. I am extremely grateful to have these guys behind me while navigating through legal cases, I highly recommend using Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P.C.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have had the privilege of working with Attorney Andrew Kepple on many landlord tenant cases. Managing multiple sites as a landlord, I find myself in need of legal assistance quite often. The needs of my organization can range from a simple legal notice to a more involved eviction case requiring litigation. All of my requests are handled in a timely manner. Andrew is always quick to respond, thorough and professional. I have also had the pleasure of working with Attorneys Lori Atkins Drayton and Steven Weil who are both outstanding.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“Attorney Andrew Kepple is always prompt and knowledgeable when we reach out to him with a concern or issue. His professional and friendly manner make him a pleasure to work with and we trust him as a valued resource for conducting our business.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have had the pleasure of working with Steve Weil for the past 11 years for all of my legal issues at my properties. He and his colleagues are true professionals, extremely knowledgeable, and well respected by his peers and the courts. They are always very responsive and helpful with our needs or questions. I have the utmost respect for Steve and his colleagues and I am very grateful for all of their assistance. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing legal advice.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I have had the pleasure of working with Attorney Andrew Kepple for many years now. He is always very prompt in responding, even after hours and always acts in our best interest. Even through the strangest of situations Attorney Kepple has consistently helped me work through them and always helped me upkeep my confidence. I have learned so much in the past year working with him and hope to continue to do so.”
Landlord/Tenant Client

“I couldn’t have been happier with having Steve Weil represent me in a superior court law suit. He was extremely prepared, fantastic in court, and kept me informed and updated every step of the way. Anyone that has Steve represent them is in extremely good hands.”

“Attorney Michelle Raymond’s calm, confident manner was deeply reassuring to me, both in individual meetings and in Court. She guided me to the resources and support I needed during extraordinarily challenging times. Additionally, both cases were handled in a timely and favorably effective manner.”

Divorce Client

“Steven Weil is a highly capable and caring professional who represented me from 2002-2004 and again recently in 2016. He protected my assets and interests in a lengthy and difficult case. In meetings, depositions and in court, I was always proud to have him as my representative, and can recommend him without reservation.”

“Steve Weil handled our legal matters in a sensitive and caring manner. He educated us throughout the process, helped us to know what to expect, and acted with the utmost integrity at every turn. The outcome was favorable, and I have to believe that much of that was a result of the way in which Attorney Weil conducted himself with all parties throughout a lengthy process. He is a professional who quickly gains the respect of clients, peers, and opposing parties. We would recommend him with much enthusiasm.”

Our Legal Team

Dedicated professionals working together to guide you through all your legal options.

Take the First Step

Resolution starts with a conversation. Contact us today for a consultation. 

 

Our Office Location

Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, PC
Massachusetts Attorneys at Law
124 Grove Street Suite #220
Franklin, MA 02038

Toll Free 508-541-3000

Get to know DCDC Law