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