Elder & Disability Law

Our team of six experienced attorneys and four paralegals concentrates in the law affecting elders and persons with disabilities. We coordinate the use of private resources with public benefits to meet clients’ long-term medical and other special needs. With our extensive expertise in Medicaid (MassHealth), Medicare, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and subsidized housing law, we develop individualized estate plans for elders, people with disabilities, and families with children who have special needs. Such plans may include the preparation of legal documents, such as wills with testamentary trusts, supplemental trusts, special needs trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies, and medical directives. Plans could also include the preparation of a Medicaid application for nursing homes or community services, or a Social Security application or appeal. We review contracts for admission to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement communities. We also advise plaintiffs with disabilities on structuring personal injury settlements that do not interfere with public benefits. 

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Estate Planning

In estate planning as in all our areas of practice, we believe that each client has unique and special needs, deserving special attention. We believe that planning must take tax issues into consideration, but not be driven by them to the extent of undercutting personal goals and preferences involving control, access and flexibility. We believe that effective estate planning should focus as much on the marshaling of human resources in the selection of trustees, health care agents and other fiduciaries, as on financial resources.

We are ready to help a client who wants a simple will, but at the same time we have the expertise to design a sophisticated estate plan with trusts to take advantage of state and federal estate tax exemptions and deductions, to protect assets if the surviving spouse needs long-term care, and to protect young or disabled children or future generations. Retirement plans, including IRAs, represent a significant portion of the estates for many of our clients. We evaluate the death benefit options for such plans, and tailor revocable trusts and beneficiary designations to achieve the client’s estate planning goals and favorable income tax results. We believe also that estate planning must comprehensively address life-time concerns as well as disposition on death, whether the need is for a durable power of attorney and health care proxy to enable the client to safeguard his or her interests in the event of future incapacity, or for maximizing resources for medical and support services to meet a need for long-term care. What distinguishes our practice is our capacity to creatively address client concerns about special, personal, and family circumstances.

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Trust & Estate Administration

We have experienced attorneys and paralegals dedicated solely to the representation of executors, administrators, trustees, guardians, conservators and beneficiaries of estates. This area includes the probate of estates, administration of trusts, and related probate and equity matters. We work to carry out a decedent’s intent in a manner that encourages positive family relationships. Our attorneys are able to minimize taxation and protect assets, and have the expertise to engage in sophisticated post-mortem planning, which includes disclaimers, creditor-protection techniques, and estate recovery negotiations.

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Real Estate and Development

The Real Estate and Development Group at RF&L brings years of experience to bear on client needs. Some of our clients need help with a relatively straightforward residential home purchase. Others need commercial and residential leases. Some want to explore condominium conversion. Others are principals in commercial developments involving complex zoning, financial and environmental considerations. Whatever the client's real estate and development needs, we have the capacity and commitment to give them the individualized attention they need.

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246 Walnut Street, Newton, MA 02460 | 617 964 7000