Trusts, Estates, and Taxes

The firm's trusts and estates group provides a comprehensive range of legal services to assist our clients in the management of their assets and estates, including estate planning, tax consultation and business succession planning. We work closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and objectives and draft individualized documents, including wills trusts, healthcare proxies and power of attorneys, designed to meet their objectives and minimize or avoid taxes and expenses. We counsel our high net worth clients in sophisticated estate planning practices utilizing established and approved methods of minimizing estate taxes including, irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable lead and remainder trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained income and annuity trusts, dynasty trusts, family limited partnerships, family foundations and planned gifting programs. We also draft specialized trust documents to address the needs of individuals with disabilities or to preserve the estate assets in the event of prolonged illness or incapacity.

The firm also provides a full range of services for the probate and administration of estates. We represent our clients in their capacity as executors, administrators or beneficiaries of the estate. We are sensitive to the needs and issues that arise during this often difficult period and work to efficiently and professionally complete the probate process and resolve any issues or disputes that occur during this time. The firm also provides counsel and advice to clients regarding post mortem planning options that may meet their objectives or reduce taxes. We prepare when necessary all state and federal estate tax, and income tax, returns and represent the client if any of the returns are audited.

The firm offers other probate services including appointments of guardians or conservators, and approval of estate plans for individuals that lack the required legal capacity to execute these documents individually. We can also provide continuing administrative and accounting services for trustees, guardians and conservators. The firm also counsels fiduciaries of all types on their legal obligations including permissible investment practices.

If you have specific questions regarding our Trusts, Estates & Taxes practice's capabilities, please contact:

Donald L. Graham
617-479-5000
dgraham@mhtl.com

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St. Mary's Center for Women and Children Diamonds of Dorchester

On October 20, 2016, Attorney Katherine Hesse introduced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at the annual St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children Diamonds of Dorchester event which was held at the Westin Copley Place.  Ms. Hesse currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children which focuses on offering innovative and family-centered programs for women and children who have experienced trauma and are living in poverty.  As Governor Baker noted, the St. Mary’s Center has been known for “healing” for well over 100 years.   According to Attorney Hesse, “of the many charities in which I have been involved over the last 40 years of my professional career, St. Mary’s is closest to my heart.”  Other highlights of the evening included Lorrie Higgins receiving the John M. Corcoran Award for Excellence based upon her advocacy of and commitment in helping those most vulnerable in our community.  Over six hundred individuals attended the event, which raised approximately $500,000 for the women and children who rely upon the center.  

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Legal Updates

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

In a much anticipated ruling,the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued a decision recognizing a potential claim for disability discrimination if an employer terminates or otherwise takes an adverse employment action against an employee who uses lawfully prescribed medicinal marijuana while off-duty.   In short, this decision prohibits blanket restrictions on the off-duty use of marijuana and requires employers to engage in an interactive process to determine whether the off-duty use of lawfully prescribed medical marijuana may be a reasonable accommodation under Massachusetts anti-discrimination law, M.G.L. c. 151B.

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