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Our Practices

Trusts & Estates

Estate plans preserve and distribute wealth during and beyond a donor’s lifetime. Like individuals, each one is unique.

People spend their lifetimes acquiring, growing and preserving assets. When the time comes to arrange for the safe and orderly transfer of one’s property, we place our trust in the lawyer we choose to solidly and effectively structure the estate plan according to our wishes. Burns & Levinson attorneys counsel many individuals with complex and demanding needs – not only high net worth individuals, but also those with blended families, special needs, heirloom real estate and occupations with a high risk for liability. In each and every case, our attorneys are the architects of estate plans and trusts that integrate particular and unique goals for disposition of wealth, minimization of taxes, and prudent management and control.

Burns & Levinson trusts and estates attorneys consistently use a strategic and multidisciplinary approach involving all aspects of tax, corporate, real estate, and family law, as well as probate, fiduciary and business litigation, that may intersect with an individual’s estate plan. No detail is unattended. The resulting arrangements seamlessly provide an orderly transition of preserved wealth.

We collaborate with our clients’ pre-existing financial advisors, such as long-time and trusted bankers, accountants and financial planners. As skilled as our lawyers are in understanding the bigger picture, we serve to coordinate, simplify and synergize the focused efforts of the financial advisory team, assuring that goals are realized as collaboratively and efficiently as possible.

There are three trusts and estates areas of service where our experience is worthy of special note:

• Burns & Levinson has settled and administered hundreds of decedents’ estates of all sizes and varieties in a careful and cost-effective manner. Our skilled staff of attorneys, paralegals and administrators deals with the countless details required in completing the probate and required tax filings and audits with compassionate attention to the survivors’ needs and concerns.

• Burns & Levinson has been a preeminent law firm for family and closely held businesses in New England since our firm was founded in 1960. Our strategic successes in planning and administering estates, trusts and other arrangements for clients and their families are legendary. We develop and refine creative strategies that address the demanding issues of management, succession and ownership transfer with minimum conflict and maximum benefit.

• We have earned an enviable reputation for astutely advising fiduciaries, both professional and nonprofessional, on the many legal and ethical complexities confronting those who hold property for beneficiaries. Whether the issue is liability, accounting to beneficiaries, or interpreting the provisions of governing documents, we understand the complexities that challenge executors, guardians, conservators, trustees and custodians as they deal with fiduciary responsibility and applicable law.

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The Trusts & Estates Group at Burns & Levinson

Name Title Phone Email
Clifford R. Cohen, Chairman Partner 617.345.3286 ccohen@burnslev.com
Brian D. Bixby Partner 617.345.3360 bbixby@burnslev.com
Benjamin C. Caldwell Associate 401.330.1751 bcaldwell@burnslev.com
Lisa M. Cukier Partner 617.345.3471 lcukier@burnslev.com
Andrea T. Dunbar Associate 617.345.3527 adunbar@burnslev.com
Christine N. Fletcher Partner 617.345.3607 cfletcher@burnslev.com
Nicholas Forgione Partner 617.345.3652 nforgione@burnslev.com
Dianne L. Frade Associate 617.345.3482 dfrade@burnslev.com
Steven C. Goodwin Partner 617.345.3653 sgoodwin@burnslev.com
Tiffany M. Howard Associate 617.345.3212 thoward@burnslev.com
Howard D. Medwed Partner 617.345.3352 hmedwed@burnslev.com
Harry S. Miller Partner 617.345.3236 hmiller@burnslev.com
Mark A. Nowak Partner 617.345.3898 manowak@burnslev.com
Francis E. Perkins, Jr. Partner 617.345.3000 fperkins@burnslev.com
Normand F. Smith Partner 617.345.3234 nsmith@burnslev.com
Malcolm W. Starr Of Counsel 401.861.2601 mstarr@burnslev.com
Melissa E. Sydney Associate 617.345.3232 msydney@burnslev.com