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ABOUT OUR FIRM

AndoverLaw, P.C. is conveniently located at One Elm Square, Andover, Massachusetts. Our attorneys practice in the areas related to the protection of elders and the conservation of their assets. Our practice areas include estate planning, probate, estate administration, guardianships, conservatorships, Medicaid planning, Medicaid applications and Medicaid appeals. A significant portion of our practice involves recovering assets improperly taken from elders.

We also practice in those areas which are naturally related to the core of our practice. For example, we do estate planning and special needs planning for individuals of all ages. We handle will contests and contest other non-probate transfers where the property owner was incompetent or under undue influence. In addition, we represent nursing homes in those cases where assets were fraudulently transferred leaving incompetent elders stranded, indigent and yet unable to qualify for government benefits.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

Estate Planning

1) An elderly woman with two children came to us to help her with her estate. She had two children, one with addiction problems and the other with a disability which leaves him unable to effectively manage money. We drafted a will and trust to manage her affairs. She died about eight years ago. Ever since then, we have, through our associated company, Oak Fiduciary Services, Corp., managed her funds, paid the rent for her daughter, and provided her son with a regular monthly income.

2) A young couple came in with two children. One is profoundly disabled. We drafted wills, trusts, powers of attorney and advanced directives. The wills nominate a guardian in the event both parents die. In that event, the life insurance and other assets are split into separate trusts. In the case of the disabled child, a Supplemental Needs Trust was established which will coordinate with government benefits to provide the child with a better life style for her life. In the case of the well child, a trust was set up which will provide for his education, and eventually distribute his inheritance to him in thirds at ages 25, 30 and 35. Everything remains in the family. Family members act as trustees and guardian.

3) A couple in their fifties came to us as a result of the death of their son. He died in an auto accident leaving a young child and a million dollars (the result of his wrongful death suit). The son was very close to his daughter. However, the child's mother is a spendthrift. We petitioned the Court to set up a trust for the benefit of the child. The trust owns the house the child lives in, will pay for her education, may pay for necessary medical expenses and will eventually distribute the money to her when she is old enough to manage it. A bank acts as trustee. But, the court has ordered that the grandparents will continue to act as monitors of the financial situation. They receive regular reports from the trustee and are consulted regarding distributions. (For example, they have recently approved the expenditure of trust funds to pay for orthodontic work.)

4) A successful semi-retired professor and inventor was entering into a second marriage. We worked with him to develop a plan which reduced his taxable estate through sale of quickly appreciating inventions to children. The sale is funded by a long term note from the children to their father. We coupled the note with a long term gifting arrangement which forgives the payments due on the note annually. The net result is a tax free transfer of a substantial and rapidly appreciating asset from father to children.
At the same time, we coordinated with a family law attorney to negotiate a prenuptial agreement with the new spouse. The result is a complete estate and family plan which protects all family members (new and old) with very positive tax results.

Protection of Elders

5) An elderly couple had little other than a home which they purchased in 1954. Their daughter died of cancer. Their (ex) son-in-law, using forged deeds and mortgages, took their home. We proved the forgeries in Superior Court and recovered the home.

6) Retired union worker with a pension was an alcoholic and estranged from his wife. He suffered from a temporary alcohol induced dementia. The hospital located his wife and had her appointed as his guardian. She put him in a nursing home and refused to let him free or to give him his own income. After he recovered, at the request of his doctors, we took the case, had the guardianship dismissed and restored his freedom.

7) Client was a health care professional who supported her elderly and disabled parents in a specially designed wing of her home. Her sister, who hadn't seen the parents for years, brought false charges of abuse for the purpose of taking over the elders financial affairs. When the caretaker child was at work, the police came in and physically removed the parents to a hospital for 'testing'. We immediately subpoenaed the home health workers who had been providing regular care and the elder services representatives who had already investigated claims by the wayward sister. The following morning, the Court ordered that the parents would be immediately allowed to return to the caretaker child's home.

Fiduciary Litigation

8) Mother was aging, yet still aware of her affairs. Father, who had been completely in charge of the family affairs and business died. Daughter convinced mother that her brother's wife had stolen a dinner plate. As a result, she convinced mother to change her will completely disinheriting her brother. She then assumed complete control of her mother's affairs and refused to let her brother see Mother. Mother died shortly thereafter.
We represented the brother, proved the undue influence, and had the new will declared null and void.

9) A reputable old bank trust department was named trustee of a trust designed to provide income for life to a widow. (Her husband knew if the funds weren't in trust she would quickly have nothing.) The trustees ignored the requirement to provide income for life and distributed nearly the entire trust to her over three years. We became successor counsel after her attorney died and after the case had been dismissed. We were able to revive the suit and, approximately a year later, the bank agreed to fund the trust to one-half of its original value.

10) The nephew of a demented woman had her deed her house to him and executed phony mortgages. She was left penniless in a nursing home with no ability to qualify for Medicaid. We sued and obtained a return of all of her property. The nursing home was paid in full.

11) Two sisters put their mother in a nursing home. One took her money, the other took her house. She was left penniless with no way to pay for her care. We sued and recovered the assets. The nursing home was paid in full.