Schwartz & SCHWARTZ
ESTATE PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION
Our firm provides a variety of estate planning services. We prepare wills and trusts, documents to minimize or eliminate estate tax liability, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies and living wills. Trusts can be used to accomplish a variety of goals. Some goals involve asset management during your lifetime, while others involve streamlining the process of passing on your assets to your heirs following your death. Some of the most common trusts are those set up for the benefit of minors, estate tax minimization trusts such as marital and life insurance trusts, Medicaid trusts and trusts of the benefit of disabled individuals. By scheduling an appointment, Atty. Schwartz will analyze your personal situation and create the documents that best suit your needs.
We also handle probate work such as guardianships, adoptions, probating of a will or trust after a person’s death, accountings and distributions of an estate. Atty Schwartz will handle the necessary court filings, prepare estate tax returns, assist clients with transferring assets from the decedent’s name to the intended beneficiaries and prepare and file documents at the Registry of Deeds to clear title on real estate following a death. Atty. Schwartz can also help you find qualified professionals to help you appraise estate property values, sell estate property, clear out a loved one’s home, etc. Atty. Schwartz’s goal is to streamline the process for you, to keep it as simple and easy as possible during what is generally a difficult and stressful time.
ELDER LAW and DISABILITY LAW
With proper planning, family members will be able to care for their elders according to the elder’s wishes. Planning in advance also allows elders peace of mind and the ability to protect and preserve assets to pass on to their intended beneficiaries.
The practice of elder law encompasses many of the same tasks as the estate planning services but with a focus directly geared toward senior citizens. In addition to preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills and health care proxies, the office also offers specialized elder law services including Medicaid planning, preparation of MassHealth applications, representation at MassHealth appeals, as well as assistance reviewing and evaluating assisted living and life care community contracts, long term care insurance policies and nursing home contracts. For those elders who are unable to plan prior to becoming incompetent, our office will handle the probate court proceedings needed for someone to become guardian of the disabled individual. Many important Medicaid planning laws changed in 2006 when the Deficit Reduction Act went into effect. Even if you had a plan in place before 2006, you should consult with an attorney to be sure your plan remains effective today.
Individuals who are under age 65 and disabled share many of the same legal needs as senior citizens, especially in regard to the public health benefit arena. Atty. Schwartz works with disabled clients to create special needs trusts as well as to establish guardianships, estate planning petitions and other related areas of concern to the younger disabled individual. Our office is handicap accessible and sensitive to the needs of the elderly and disabled. Home, hospital and nursing home visits can also be arranged for those clients for whom traveling to the office is no longer possible.
Our firm handles commercial and residential real estate issues, including but not limited to, the negotiation and preparation of purchase and sale agreements, handling court actions to clear unmarketable title problems and handling various municipal law land use issues before town zoning, planning and conservation commissions.
For more information about our real estate services, see the discussion under FAQ #12.
LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW
Our firm represents residential and commercial landlords and tenants. For landlords, we prepare all the documents you need to comply with Massachusetts landlord-tenant law and will educate you about the state’s landlord laws and requirements. We’ll help you screen prospective tenants and prepare leases for you. For tenants, we’ll review and revise leases and advise you of your legal rights as a tenant in Massachusetts. Our goal is to offer a successful rental experience for both the landlord and the tenant. However, sometimes in spite of proper planning, the relationship deteriorates. Should that happen, we can prepare and pursue eviction proceedings for the landlord or defend eviction proceedings for the tenant.
Our firm provides a wide variety of legal services for our corporate clients including, but not limited to, determining the best type of entity for them, whether it be a corporation, limited liability company, s-corporation, partnership or any other organizational entity that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows. We prepare Articles of Organization, Operating Agreements, Buy-Sell Agreements, Purchase and Sale Agreements, as well as Business Lease Agreements and Partnership Agreements. We can assist you with contract drafting and document review and will be happy to address your non-litigation business needs. For more information on this topic, see the discussion under FAQ #14.