Related Legal Services

Gilmore, Rees & Carlson provides services in several areas of the law that are related to our core trust and estate practice.

We bring a detailed and customized approach that is based upon the specific needs of each individual client. These services include: Business Advice, Transactions, Asset Sales and Purchases; Business Entity Selection, Structuring and Formation; Family Business Success Planning; and Guardianships and Conservatorships.

Guardianships and Conservatorships

There may come a time when a family member, loved one or friend is unable to make decisions about his or her personal welfare, health or finances. This inability may stem from the natural aging process, a developmental delay, an illness or simply being a minor. When these circumstances arise, it may be necessary to seek a court appointment as a guardian or conservator in order to help this person.

 

Under current Massachusetts law, a court appointed guardian is authorized only to make decisions regarding the incapacitated person’s physical health [and well being(?)]. A conservator, on the other hand, is responsible solely for financial decisions. In many instances, both roles should and can be sought together.

 

Seeking appointment as a guardian or conservator is not to be taken lightly, because acting as guardian and/or conservator involves significant responsibilities. For the individual in need of the guardian and/or conservator, it represents a substantial loss of independence and control. For this reason, the attorneys at Gilmore, Rees & Carlson will carefully consider the procedure, requirements and possible alternatives in detail. When it is determined that a guardianship or conservatorship is the appropriate solution, our team of experienced attorneys and paralegals work closely with the client to obtain the best possible results in the most efficient manner possible.

 

Our attorneys help tailor guardianships to meet the specific needs of the incapacitated or protected person. For example, a person who is not capable of making sophisticated medical decisions may be fully capable of completing the routine tasks of daily living. In that scenario, the request for a limited guardianship can be made. Under some circumstances, which include placement in a nursing facility, the administration of antipsychotic medication and extraordinary medical treatment, we assist clients in obtaining legally required court approvals in the form of a guardianship appointment with special authority.

 

For many of our clients, execution of a living will and health care proxy, along with a durable power of attorney can eliminate the need for appointment of a guardian or conservator. If those documents are not in place and a person loses the capacity to make decisions, or if the need for assistance with decision making becomes clear, our attorneys will assist with all phases of the appointment process, as well as compliance with the ongoing requirements of the probate court.

Business Entity Selection, Structuring and Formation

Gilmore, Rees & Carlson, P.C. attorneys help clients choose, structure and organize entities to meet the specific needs, objectives and goals of their businesses. Our team efficiently structures organizations and operations for new business entities, existing real estate holding entities, corporations and limited liability companies. We work with each client to understand their unique requirements, guiding them on how to properly operate his or her new form of entity and provide counsel on a variety of factors related to liability and control issues, in addition to choosing the appropriate entity to match our client’s specific needs.

Family Business Succession Planning

Family businesses are unique. The successful transition of a family business to the next generation always requires a truly customized plan. Our attorneys have extensive experience advising families with respect to the diverse issues impacting business succession. We help business owners and other constituents anticipate and negotiate the challenges associated with such a task. From technical, estate and gift tax and liquidity issues to more personal questions related to the timing and shifting of control, we help our clients identify potential problems and create plans to maintain family harmony, allow the business to operate in a healthy environment and ultimately see a family legacy continue for future generations.

 

For some families, the business succession hurdles primarily involve administrative issues, such as how to spread control among several new owners (of the next generation) and address the need for a new or modified corporate governance to reflect such changes. As the next generation becomes more involved, we can help you anticipate control issues and draft new corporate documents to reduce, or even eliminate, potential management impasses that can hurt any business.

 

In other situations, the main concern may be over estate tax liability, and how the family can bear the tax burden without jeopardizing the business itself. Our extensive experience in estate planning includes employing a number of different techniques for reducing estate taxes on businesses, delaying and stretching the payment of those taxes, and even creating structures to help pay the taxes when they come due.

 

Lastly, for some families, questions relating to business succession do not stem from technical or tax related issues, but rather personal concerns among the various family members. We help our clients recognize areas of potential friction among the next generation and craft plans that work to eliminate those pitfalls before they create rifts, which are sometimes the product of such changes in a family business. This often includes finding ways for parents to fairly provide for children who are not active in the business.