I grew up with my parents and two brothers in Wyckoff, New Jersey. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 1974, where I was also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. I hold a law degree from Washington and Lee University (cum laude) and a Masters of Law (LLM) in Taxation from Boston University. I am admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
I first concentrated in estate planning while an Associate at the law firm of Hamblett and Kerrigan in Nashua. I enjoyed this area of law because I liked working with real people and real issues. I soon recognized that while wealthy people were routinely securing the benefit of trusts in avoiding probate and taxes, people of moderate means were not availing themselves of the same benefits. In particular, a major concern of mine was folks confronted with a nursing-home stay. In addition to “losing” a parent or spouse to a physical or mental disability, in my opinion, it gets unfairly compounded by economic impoverishment. I became particularly active in the area of nursing-home asset preservation in the mid-1990s when I served as Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Elder Law Committee.
What I saw is that “regular” retired folks had little access to expensive estate-planning legal services, and yet I could see that they had worked hard to save their whole lives, and were just looking for a fair deal. They wanted to be treated with equality in a system that seemed to favor people on the two ends of the economic spectrum: the wealthy, and those -who through bad luck or other misfortune – simply had nothing to lose. It was a system that crushed people in the middle, folks who just wanted to pass on their house or a modest inheritance to their children. This group was always at gravest risk of losing everything to a nursing home and wanted to avoid the hassles, costs, and time delays of probate.
I strove to expose this injustice by writing articles on the concept, “trusts for the average person,” which I later expanded into a book. In 1991, I established my own firm that focused solely on estate planning in this niche: for retired folks of average income. My three underlying concepts were that no one should pay unnecessary taxes, be subjected to the time delay costs and publicity of probate, or be wiped out by a prolonged nursing-home stay. These tenets have since served as the foundation for estate planning services to thousands of regular people throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
I live in Bedford, NH, with my wife, Maria. I like traveling out west to Yellowstone National Park and visit there as often as I can to take in the wildlife and fly-fish on Slough Creek and the Madison River. I am an avid sports fan, especially of college basketball and the New York Yankees (even in New England!) During my free time, I enjoy fishing on Lake Horace in Weare, golfing, and being with my wife, children, and five grandchildren.