How a supplemental needs trust can help parents of disabled children

If you have a child or other family member with a disability that qualifies for SSI and/or MassHealth benefits, you may already be familiar with special needs trusts (SNTs). If you are going to leave assets or life insurance proceeds to such a family member when you pass, or if you are giving such a family member monetary gifts, it is essential that you plan in advance! Here are a few key points about SNTs and how they can be used in this planning. Continue reading “How a supplemental needs trust can help parents of disabled children”

In Massachusetts, if you have life insurance, consider an ILIT.

An ILIT is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. Used properly, it makes life insurance benefits free from estate tax. Here is why you should consider one if you live in Massachusetts and have life insurance.

Continue reading “In Massachusetts, if you have life insurance, consider an ILIT.”

A Few Simple Rules for Drones

Note: I wrote a blog post some time ago about rules for recreational drone users, and haven’t revisited the subject since. But apparently, based on some pretty off the wall communications I’ve received, this outdated post caused some confusion when an unidentified person tried to use it for a purpose for which it was not intended. Because of this, and because some of the information in the post has been made obsolete by newer rules, I’ve taken the post down.

Register Your Drone Now!

If you’re like me – and by that I mean a photography enthusiast who gets spammed by every retailer of camera stuff out there – you’ll have noticed that the market for civilian drones has really taken off this year. If you haven’t seen these things yet, they’re the small helicopters, usually with cameras mounted, that many photographers and videographers are now using to capture stunning aerial footage and annoy visitors at monuments and tourist attractions.

Unfortunately they have also featured prominently in such recent news gems as “Kentucky Man Shoots Low Flying Drone With a Shotgun,” “Drone Just Barely Misses Austrian Skier” and “Close Calls Between Drones and Planes on the Rise.” Unfortunately, problems are to be expected, since there is no sort of training requirement to buy or use a drone recreationally, but now the inevitable legal backlash is here in the form of new federal regulations.

The one that most concerns most recreational users is registration. All drone owners in the US must register with the FAA and mark their drones with their registration number. Starting February 19th, any unregistered drone use could result in a very stiff fine.

The FAA operates a drone registration web site, and charges $5 per three years. Anybody registering before January 20th will receive a refund of the $5 fee. Registration is per user, not per drone. If you have more than one drone, you only need to go through the registration once and receive a registration number that you can put on all of your drones. If you don’t have a drone but plan to get one, register now to save the $5.

This applies only to drones that weight 250 grams or more, so the smallest toy helicopters do not require registration. It also applies to recreational use only. Commercial users have a more complex registration process and require certifications for the user.


FAA Drone Registration Web Site
Kentucky Man Shoots Low Flying Drone With a Shotgun
Drone Just Barely Misses Austrian Skier
Close Calls Between Drones and Planes on the Rise

Simple estate planning for any age

If you’re like me – too young to be planning retirement – “estate planning” sounds like something grandparents do. That’s true, to a certain point. For most of us, nursing home expenses and estate taxes shouldn’t mean much to us. But there are some simple, inexpensive moves we can make right now that have  lot of potential upside. If you’re married or have kids, own a home or a business, or even if it’s just you, you can make sure that you, your family and your interests are protected.

  1. What happens if you become disabled? This can happen to anybody, at any age, through no fault of their own. Instead of leaving it to chance, or occasionally the courts, a power of attorney, medical proxy and statement of intent, all written in advance, let you decide in advance what happens and who you trust to make important decisions.
  2. What happens to your assets if you get hit by a bus? A simple will, clearly written and consistent with the latest state laws, lets you make those decisions and saves your relatives a lot of time and expense. (Massachusetts overhauled the laws two years ago and a lot of out-of-date forms are floating around.)
  3. Is your home correctly titled? If you own a home, or if you’re planning on buying one, Massachusetts has some simple steps you can take to protect your home from lawsuits.

These simple estate plans only require a few documents and one or two meetings, and the flat fee pricing is affordable. Contact Andrew at or 617-702-4045, or use the contact form below, to find out more or to get started.

This web site is attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Accepting Massachusetts clients only.