Practice Areas

Real Estate

I am both a Real Estate Attorney and Licensed Real Estate Broker in Massachusetts (co-own Labrava Realty, LLC). I represent Buyers and Sellers as their Attorney in residential real estate transactions for purchase or sale and as their Real Estate Broker in residential and commercial transactions. Note: Dual agency is an option, meaning that you may elect for Seller’s and or Buyer’s Attorney fees be paid out of commission earned on the purchase or sale of real estate (provided at no additional cost) if you hire me to list your home for sale or help secure a home for purchase as your broker.
From Offer to closing I will work with you as well as with the real estate agents (if applicable), mortgage brokers/loan officers and closing and other attorneys involved in the transaction to ensure both that your rights and interests are represented and protected and that the closing process runs as smooth and as efficient as possible. Please call or email to inquire about information specific to your needs.

Estate Planning

Estate planning allows an individual to coordinate the fulfillment of lifetime objectives; to provide directives for the distribution of their assets and personal property after their death; to take care of their family after they’re gone; and retain and protect hard earned income and assets. Planning now also allows individuals to make medical decisions–to give directives and outlined wishes concerning any medical treatment should they become incapacitated in any way, thereby alleviating loved ones from having to make such difficult decisions on their own–and to appoint and authorize in advance, individuals to carry out those directives and wishes under a power of attorney.
Estate planning services include preparation of Living Wills, Last Will and Testaments, Trusts, Trustee Certificates, Health Care Proxies, HIPPA Releases and Durable Power of Attorneys, as well as Deeds when necessary. Please call or email to inquire about flat rate fees for estate planning packages.

Probate

If someone passes away and either has a Last Will & Testament to be carried out and or has assets that haven’t automatically been transferred as an operation of law (ex. a joint tenant on a deed or joint account holder or beneficiary on a financial account), probating their estate is required by law. Will or no Will, I can represent the estate of the decedent in filing with the correct Probate & Family Court of Massachusetts. While it is possible to do without an attorney it can be incredibly difficult to meet the mandated timelines and requirements for tax filing, notice, publication, accounting, etc. Feel free to call or email me to coordinate a free consult on your case to see if representation may be right for you.

Business Creation

Legal services provided for starting your business (Corporations, LLCs, etc.) includes applying for an Employment Identification Number with the Internal Revenue Service, registering your company with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Applying for tax treatment by the Internal Revenue Service, drafting operating agreements, partnership agreements or articles of organization as well as consultation regarding your business needs, concerns, objectives and options.

Family Law

I work primarily with individuals coordinating, mediating, and/or negotiating a joint filing of Petition for Divorce and Separation Agreement. I do however inevitably spend a fair bit of time in court if necessary on modifications, motions for contempt, custody and family related matters. As a side note, if you’re reading this, I amicably coordinated my own divorce 10+ years ago and I have a step son, so I understand not just the legal side of things, but am also compassionate to the personal side of this process.
Mediation: Making the decisions that affect you, your family and your future.
Most often, while still caught up in the emotions triggered by the beautiful messiness life sometimes provides for us, many individuals move swiftly to file law suits and a legal battle ensues, costing tens of thousands of dollars or more and years of/off your life to get a judgment, sometimes in your favor–made by an individual who knows nothing about you (outside of “relevant” facts proffered during the course of your case), your family or your needs or desires.
Thus, mediation becomes just like the practice of yoga–not easy, but a most empowering process that allows you to actively participate in the resolution and creation of your life. And yes, I both teach yoga and co-own a yoga studio (be. in Union Yoga).
The first and often the biggest step in this process is for clients to acknowledge they play(ed) a role in creating their current place in this world, their life, and the particular situation presented. Second, at some point having acquired most if not all the relevant facts/factors I ask each of the parties involved what it is that they need and or would like. Third, I present what, in general, a court may do, or in other words, what would be a fair and equitable resolution according to Massachusetts law. And then we look at the actual, real world possibilities instead of arguing over ideals and emotions. Once an agreement has been mutually created and accepted by all parties, it is filed with the court and the cost, time and damage of litigation is typically avoided.
In terms a divorce, there are several documents that get filed including Financial Statements for each of party, a Joint Motion for Divorce, an Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown, an original or certified copy of marriage certificate, and a Certificate of Absolute Divorce or Annulment. You can obtain an original marriage certificate from the town clerk at minimal cost.  All other documents I will prepare and or provide and review with you. And in the case of your financial statements, you will provide the information and I will help input numbers and make sense of it for you, as well as print final copies for signature which must be on a particular colored paper depending on which (Long (net income above $75k) or Short (below $75k)) form you file.
The separation Agreement that I prepare for you contains all the necessary legal language which I will go through with you.  Within it I will create exhibits for Child Custody and Support (if applicable)t, Medical Insurance and Uninsured Medical Expenses, Life Insurance (with kids, the judge will have you set up a life insurance policy for each other for the benefit of your minor children ), Alimony and General Laws acknowledgement, Division of Real Estate, Division of Personal Property, and any other exhibits necessary which will outline what you both have agreed to. If there is anything you haven’t considered or thought of yet that needs to be in the Agreement, we’ll cover it–alternating years for claiming dependents for tax purposes for one possible example.
Parents will have to participate in mandatory (per the state of Massachusetts) Parent Education Classes. I can send you the list of approved program providers or you can view the current and approved list of providers at http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt, bottom of page under Divorce Forms.  The certificates are also filed with the divorce.. This can be provoking to be told you have to attend parenting classes, but this is simply a Massachusetts requirement/general attempt at ensuring the welfare of all children.
What I do for you is in essence all the legal work–including all explanation/negotiation/mediation of final terms and preparation and review of all the above mentioned documents–ensuring that within all the legal requirements your mutual terms of agreement, especially concerning your children, are included as you would like them to be carried out. I would need to meet with you initially, or speak with you in some capacity to get your information, dates, names, etc., and the terms you’ve agreed to so that I can draft an initial Agreement we can work from until we have everything in it you need. I will meet you where you feel most comfortable. We would work together to organize and prepare your financial statements.  And at some point, finalize, review and sign all documents for filing.
Once everything is finalized, signed and notarized, you may walk right into the courthouse first thing in the morning and hand the papers to the Probate Registry Clerk who will assign you to a Judge who will walk you through acknowledging that you have read and understood everything have had an opportunity to review or obtain legal counsel. This ceremony if you will, before the Judge takes a couple minutes, give or take. He or she reviews the agreement and terms relating to your children if applicable, and when you’re done, it is entered as an Order and Findings. A couple weeks or less after that the Court will mail to you the Order of Divorce and your divorce will become a final Judgment of Divorce Nisi after 90 days from the date of the Order. Nisi is essentially a legal waiting period.
I typically charge a flat fee based on the particulars of your case.  I have a Fee Agreement for your review and signature. Fee can be estimated upon free consult. Hourly fee is $300 per hour.
I will walk you through this process.  And we can do it in whatever time frame you would like.  Everything gets done when you’re ready.
If you would like to talk further, please feel free to email or call me.  If you get my voice mail, please leave a message and I will always call you back.