The 30 Minute Free Consultation (Available for MA Cases Only)back to top
I offer a free 30-minute consultation. Many attorneys do the same.

PLEASE NOTE: This free consultation is only available to residents of or cases concerning Massachusetts.

This is an opportunity for you to make sure that you are going to get the best possible legal representation – and maximizes the cost-effectiveness of that representation.

Use the consultation wisely!

Goals

At the end of the consultation, you should know:
  • Whether the attorney is the best attorney for you in this particular case, or if someone else is more appropriate to represent you.

  • Whether you are comfortable working with the attorney, and whether she (or he) is comfortable working with you.

  • What to expect -- what will likely happen, what you will need to do, and what the attorney can do for you.

  • How to proceed in the most effective, and cost-effective manner.

  • Whether you should make a decision to proceed.


Do's and Don’ts

Do start as early as possible in the process – even if you don’t have all the facts.

Do write down as much as possible in advance.

Do have some idea of what you want to achieve.

Do have a list of facts (such as names and addresses of necessary parties) and a list of questions.

Do make sure that the attorney is aware of all potential problems and issues. (Future surprises are expensive.)

Do evaluate the attorney, your comfort level working with the attorney, and your willingness to do the homework the attorney may assign to you. (Be critical – it’s in your interest.)

Don't use the time trying to get “free” legal advice or to negotiate a lower hourly rate during the consultation. (You’d be wasting the opportunity to save much more in the long run.)

Don't drift from the task at hand. (Concentrate on the particular case, and what you want to achieve.)

Don't retell a lot of sad stories -- tell the stories once if they are important or if the stories affect the case at hand. (A bartender or a member of the clergy costs a lot less per hour than an attorney to handle this task.)

Don't exceed the 30-minute length of the consultation. (Try to be efficient and achieve all that is necessary within the 30 minutes.)

Important!

A good attorney will quickly refer you to another attorney if she (or he) thinks that the other attorney can better serve you. When such a referral is made, it is not an insult. Rather, it shows that the attorney is looking at your best interests rather than at an opportunity to bill you.


Real Estate Law                                back to top
I can take you from the pre-planning stage through completion of a real estate transaction.

There are three attorney roles in a typical real estate transaction:

Buyers’ Attorney
  • Explains the entire process in advance and provides initial advice.

  • Can help find the appropriate realtor, lender and home inspector.

  • Can review and advise on Offer to Purchase.

  • Reviews condominium documents as necessary.

  • Makes sure Purchase and Sales Agreement protects Buyer and is not overly slanted toward Seller.

  • Advises on resolution of issues raised during home inspection.

  • Reviews HUD Settlement Statement and makes sure all charges to Buyer are proper.

  • Anticipates, and resolves in advance, issues that may arise at closing.

  • Attends closing and advises Buyer on documents as necessary.

Seller’s Attorney
  • Explains the entire process in advance and provides initial advice.

  • Reviews – and advises on – any agreements between realtor and seller.

  • Writes and/or reviews and revises Purchase and Sales Agreement to minimize Seller’s exposure.

  • Holds Buyer’s deposit in escrow until closing.

  • Provides documentation to resolve any defects in Seller’s title.

  • Prepares deed.

  • Reviews HUD Settlement Statement and makes sure all charges to Seller are proper.

  • Attends closing and advises Seller on all documents.

  • Represents Seller at closing under power of attorney if Seller is unable or prefers not to attend the closing.

Lender’s Attorney
  • Has title researched and reviews it thoroughly.

  • Obtains Municipal Lien Certificate, mortgage payoff statements, and other documentation in order to ensure clear title.

  • Prepares HUD Settlement Statement documenting all elements of the financial transaction.

  • Conducts closing.

  • Ensures that the mortgage is funded and mortgage and other documents are properly recorded before disbursing funds.

  • Pays off Seller’s mortgages, liens and taxes as necessary.

  • Disburses funds.

  • Writes Lender’s title insurance policy.

  • Can also write Owner’s title insurance policy for Buyer if requested at the same time.

Involve your attorney at the earliest possible opportunity.

To avoid uncertainty and achieve continuous representation throughout the purchase, a Buyer should ask his or her lender if Buyer’s attorney can also be Lender’s attorney.


Reverse Mortgages                          back to top
Improve your quality of life.   Squeeze the equity out of your house.

A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows seniors to use the equity they have accumulated in their home to get rid of financial barriers and continue to live independently in their home.

This financial freedom often improves the quality of their lives.

A reverse mortgage is an option for homeowners 62 years or older who wish to access the equity in their home without obtaining a home equity loan or selling the home.

A reverse mortgage uses the equity built up in the home to give the homeowner cash for any purpose, including making the home more livable and senior-friendly.

Cash can be received in monthly payments to the homeowner, a line of credit, lump sum payments, or a combination of these options.

Other Important Facts:
  • You make no monthly payments.

  • All borrowers must be 62 or over.

  • There are no income qualifications – not income based.

  • No tax consequences – this is not income.

  • The reverse mortgage is guaranteed by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

  • You own your home – the bank does not.

  • You will never owe more than the value of your home.

  • Maximum loan amount is based on a percentage of the appraised value of your home, but is capped at $362,790 for Plymouth, Norfolk and Barnstable Counties under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.

  • No repayment until the home is sold, the borrower(s) have been gone from the house for more than 12 months, or after the last borrower’s death, at which point the borrower’s heirs can sell the house or repay the loan and keep the house.

  • Closing costs and fees can be financed as part of the loan.

You are not spending your children’s inheritance. A reverse mortgage may actually increase their inheritance by making necessary repairs to the home while improving your quality of life. That takes a big burden off your childrens' minds.

Involve your attorney early in the process – before you pick a lender.


Homesteads                                       back to top
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Wills                                                      back to top
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Probate of Estates                            back to top
Administration of an estate is the most complex legal process that many people will encounter.

Why is this?
  • The amount of information gathering, attention to detail and “number crunching” can be overwhelming.

  • The intricacies of the Probate Court can be frightening.

  • The length of the process can be discouraging.

How and when does one start?
  • Start at once. Sadly, the days immediately before and after the funeral provide the best opportunities to gather some of the critical details.

  • Get as many death certificates as the funeral home will allow, as soon as the funeral home will give them to you.

  • Locate the Will. While a copy will be helpful, the Probate Court requires the original document.

  • Get the exact names and addresses (and phone numbers and social security numbers, if possible) for anyone who might be an heir. Accuracy and detail is important.

What about the attorney?
  • You do not have to choose the attorney who wrote the Will.

  • Choose your attorney with great care.

  • Choose an attorney you feel comfortable with and can work closely with.

  • Choose an attorney who gives attention to detail, and who has considerable experience in the Probate Court.

  • Involve the attorney at the earliest possible time – even if you do not yet have much of the needed information about the estate.



Health Care Proxies                         back to top
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Durable Power Of Attorney            back to top
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General Practice                                back to top
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