AndoverLaw’s mission is simple

At AndoverLaw, P.C. our mission is simple. We aim to provide our clients with the best legal services available in the areas of
Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Protection of Elders, and Fiduciary Litigation.

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About AndoverLaw, P.C.


AndoverLaw, P.C. is conveniently located at One Elm Square, Andover, Massachusetts. Our attorneys practice in the areas related to the protection of elders and the conservation of their assets. Our practice areas include estate planning, probate, estate administration, guardianships, conservatorships, Medicaid planning, Medicaid applications, Medicaid appeals and Trust administration. A significant portion of our practice involves recovering assets improperly taken from elders.

We also practice in those areas which are naturally related to the core of our practice. For example, we do estate planning and special needs planning for individuals of all ages. We handle will contests and contest other non-probate transfers where the property owner was incompetent or under undue influence.

Our Attorneys

  • Timothy D. Sullivan
  • T. Michael Sullivan
  • Paul L. Twomey
TimSulivan

Timothy D. Sullivan


Atty. Sullivan opened the office that is now AndoverLaw, P.C. in 1993.   He brings to the practice of law a perspective based on an unusually broad framework of education and experience.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Music from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and the designation of Chartered Life Underwriter from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.  He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Massachusetts School of Law.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Sullivan worked as a financial planner and owned a computer store which sold and installed accounting systems.  While attending law school, he was a national account executive for a major corporation.

Atty. Sullivan concentrates his practice in the areas of estates, trusts, fiduciary litigation and elder law. His clientele include individuals, professional trustees, personal trustees, conservators, and counsel for trusts and estates.”

Admitted to all Massachusetts and New Hampshire Courts and the Federal Courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire

Independent Ratings / Honors

  • Martindale Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating (4.9/5)
  • AVVO® Excellent Rating (10/10)
  • Accredited Estate Planner®, National Association of Estate Planners and Councils

Professional Affiliations

  • Past Chairman of the Massachusetts Bar Association Probate Section
  • Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council (Past President)
  • American Inn of Probate and Family Court (Past Director)
  • Greater Boston Fiduciary Law American Inn of Court (member)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (member)
  • Real Estate Bar Association (member)
  • Essex County Bar Association (member)
  • Lawrence Bar Association (member)
  • 2006-2012 Massachusetts Bar Association’s representative to the Ad Hoc Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code Committee.  The Committee drafted the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code.  The MUTC was enacted July 9, 2012.
  • 2007-2008 served as Section Review Editor for the Probate Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • October 2017 – Evolution of Massachusetts Trust Law – for a multijurisdictional conference hosted by the Newburyport Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
  • June 2015 – Modifying/Terminating Irrevocable Trusts and Non-Judicial Settlement Agreements- Massachusetts Bar Association
  • October 2013 – Estate Administration Basics – Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council
  • June 2013 – Decoding the MUPC – One Year Later – Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • November 2012 – The New MUPC Six Months Later -presented by MCLE at Massachusetts School of Law
  • October 2012 – Ten Critical Issues Under the New Uniform Trust Code – presented by Suffolk University Law School’s Advanced Legal Studies Department.
  • October 2012 – The New Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code – presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association
  • October 2012 – Seminar on the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code sponsored by Suffolk Law School Center for Advanced Legal Studies
  • May 2012 -The New MUPC is Here … and Now: Massachusetts Probate Practice Has Changed Forever presented by MCLE New England at Massachusetts School of Law
  • May 2012 – MUPC Basics: An Overview of the New Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, Presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association at Massachusetts School of Law
  • February 2012 – Fiduciary Representation and Litigation presented at the Fundamentals of Elder Law Practice Symposium sponsored by Suffolk Law School Center for Advanced Legal Studies and NAELA
  • November 2011 — Overview of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code presented to the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council
  • May 2011: Trust Litigation, presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association
  • March 2011: Types of Trusts, presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association
  • October 2010: Federal Court Litigation, presented at the 13th Annual Northeast Elder Law Symposium sponsored by Suffolk Law School Center for Advanced Legal Studies and NAELA
  • January 2010: Review of Trustee Duty and Fiduciary Liability presented to the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council
  • May 2009: Review of the Uniform Probate Code presented to the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council
  • April 2009: Probate and Guardianship Reform: Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association at Massachusetts School of Law
  • March 2009: The New Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code: An Overview: contributing author and chair of program presented by MCLE at Massachusetts School of Law
  • November 2008: Best Practices in Guardianship Cases: contributing author and presenter on Uniform Probate Code provisions related to guardianship at the Fourth Annual Guardianship Conference sponsored by the Suffolk Law School Center for Advanced Legal Studies

Articles and Publications

  • Resolution of Trust Issues Under the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code, Timothy D. Sullivan, Esq. (Sept. 2012).  (As presented at Suffolk University’s Center for Advanced Legal Studies program “Ten Critical Issues Under the New Uniform Trust Code, Oct. 2012; and the Mass. Bar Association’s program the “New Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code”, Oct. 2012) .
  • September 2012 – Resolution of Trust Issues Under the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code – Published with materials from the October 2012 Suffolk Law School, Advanced Legal Studies Program – “Ten Critical Issues Under the New Uniform Trust Code”
  • February 2012 — Overview of Fiduciary Litigation in the Probate and Family Court Published with materials from February 2012 Suffolk Advanced Legal Studies / NAELA Fundamentals of Elder Law Symposium
  • February 2012 — Formalities of Execution, Incompetence and Undue Influence First published by the Massachusetts Bar Association in May 2011. Republished with materials from February 2012 Suffolk Advanced Legal Studies / NAELA Fundamentals of Elder Law Symposium
  • November & December 2011- Overview of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, published in two parts in the November 2011 and December 2011 editions of the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal
  • Choices – course materials on Federal Court litigation for 13th Annual Northeast Elder Law Symposium, Suffolk Law School Center for Advanced Legal Studies, October 2010
  • Guardianship Provisions in the (Massachusetts) Uniform Probate Code, Massachusetts Bar Association Section Review, Vol. 10. No. 3, (2008) (Republished by MCLE in March 2009)
  • Highlights of the Uniform Trust Code – Massachusetts Bar Association Section Review, Vol. 9. No. 2, (2007)
  • An Elder Law Litigator’s Perspective, Massachusetts Bar Association, Lawyer’s Journal, March 2011

APPOINTMENTS

  • Appointed by Governor Deval Patrick as Public Administrator for Essex County on January 29, 2014
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T. Michael Sullivan

Partner


Atty. T. Michael Sullivan focuses his practice on Estate and Trust Administration, Estate Planning and Elder Law; serving clients in Essex and Middlesex County and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Atty. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and New England School of Law.

Michael is a Past-President of the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council and current member of their Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Essex County Bar Association and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the German Home, a home for individuals with mental health challenges in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Thomas Reuters has selected Michael as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for both 2016 and 2017.

Michael enjoys lecturing and has presented to Estate Planning Professionals, Health Care Professional, seniors, and was a guest expert speaker on Exit this Way, a radio show on the UR Business Network.

While Michael is not at work, he enjoys watching sports, cycling, fishing and spending time outdoors with his wife Leslie, son Conor, and dog Sadie.

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council (Past President & current Board Member)
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • The German Home – Vice President Board of Directors

Speaking Engagements

  • April 21, 2018 – “Estate Planning for All” presented by the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council and Andover Recreation.
  • July, 2017 – “Taking Control of Your Future: A Legal Checkup” presented by Henry C. Nevins Home for the Aged.
  • December, 2015 – “Insolvent Estates” presented by the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council.
  • October, 2014 – “NFA Gun Trusts” presented by CenterFire Seminar Series
  • May, 2014 – “Exit Planning” Exit this Way Radio Show on UR Business Network
  • October, 2013 – Elder Law: What every Health Care Professional Needs to Know presented by The Oxford Rehabilitation and Health Care Center
  • June, 2013 – “Taking Control of Your Future: A Legal Checkup” sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Andover Senior Center
  • April, 2013 – “Intro to Special Needs Trusts” sponsored by the Essex County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • November, 2012 – “Special Needs Trusts, Use and Funding” presented by the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council.

Independent Ratings / Honors

  • 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • 2016 Super Lawyers Rising Star
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Paul L. Twomey

Of Counsel


Paul has practiced law for more than 35 years. He is a life-long resident of Andover and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Suffolk Law School. He is a former helicopter pilot having flown for the US Army in Vietnam and later as a commercial pilot in the Boston area.

Paul has focused his practice in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning and Administration, and Real Estate. He was a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for more than twenty years. He is a Member Emeritus of the Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council and a former member of the Andover Council on Aging.

Atty. Twomey continues to enjoy his membership in the Clover Club of Boston, a membership he inherited from his father, the Honorable Cornelius Twomey.

Practice Areas

Estate Services
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration
  • Trust Administration
  • Litigation
Elder Services
  • MassHealth (Medicaid) Applications
  • MassHealth (Medicaid) Planning
  • Guardianship of Elders
Special Needs Trusts
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Estate Planning


Estate planning is often misunderstood. The process involves preparing a blueprint for the orderly management of your assets in the event that you are unable to manage them yourself. This process includes a holistic approach to the preservation and transition of family wealth.

The process starts with planning for living. It includes setting up provisions for disability, an event far more likely than death. The basic tools include health care proxies and durable powers of attorney.

Trusts may be used for various reasons. Assets in trust generally avoid probate. This device offers a level of privacy, and in some cases may significantly reduce the cost of probating an estate. However, trusts are more often used to manage money for individuals who are not capable of managing it themselves. These individuals may include children or those with special needs (or maybe even the person that originally funded the trust). Trusts are also frequently used to obtain significant tax advantages.

Many other devices avoid the probate process. (Probate is the legal process by which the Probate Court accepts a will as valid, determines the heirs, and monitors the administration of an estate.) These include contractual instruments such as life insurance, annuities and retirement plans. They also include various forms of joint ownership. Your attorney will review your individual situation with you, check the disposition of each of your assets in the event of death or disability, and customize a plan which meets your objectives.

Much of our practice involves the legal aspects of purchasing, selling or transitioning a business from one generation to another. A closely held family business often has sentimental and emotional significance that exceeds its raw economic value. We are experienced at working with the owner to balance the safe transition of the business to the next generation and with the desire to fairly recognize those family members who may not ultimately own or manage the business.

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Estate Administration


Normally, when a person dies the disposition of his assets is controlled by a complex set of laws and overseen by the Probate and Family Court in a process known as administration. If he dies without a will (intestate), the court will appoint a Personal Representative to gather and distribute them in accordance with a law known as the intestacy statute.

If the decedent has a will, the process is similar. The big difference is that an individual that has a will picks the person he trusts to manage his estate (Personal Representative) and determines how his money will be distributed when he dies.

Regardless of which process is required, AndoverLaw, P. C.’s experienced attorneys will work with you to navigate the legal process and to prepare necessary accounts as efficiently and painlessly as possible.

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Trust Administration


In a properly planned estate, most of the assets may transfer outside of the probate process. We work with trustees to help them manage and administer their responsibilities.

Many Estate Planning Trusts use family members as Trustees.  However, in those situations where a professional fiduciary is necessary, we work with our sister corporation, Oak Fiduciary Services Corp. and with several institutional trustees.

We will work with you to define and establish broad investment and distribution objectives. We do not provide investment advice.

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Litigation


Unfortunately, not everyone plans, not all plans work, and not all people act in good faith. A major portion of our practice involves litigation of estate and trust issues. In some cases, the family believes that someone (all too often a family member) took an elder’s money after the elder died or the elder suffered a significant reduction or loss of mental capacity. In other cases, the miscreant has used fairly sophisticated accounting techniques to wrongfully misdirect the assets of the estate.  If you believe something like this has occurred, we will work with you to evaluate the matter and attempt to resolve it. If resolution is not possible, we will aggressively litigate.

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MassHealth (Medicaid) Applications


The process of applying for MassHealth is complex and fraught with traps. For a flat fee, your attorney will work with you to assemble the two to five years of information required, complete the application and litigate any administrative appeals.

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MassHealth (Medicaid) Planning


MassHealth laws are extremely complex. In many cases, their application deprives entire families of the fruits of their lifelong labors. When a family member needs nursing home care, AndoverLaw, P.C. works with elders and their families to legally and ethically preserve their hard earned nest egg. Obviously, the earlier that planning is started, the more successful the family will be at protecting their assets. However, unless savings and assets are entirely exhausted, it is almost never too late to start.

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Guardianship of Elders


All too often, dementia or other forms of mental illness afflict elder clients. AndoverLaw, P.C. attorneys are well versed in the process of obtaining guardianships and conservatorships, obtaining court authority for exceptional care including, if necessary, institutional confinement, anti-psychotic medications, and exceptional medically necessary intervention procedures.

Archives

Tools

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Representative Cases


Representative Cases


  1. A woman came to us whose sister passed away leaving a handwritten will. The will was not self-authenticating and the witnesses where deceased or could not be found.  In the will she made errors as to which assets fell to her probate estate and which did not.   As a result she had life insurance and investment accounts that had named beneficiaries different from those named in her will.  She also listed properties she no longer had and set up a pet trust for a cat that was no longer alive.  Further, most of the sister’s estate was left to her mother who passed only weeks after she did.  AndoverLaw, P.C. was hired to remedy these issues.  We opened the mother’s estate and had a Personal Representative appointed to represent those interests.  We then determined the best course of actions to carry out the wishes and intent of our client’s sister and drafted an Agreement to reflect these intentions.   All heirs, devisees, and the Personal Representative of the mother’s Estate signed the Agreement, the Probate Court allowed the Will as agreed upon and we assisted out client in administering her sister’s estate including the sale of her condo.
  2. A couple in their mid-twenties came to us having just become parents for the first time.  The husband owned a modest landscaping company and the mother worked part time out of the home and cared for their newborn.   The attorney explained the various estate planning documents to the couple and drafted Health Care Proxies, Durable Power of Attorneys, Wills and a Family Trust for the Couple.  The Wills nominated a guardian for the child should both parents pass away and the trust was set up to ensure the child would be taken care of.  The attorney also suggested both parties obtain life insurance to ensure there was money to care for the child should one of both parents pass away.  Due to the nature of his job, it was also suggested the husband obtain long term disability insurance.  The couple left with the peace of mind knowing their child would be taken care of and their affairs were in order should anything happen.
  3. A real estate attorney in the area came to us with an issue one cold day in March. His client entered into a purchase and sale agreement to sell a vacant piece of property in a high crime neighborhood, but died days prior to the closing.  The buyers financing would fall through and they would not be able to purchase the property if the sale was not finalized quickly.  Further, there was no one in place to manage the property should a break-in, fire, or freezing occur.   The next day, an AndoverLaw, P.C. attorney attended an emergency hearing to have a Special Personal Representative appointed for the purpose of completing the sale.  The closing happened the day after the hearing.  Less than seven days later an AndoverLaw, P.C. attorney was back in court to have a permanent Personal Representative in place to administer the entirety of the Estate.
  4. A local Nursing Home referred a client to us whose mother had been denied benefits for Long Term Care by MassHealth for a disqualifying transfer of assets for less than fair market value. The mother transferred her home to her children in 2009.   Approximately one year prior to her death in 2016, the mother invested over $100,000.00 to renovate and repair the home so she could remain living there.  Weeks after the renovations and repairs were finalized, the mother was no longer able to remain in the home as a result of rapidly declining health.   MassHealth considered the money spent for repairs and renovations a disqualifying transfers for less than fair market value because the mother had to move from the home weeks after the repairs were finalized.    As a result, MassHealth would not pay for her stay in the Nursing Home and costs accumulated to total more than $100,000.00.   The Nursing Home tried to hold the children responsible for the nursing home costs.   AndoverLaw, P.C. petitioned the Court to appoint a Personal Representative for the mother’s estate and requested a MassHealth fair hearing to dispute the denial of benefits.   At the hearing AndoverLaw, P.C., presented evidence to show that all renovations were done for the benefit of the mother and her intention was to remain in the home.  MassHealth reversed their decision, the Nursing Home was paid, and the children kept the home.
  5. Working with an attorney/executor, we determined that a 1950s era ranch house had a market value of about $275,000. However, the lot was large and AndoverLaw investigated further to determine if the lot could be divided into multiple lots that could be sold separately to increase the size of the Estate to be distributed to the beneficiaries.   AndoverLaw negotiated a land swap picking up frontage from a neighbor in exchange for some back land.  After a quick trip to Land Court, we had three legal lots which sold to a developer for $500,000.
  6. A municipality contacted AndoverLaw regarding abandoned property. The city had attempted to seize a long vacant property through a condemnation proceeding.  The Housing Court would not allow the sale until title was cleared and estate issues resolved.    The heirs had not pursued selling the property because of a Medicaid lien.     AndoverLaw located the heirs of the deceased property owner, obtained their approval to clean up the estate, opened a Probate, negotiated a settlement between the city and MassHealth, advertised, auctioned and sold the property.   All parties were satisfied with resolution of the various problems.
  7. A family came to AndoverLaw with a real estate title issue. A poorly drafted will resulted in ambiguous ownership of the family home.  We assembled all the interested family members and negotiated a settlement.  AndoverLaw then drafted a Non-Judicial Settlement Agreement adopting the settlement and resolving the title issues, drafted a trust to manage and control the property, and transferred the property into the trust.  All parties assented.

Contact

Location

AndoverLaw, P.C.
One Elm Square
Andover, MA 01810

Call Us

Phone: 978-470-2700 Fax: 978-470-3900

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 8:30 – 5:00

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