Serving Individuals and their Businesses for More than Thirty Years
Specializing in Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Bank Advisory Services, and Corporate Formation and Governance in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Whether you consider yourself a high net worth individual or an average person, you need to ensure that your family will be well taken care of after you are gone. This requires the preparation of an integrated estate plan, including a Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Advanced Care Directives, including perhaps a Living Will.
Many clients wish to discuss whether a Trust makes sense as part of their estate plan. We are prepared to explain the pros and cons of using Revocable (or "Living") Trusts to ensure the safety of your assets, and whether there can be tax and administrative savings as well.
We are experienced in the use of more advanced strategies, including using Irrevocable Trusts to hold certain assets such as life insurance policies, Grantor Retained Income Trusts (GRITs) and Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) for transferring wealth, and Charitable Trusts to obtain income and estate tax benefits.
Bank Advisory Services
Many community financial institutions, whether banks or credit unions, do not have in-house counsel to assist them in day-to-day legal needs that are constantly arising. Our firm is here to be your "general counsel" and work with you and your team on issues including drafting and reviewing vendor contracts, reviewing and streamlining deposit operations, assisting with legal process (subpoenas, executions, etc.), and regulatory compliance, as well as general corporate governance, creating and revising policies and more.
To provide additional services and skills, we have affiliated with the Financial Services Law Group, LLC of Farmington, Connecticut. This gives us a unique position among law firms representing financial institutions, and allows us to present innovative fee arrangements, including flat fee and monthly subscription rates.
After a person dies, there is almost always a requirement to file some sort of documentation with the Probate Court. This might range from a short affidavit to full-blown formal probate procedures. In any event, we are experienced in representing the Personal Representative of the Estate and the beneficiaries of the Estate in navigating the sometimes confusing process.
Other Probate proceedings in which we have represented clients include Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings, as well as serving as Guardian ad Litem in a number of differing matters, including representing a minor, or a deployed service member.
If you are the creator of a Trust, serve as Trustee or a beneficiary of a Trust, you may be aware of the many steps needed to administer both Revocable (or "Living") Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts. Besides years of experience drafting and advising clients about Trusts, we have experience as a Trustee, having served as a professional fiduciary with a multinational financial company.
Services include acting as trustee of your trust, as well as administering charitable trusts, and advising on the prudence of distributions and investments.
Corporate Formation & Governance
You know how to run your business. We know how to help you create your legal entity, structure the company, and set up corporate governance to ensure that all legal formalities are satisfied. We can help you form a limited liability company, corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship, whichever suits your particular business needs.
Whether you choose to create your entity in Massachusetts, Connecticut or even Delaware or Wyoming, we are here to advise you on the pluses and minuses of various jurisdictions. Once your entity has been established, we can assist you in keeping minutes, passing resolutions, having meetings, and dealing with federal and state regulators.
Your business will need contracts with its customers, employees, and contractors. We can review your existing documents and make suggestions for improvement, or start from scratch with new documents that meet your current needs.
Tax Planning & Preparation
Whether you are concerned about personal or corporate income tax, estate tax, or gift tax, we can assist you with the necessary planning and structure to obtain the best results possible. This includes advising clients on state and federal tax law, as well as representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service. Should it become necessary, we are admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and United States Supreme Court.
Having worked with an international accounting firm in the past, we can assist your tax preparer, or prepare returns for you, as best meets your needs. This may include estate and gift tax returns as well as annual income tax returns.
“When you have been an advisor and counselor for more than thirty years, you learn what a client wants in an lawyer. In order to serve their interests, today’s attorney needs to learn to listen to the client’s concerns, be responsive to the client’s needs, and offer experienced advice in a timely, cost-efficient manner.
“With these goals in mind, I established this law practice in Western Massachusetts. First and foremost, I want my clients to know that I will always be there when they need me. All calls and emails are returned within twenty-four hours of receipt, and I will make myself available to speak with or meet with you as you wish. In these strange days of a pandemic, this may mean using the significant technology I have at hand, and meeting via Zoom or Skype, but in each matter you will know I am there.
“I limit my areas of practice to those in which I have a passion, and in which I have experience and expertise. These include representing community financial institutions, and assisting individuals with their needs in Estate Planning, Tax Planning and Preparation, Probate and Trust Administration, creating corporations and limited liability companies and following the formalities of entity governance. I also have developed an expertise in the growing field of representing clients and municipalities in the licensure of cannabis businesses in Massachusetts.
“No client likes paying legal bills. In an effort to make the process a bit more bearable, I have created several innovative ways to replace the “billable hour.” These include differing flat-fee arrangements for specific engagements, and monthly, quarterly and annual “subscriptions” where the client purchases a block of my time on a recurring basis, and carries over any unused time to the future. “
JEFFREY M. SIEGEL
Jeffrey M. Siegel has been advising clients and their businesses for more than thirty years. A graduate of Clark University (B.A. with High Honors), University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D.) and the New York University of School of Law (LL.M. in Taxation), he has worked as a tax consultant for an international accounting firm and a trust officer for a multinational financial company. He has practiced law as in-house counsel for a multi-billion dollar community bank with branches across New England, and in private practice. He is admitted to both the Massachusetts and Connecticut bar, and to practice before the U.S. District Court, U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a past president of the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council. He was recently elected Legal Counsel and secretary of the Banking Compliance Association of Connecticut. He currently has "Of Counsel" status with the Financial Services Law Group, LLC of Farmington, Connecticut.
In 2020, he was awarded a Certificate in Regulatory Affairs for Cannabis Control by the Clark University School of Professional Studies. This program is the first of its kind in the country, and combined with his experience in corporate, tax and banking law allows him to represent both businesses and municipalities in connection with the licensure and approval of cannabis businesses, both medical and recreational.
A resident of Westfield, Massachusetts, he serves his community as a member of the Westfield Fire Commission. He is the host of the award-winning podcast "Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show," and can often be found playing bass with the local rock band AXIS.
77 Mill Street, Suite 231
Westfield, MA 01085
P.O. Box 15
Westfield, MA 01086
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