Everyone needs an estate plan, even if they don’t have a lot of money, because an estate plan allows you to choose your own Personal Representative, Healthcare Agent, Attorney-in-Fact, Trustee and Guardian and decide where your assets will go. If you have minor children, an estate plan also lets you choose a Guardian for your children who will ensure that they are raised according to your family’s values. For folks who do have significant resources, estate planning helps avoid taxation and speeds up the management of complex estates.
At Brown & Brown, we work closely with our clients to develop custom estate plans that meet your needs and wishes. Because we know that every client is unique, we take the time to get to know our clients and their families, and we tailor every estate plan to match each individual client.
Probate and Estate Settlement
The last thing that anyone grieving for a relative needs is the additional confusion of a drawn out legal process. As anyone who has gone through the loss of a loved one knows, the court supervised probate process can be lengthy, complex and frustrating. Many steps are required to manage the probate estate and ensure the safekeeping of the decedent’s property. If the decedent passed away with a trust, a Successor Trustee steps in to take over management of the Trust.
At Brown & Brown, we work to guide you through the entire probate and trust administration process, from start to finish, in a professional and cost-effective manner. Our Attorneys often represent Personal Representatives before the Probate Court and Original and Successor Trustees in the performance of Trust duties. We frequently help clients consolidate assets, restructure a Trust to take advantage of estate tax savings, sell real estate, work with financial advisors in the investment and management of Estate and Trust assets and distribute Estate and Trust funds. Our experienced attorneys understand that our job is not only to file paperwork and appear in court, but to stand by your family through a tough time, with a helping hand and wise counsel.
As our country ages, more and more seniors and their families face incredibly difficult decisions involving longterm care. But longterm care is only a small part of the specialized planning that Brown & Brown provides for older clients and their families. From basic estate planning to real estate management to advocacy and planning for the possibility of longterm care, Brown & Brown provides comprehensive elder law services to help families maximize their hard earned savings, access the benefits that they deserve, and establish security and peace of mind for their future.
For seniors who are worried about Medicaid coverage for longterm care, Brown & Brown can help prepare clients so that they will be financially eligible and able to set aside some of their assets for others so that the cost of longterm care will not destroy a lifetime of savings. For instance, some seniors may want to establish a trust for their children and grandchildren while avoiding Medicaid liens. In some other cases, the purchase of a specialized annuity may provide a spouse living in the community with the funds he or she needs to live comfortably while still allowing his or her spouse to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Because Medicaid is so confusing, and because the repercussions from bad planning decisions can be so severe, it is imperative that people who are worried about the cost of longterm care speak with Brown & Brown well before they need Medicaid, if possible.
Special Needs Planning
Special needs planning can take many forms depending on the circumstances, but, in most cases our clients are looking for assistance with managing or maximizing current government benefits while ensuring that a loved one will be financially and emotionally protected in the future.
There are usually two separate but interrelated components of special needs planning. First, we review a person with special needs’ current or potential benefits to make sure that he or she is receiving everything that he or she is entitled to. Then we help families establish customized estate plans that supplement whatever benefits their family member may receive. This often involves drafting one or more socalled “special needs trusts” which can be used not only to supplement a family member’s government benefits but to provide them with peace of mind.
Since people with special needs have access to a variety of different government benefits, and especially since each person’s needs are completely different, it is important to develop a longterm, working relationship with a special needs planner that you trust. At Brown & Brown we work with families over generations to make sure that, regardless of the circumstances, your loved one with special needs gets the care that he or she needs to thrive.
Land Use, Permitting and Zoning
Navigating the permitting process is often not something for the faint of heart, nor something to attempt alone because land use law is extremely complex and constantly changing. Determining which permits you need, and appearing before various Town Boards is a complicated, and sometimes frustrating process. In addition, there are often multiple ways to approach a project, including rezoning, permits, negotiations with neighbors, town entities, and other parties. Picking the right path, or changing paths mid-stream is often the hardest part of the process.
Brown & Brown has vast experience working with multiple towns and various boards to get your project on the ground, in the shortest time and with the least resistance and cost. We often play the role of a project manager, coordinating the entire permitting process from concept through construction. Our projects have included single family homes, multi-unit mixed use developments, wetland permitting, environmentally friendly / low impact options and rezoning. We work directly with municipalities to rewrite zoning and land use bylaws to be consistent with local goals. We are here to make the permitting process work for you.
Residential and Commercial Real Estate
Whether you are buying, selling, refinancing, leasing or just starting to think about the real estate market, Brown & Brown has the experienced professionals to help you. We know well that almost any foray into real estate is inherently stressful and time consuming. Our goal is to make your purchase, sale, refinance or lease simple, stress free and as beneficial to you as possible. Brown & Brown also represents buyers, sellers and lenders of personal and commercial transactions and we help clients evaluate development feasibility and options.
The best advice that we can offer is to get in touch with us long before your paperwork is complete. The earlier we are involved in the process, the easier it will be to negotiate the best terms for you as our client. But if you’ve already begun the process of buying, selling, refinancing or negotiating a lease, don’t worry – it’s never too late to work with our experienced real estate attorneys. Give us a call today and we can assist you with all of your real estate transaction needs.
Business and Corporate Law
Having advised first–time business owners for generations, we feel confident in saying that before your company can prosper, it needs the proper corporate foundation. Building this foundation usually involves indepth discussions about corporate goals, business strategies, and an honest evaluation of current market conditions. On the other hand, you may be an experienced business person who is interested in restructuring your company. You may need help updating corporate records, staying current with the latest regulations from the Secretary of State’s office, or managing a difficult sale or merger.
Whether you are a first–time business owner or a successful, experienced entrepreneur, Brown & Brown can help you establish, manage, expand or sell your business. As a longtime member of the Bedford business community, we know that local counsel offers benefits for business owners that go far beyond help with corporate formalities – our experienced attorneys are focused on the needs of the businesses in our community and the surrounding towns, and we offer advice and guidance about local matters that you may not be able to receive from other firms. Some of our attorneys are also licensed in New Hampshire, and we have experience setting up and managing New Hampshire entities as well. Brown & Brown is also experienced in both for profit and nonprofit corporations.
Litigation, Personal Injury and Criminal Law
Brown & Brown handles a variety of civil and criminal matters for clients. If you are a landlord with an unruly tenant (or one who simply won’t pay the rent), we can assist you with the highly technical eviction process. We also represent tenants facing eviction notices. If your home improvement contractor has made a mess of your home, we can help you pursue him for damages. We also help slip and fall victims, people who have been in motor vehicle accidents and we assist business owners and clients in all kinds of contract disputes.
If you have been arrested, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to protect your rights. We have successfully represented clients facing a variety of charges including O.U.I., assault and battery, firearms charges and a host of juvenile offenses. Although it may seem cliché, you should always speak with an experienced attorney if you are facing criminal charges. Our wealth of experience can mean the difference between a lifechanging sentence or a fresh start.
When you are facing a serious financial crisis, you need an organized, sympathetic attorney to help you get back on your feet. Brown & Brown helps debtors navigate both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, with thoughtful counsel before a Petition for Bankruptcy is ever filed through the ultimate disposition of your case. We also assist banks and creditors pursue claims against debtors in bankruptcy. Since the bankruptcy code is incredibly complicated, talking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney prior to filing a bankruptcy petition could mean the difference between ongoing legal problems and peace of mind.