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Attorney Kenneth J. Simmons

Simmons & Schiavo
Experience:  15 Years
Area Served: Greater Boston North Shore

398 Pleasant Street
Suite 200
Malden, MA, 02148


Attorney Message

I focus my practice in the areas of estate planning, elder law, probate and residential real estate.  My experience in Elder Law includes advising clients in all aspects of long term care planning including how to properly protect assets from the costs of long term care, the benefits of Irrevocable Income Only Trusts, as well as the preparation and filing of MassHealth Long Term Care Applications for clients entering or already in a nursing facility.

Areas of Practice

Summary

Verification- Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

  • Last verified: 2/18/2014
  • Current status is Active
  • This attorney has no record of public discipline.
  • This attorney has certified that he or she is covered by professional liability insurance.

 

Education

Suffolk University Law School , J.D.

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts, 2002

Professional Associations

Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

About Me

About Kenneth Simmons

Attorney Kenneth J. Simmons, Jr. is the co-founder and Senior Partner of Simmons & Schiavo, LLP. Attorney Simmons focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, elder law, probate and residential real estate. His experience in Elder Law includes advising clients in all aspects of long term care planning including how to properly protect assets from the costs of long term care, the benefits of Irrevocable Income Only Trusts, as well as the preparation and filing of MassHealth Long Term Care Applications for clients entering or already in a nursing facility. Attorney Simmons handles all levels of estate planning from simple Wills, Health Care Proxies and Durable Powers of Attorney to more complex, multi-million dollar estates involving marital trust planning, irrevocable life insurance trusts, limited liability companies utilized for gifting programs, charitable remainder trusts as well as other complex trust planning vehicles. In addition, Attorney Simmons represents clients as buyers and sellers negotiation of purchase and sale agreements for both residential and commercial real estate transactions. Attorney Simmons also represents developers in the conversion of multi-family properties into condominiums.

Prior to founding Simmons & Schiavo, LLP, Attorney Simmons was an attorney with the Law Offices of Joseph D. Cataldo, P.C. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School where he graduated Cum Laude in the top 6% of his class. Attorney Simmons is a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, an active volunteer at the City of Malden Community Senior Center and a frequent lecturer at Senior Centers throughout Massachusetts.

Reviews

Attorney Kenneth Simmons has affirmed the following reviews are authentic.

Google Reviews

"This attorney does not have any Google Reviews published at this time."

By AttorneyConnect Research Team

 

Avvo Reviews

" Below are just a few examples of the ways in which Attorney Simmons and his firm have handled our business in an outstanding manner:
• Exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of any legal matter discussed
• Willingness to research and analyze any out-of-the ordinary situations
• Outstanding attention to detail
• Patience and willingness to explain complicated concepts
• Extremely responsive in communication and follow up
• Complete professionalism in dealings with issues involving external third parties
• Comfortable office atmosphere
• Friendly and helpful office staff
• Provision of all related documents on a CD (love this)

I couldn’t be happier with Attorney Simmons and his firm and have recommended (and will continue to recommend) them to my friends and family.
"

By Sona, Real estate and estate planning client

 

LinkedIn Reviews

"This attorney does not have any LinkedIn Reviews published at this time."

By AttorneyConnect Research Team

 

Q&A

Legal Questions & Answers


A:
I think a Will is a critical first step in your estate planning for three significant reasons. First, as you highlighted, the Will is the legal document that allows for nominating a guardian for your son. Excluding issues of birth parent rights in this example, the Will gives both the Court and your family guidance on what you believe to be in the best interest of your son. Without making this nomination, it becomes an open question as to who the guardian should be and this can create many potential issues. Second, the Will can provide you with the ability to create a Testamentary Trust for your son’s benefit to hold and manage assets for him for an extended period of time. Instead of your son inheriting assets at age 18 (which would happen automatically without the Trust), you could extend the age out to a later point, say age 25 or 30. This would help ensure that the funds are properly managed and utilized for things like health, education and support. Third, the Will would also address what happens to your assets should something happen to both you and your son. You could select particular family members, friends, or charity to inherit your estate. Without a Will, this ultimate distribution is determined by statute and would likely not match up with what your wishes are. Your circumstances may benefit from some additional planning including a Health Care Proxy, General Durable Power of Attorney and Revocable Trust, but at a minimum, a Will is an important first step.




A:
Changing your state of residency does not automatically invalidate a Will. Most states, including Florida, will recognize a “foreign” (out of state) Will as valid provided it was properly done under the law of the other state. This is referred to as “reciprocity”. However, although valid, a Will done in compliance with the law in Massachusetts may not contain all the legal pieces that a Will done specifically in compliance with Florida law would contain. Given the fact that your mom has actually become a permanent Florida resident, the best thing she can do would be to update her Will in Florida.




A:
You have a few different issues wrapped into your question, so let me try to address each point. On buying out your siblings, this is certainly possible to do now, while your mom is living, however there are some complications with doing this. First off, you will have an issue obtaining “traditional” financing through a lender due to how the deed is structured with the life estate. These kind of buy-outs typically only work if you are able to use your own funds to complete the buy-out (i.e. a cash purchase). As a second issue, you may have difficulty in determining an appropriate value for their share given that your mom still has an interest in the property (do you pay them two-thirds of the full fair market value or is it reduced to account for your mom’s interest). I think we will need to explore this issue in more detail by discussing your mom’s Masshealth situation and examining the risks you have of buying out your siblings for the full fair market value prior to your mom’s death. In terms of your mother’s Will, although advisable to update her Will, it is not legally necessary just because you buy out your siblings. The life estate structure on the deed allows the real estate to pass to you, as the remainderman, without having to go through Probate. In other words, the Will does not control the real estate in this situation. It will go to you regardless of the terms of the Will. On a final note, you mention in your question that the State has no claim to the property while your mom is alive. This is not true. The Commonwealth will in fact place a lien on the home (if they have not already done so) to protect its interest. If the home were sold while your mom is living, the Commonwealth is reimbursed from the sales proceeds. If the home is not sold until after death, then the lien is released and the full value of the property is protected. This point ties back into some of my concerns in paying full fair market value for the buy-out.



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Location Served

Attorney Kenneth Simmons serves the Greater Boston and Boston’s North Shore region including the communities of Everett, Revere, Chelsea, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford, Arlington, Winchester, Woburn, Burlington, Stoneham, Melrose, Wakefield, Saugus, Lynn, Peabody, Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott, Middlesex County and Essex County, Massachusetts.


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