Welcome to the Law Office of David E. Peterson

We help Massachusetts families prepare for and respond to the legalities of the inevitable. Whether it's setting up wills and trusts, settling an estate in Probate Court, or anything in between, we're there for you.

How Wealthy People Avoid Estate Taxes

The Basics The estate and gift tax is a tax on the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. The tax is levied when a transfer occurs, which by lifetime gift, or upon death. The estate and gift tax rates start low. The Massachusetts estate tax affects estates worth more than $1 million.

Does Having A Will Avoid Probate?

Does Having A Will Avoid Probate? There is a common misconception that having a valid will allows a decedent to avoid probate. This is completely false. When someone dies without a will, they are considered “intestate”. The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code includes several formulas for determining the division of assets when someone dies intestate. These

Why I Like Our Current Estate Tax System

Warning: This article is very long. It feels weird to write a post in favor of taxes, but hear me out. After my last post about ways to avoid the estate tax, some friends indicated that the estate tax should be abolished altogether. While I’m no fan of taxes, they are a certainty of life,

How to Find an Estate Planning Attorney in Massachusetts

For many people, the prospect of discussing their sensitive family and financial scenarios, in the context of their eventual death, is intimidating. Even so, estate planning is an important undertaking that responsible people should not ignore. The best way to improve the process is to find an estate planning attorney with whom you are comfortable.