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www.nutter.com

Probate and Family Law Litigation

Why Nutter for Probate and Family Law Litigation

Nutter’s goal for every client is to deliver results while focusing on personal service and value.

Our trial lawyers have obtained literally dozens of settlements over a million dollars in the field of probate and family litigation, and we have frequently done so by finding creative solutions that work for each of the parties rather than pursuing a “scorched earth” strategy.

But clients and opponents both know that we are prepared to try cases when amicable solutions cannot be found. From the date of our founding and the days when Judge Louis D. Brandeis was still a trial lawyer at Nutter, we have taken great pride in training and developing generations of trial lawyers.

We have in-house mock trial and moot court programs, and we conduct our own “nuts and bolts” preparation on how to try cases. Our team is constantly striving to assess, analyze and improve its performance. Thus, we know how to find the most critical factors in even the most complex cases, and how to present the best possible arguments to a judge or jury in a way that is both clear and compelling.

Furthermore, we know that trying a case is not wise when the facts and the law are unfavorable. So we will give candid advice about the prospects for success and the pursuit of other options from the outset of an engagement. We are committed to being absolutely honest, and that is one reason that we have a good reputation among clients, judges and the organized bar.

We also seek to provide personalized service by understanding our clients, their unique families and particular needs. We want them to know we are there for them and for their families whenever problems arise, and we offer them both Boston and Cape Cod locations (with the ability to handle matters in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard). We are proud to stand by our clients in difficult times, acting as good listeners and trusted confidantes whenever they call upon us.

In representing our clients, we always remain focused on delivering value, as well as personal service and results. We get to the bottom line as quickly as possible and prepare a case to be won taking into account the client’s budget. We do not overstaff cases, and we commit significant partner level attention to each and every matter for the sake of efficiency and results. Our unleveraged partner to associate ratio also results in superior associate training and satisfaction (as reflected in nationwide surveys) which means that clients will receive well-trained and enthusiastic professional support on any matter we handle.

Finally, Nutter’s probate and family litigation team benefits from its association with partners who have a nationwide reputation in real estate, tax, intellectual property and other legal disciplines because our family clients often need to deal with real estate, intellectual property and other types of high value assets, as well as the complex tax implications associated with them.

Our Team

The Nutter team of trusts and estates lawyers includes: 

  • Lawyers who were named as Massachusetts Super Lawyers in a Boston Magazine survey; 
  • Lawyers who have been appointed as special masters (experts) by the Probate Courts; 
  • Lawyers who have been appointed by the Probate Courts to protect the interests of child entertainers and others with special need for sophisticated and trustworthy counsel; 
  • A former Probate and Family Court Judge; and 
  • Lawyers who have authored or co-authored works on litigation, wills, trusts and guardianships, and been invited to speak at bar events on those subjects.

Our firm has also been ranked as a tier one Boston firm by U.S. News and World Report in trusts and estates practice and it has been nationally recognized by Chambers USA for its general litigation practice.

Who We Represent

Our probate and family litigation team has served many different clients, including: 

  • High net worth individuals, including Fortune 500 executives and their families; 
  • Individuals and families of more ordinary means; 
  • Entertainers, athletes, artists and others with special privacy, security or media issues; 
  • Closely-held family enterprises; 
  • Family charitable foundations; 
  • Fiduciaries, including executors and trustees; 
  • Estate beneficiaries and heirs; 
  • Entities with claims against an estate; and 
  • Guardians and conservators (for whom we provide particularly reasonable and competitive fees).

What We Do

Because lawyers in our firm serve as trustees, directors, guardians and executors, as well as advocates and counselors, we have a special empathy for and understanding of the needs of clients involved in probate and family litigation. We can also provide each client with the particular service they need, based on informed experience.

Among the services that we provide to probate and family litigation clients are the following: 

  • Both trial and appellate advocacy in connection with probate matters, guardianship proceedings, divorces, and post-divorce modifications and decrees; 
  • Mediation services, as either advocates or mediators; 
  • Arbitration advocacy; 
  • Negotiation and crafting of pre-nuptial agreements, property division agreements, child custody agreements; alimony support contracts, and post-divorce modifications; 
  • Counseling of fiduciaries, such as executors, trustees, guardians, or direct; and 
  • Special counseling and advocacy for private foundations, public charities, philanthropists, planned giving development offices and grant making foundations.

We have experience acting as advocates in bringing or defending many particular types of actions as well, including: 

  • Actions for accounting and division of a family businesses, petitions for partition, and claims arising from family shareholder litigation; 
  • Unusual claims against payment or distribution by executors; 
  • Special claims on behalf of fiduciaries, such as claims for return of stolen funds; 
  • Claims for heirs, such as claims for misappropriation or breach of fiduciary duty; 
  • Actions for the reform of trusts and wills after the date of death in order to effect the intent of the testator or to optimize tax treatment of an estate; 
  • Getting fiduciaries appointed or dismissed by a court; 
  • Obtaining instructional court rulings for fiduciaries faced with conflicts or dilemmas; and 
  • Special actions for disabled, impaired or minor beneficiaries.