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New England Chapter Breakfast

“Legal Planning to Protect the Family Business: Future Divorce, Incapacity and Bad Behavior”

When: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
8:00 AM until 9:30 AM
Where: Burns & Levinson LLP
125 Summer St
8th Floor
Boston, MA  02110
United States
Presenter: Lisa Cukier and Cliff Cohen
Contact: New England Chapter of FFI
617-482-3045 ext. 27

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Legal Planning to Protect the Family Business: Divorce, Incapacity, and Bad Behavior


A plan to succeed is the essence of a business enterprise, and legal planning is a core component of success. But when family business owners may need special legal representation at critical junctures due to unexpected issues that occur when least expected in family life, it is the job of the planner to pose the difficult "what if” questions that must capture the attention of working family members, who are often primarily focused on the substantive mission of the enterprise.  What if there is divorce or unanticipated death?  What if you are not as healthy as you are now?  What if a family member’s decision-making ability is impaired by onset of mental illness? Or what if jealousy or competitiveness lead to sibling dispute and possibly legally actionable behavior?  When a crises does strike, it is often the job of the lawyer to issue a "damage report” and coordinate both the family’s and the business’s response.

Lisa Cukier and Clifford Cohen will present a hypothetical case history of a family business beset by some of these issues, discuss potential solutions and invite general questions and conversation from the attendees.  Their presentation is designed to foster awareness of pitfalls, legal strategies and recent changes in the law which will be of value to everyone involved in the operation of a family business.



About the Presenters:

Clifford Cohen, Esq. Partner and Chair, Trusts and Estate Group, Burns & Levinson LLP


Mr. Cohen concentrates his practice in estate planning, trust law, and estate administration. He advises clients in planning the disposition of their own estates as well as those who are serving as fiduciaries or are beneficiaries. He has extensive experience with transfer tax issues and expertise in the related estate planning techniques used to minimize such taxes, as well as all aspects of probate and related fiduciary practices. He has assisted many owners, family members and fiduciaries in planning for the succession and transfer of interests in closely-held businesses.



Lisa M. Cukier, Esq. Partner, Domestic Relations, Family Law and Trust & Estate Litigation, Burns & Levinson LLP


Lisa Cukier concentrates her practice in all aspects of estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, probate law, child custody, parentage issues and divorce, planning and litigation for blended families and same-sex couples, adoption, guardianship and conservatorship, and elder financial exploitation.

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