New Bedford
Estate Planning Law Firm

Your future goals are important to us.

Our main office is located in the historic downtown of New Bedford. Because of it’s whaling industry, New Bedford was called “The City That Lit The World.” The Quakers – the religious dissidents who first settled the area – found that if they rendered the fat from a whale carcass washed on shore, then lit it, they had smokeless, scentless, beautiful lamp oil. Most of the oil used in lamps during that era was a product of New Bedford.

Today, New Bedford is a vibrant community that not only boasts being one of the busiest seaports in the U.S. but is also home to a diverse ethnic community. Our office is located in a beautiful historic building known as the Anna Rotch Arnold home. We moved to this location in 2006 and feel honored to be a part of the community of downtown New Bedford.

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Strategic Estate Planning Services in New Bedford, Massachusetts

It seems like many people devote more time to planning a vacation, what car to buy or even where to eat dinner than they do deciding who will inherit their assets after they’re gone. Sure, estate planning isn’t as fun to think about as booking a trip or checking out restaurant reviews. But without it, you can’t choose who gets everything that you worked so hard for.

Estate planning isn’t only for the rich. Without a plan in place, there could be a long-lasting impact on your loved ones, even if you don’t have a pricey home, large IRA or valuable art to pass on. Not convinced that estate planning is necessary? Consider these four reasons why you should have an estate plan, in order to avoid potentially devastating consequences for your heirs.

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1. Prevents Wealth From Going To Unintended Beneficiaries

If estate planning was once considered something that only high net worth individuals needed, that’s changed: Nowadays many middle-class families need to plan for when something happens to a family’s breadwinner (or breadwinners). After all, you don’t have to be super rich to do well in the stock market or real estate, both of which produce assets that you’ll want to pass on to your heirs.

Without an estate plan, the courts will often decide who gets your assets, a process that can take years and can get ugly. After all, a court doesn’t know which sibling has been responsible and which one shouldn’t have free access to cash. Nor will the courts automatically rule that the surviving spouse gets everything.

2. Protects Families With Young Children

Nobody thinks of dying young, but if you’re the parent of small children, you need to prepare for the unthinkable. This is where a will serves a purpose within an estate plan. In order to ensure that your children are taken care of, in a manner that you approve of, you’ll want to name their guardians in the event when both parents die before the children turn 18. Without a will, the courts can, again, step in. And this time it’s not to determine who gets a piece of real estate or artwork, it’s who will raise your children.

3. Spares Heirs A Big Tax Bite

Estate planning is all about protecting your loved ones, which means in part giving them protection from the IRS. Essential to estate planning is transferring assets to heirs with an eye toward creating the smallest tax burden for them as possible. Even with just a little bit of estate planning, couples can reduce much or even all of their federal and state estate taxes or state inheritance taxes, which can get very pricey. There are also ways to reduce the income tax beneficiaries might have to pay. But without a plan, the amount that your heirs will owe Uncle Sam could be quite a lot.

4. Eliminates Family Messes When You’re Gone

We’ve all heard those horror stories that when someone with money dies, the warring between family members begins. One sibling may think he or she deserves more than another, or one sibling may think that she should be in charge of the finances even though she’s notorious for racking up debt. Such squabbling can get ugly and end up in court, with family members pitted against each other. It’s yet another reason why an estate plan is necessary. This will enable you to choose who controls your finances and assets if you become mentally incapacitated or after you die, and it will go a long way towards quelling any family strife and ensuring that your assets are handled in the way that you intend them to be.

Bottom Line

Simply put: if you want your assets and your loved ones protected when you no longer can do it, you will need an estate plan. Without one, your heirs could face huge tax burdens and the courts could designate how your assets are divided, or even who gets your children.


Why Our Elder Law Attorneys Stand Out Among the Crowd

Two of the attorneys at Surprenant & Beneski, PC, are Certified Elder Law Attorneys. These attorneys are two out of only 24 attorneys in the state of Massachusetts to carry this critical designation. Certified Elder Law Attorneys must take and pass an exhaustive exam and complete continuing education in the area of elder law. When clients choose Surprenant & Beneski, PC to help them with their estate plan, they can rest assured that their lawyers are up-to-date on all recent developments in elder law and estate planning law.

Another aspect of Surprenant & Beneski, PC, that sets us apart is our sense of community. While our clients meet with one of our skilled attorneys, they remain part of a larger estate planning team. Our law firm offers full-service solutions for our client’s estate planning needs. In addition to our experienced and skilled attorneys, we employ a team of case managers and support staff.

Our team makes sure that our clients receive timely communication about the status of their case and feel supported throughout the entire process. We work hard so that our clients can enjoy peace of mind regarding their estate planning. Our lawyers understand the needs of our clients and engage in strategic planning with their goals in mind.

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New Bedford Estate Planning Services

At Surprenant & Beneski, PC, our goal is to help our clients create a comprehensive estate plan that meets all of their objectives. Our services include:

  • Estate planning
  • Probate
  • Trust administration
  • Elder law
  • Special needs planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Asset protection

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Retirement Planning for New Bedford Residents

At Surprenant & Beneski, PC, we offer a variety of estate planning services, including retirement planning. If you live in Southern Massachusetts and you’re thinking about retirement, we can help you protect your hard-earned assets so that you can live out your years in comfort. In many cases, illness or injury can cause a significant financial burden on retirees.

Retirement planning can help you determine how to afford quality medical care and long-term health care, if necessary. Retirement planning can also help prevent the costs of medical care from eating up your hard-earned retirement assets. Our law firm offers MassHealth planning and medicare planning to help clients qualify for quality health care while retaining their assets.

Lowering your tax payments is an important part of retirement planning. The cost of medical care and housing can create challenges for retired Massachusetts residents. Saving as much money as possible on your taxes will help you enjoy your retirement all the more. The estate planning attorneys at Surprenant & Beneski, PC can help you save money on taxes.

You might benefit from converting your traditional retirement plan to a Roth IRA. Or, you might be able to reduce your tax liability to donating to qualifying charities at the end of the year. We can review your estate and pinpoint any available strategies to save you money now and in the future.

We also help clients engage in long-term care planning and incapacity planning. Discussing topics related to end-of-life and incapacity can be difficult. However, your estate plan must make your wishes and desires regarding medical and financial decisions known. Making your wishes known will help you, and your loved ones should you become incapacitated.


Our New Bedford Law Office in the Historic Downtown Area

Surprenant & Beneski, PC offers clients three convenient law firm locations in Hyannis, New Bedford, and Easton. Our primary law office is in charming downtown New Bedford. Clients will find our law firm in the historic Anna Rotch Stone House, which is a stunning example of Georgian Revival architecture. Our attorneys, staff, and clients enjoy our law firm located in the vibrant artistic community of New Bedford, surrounded by historic architecture as well as enjoyable eateries and retail locations.

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At Surprenant & Beneski, PC, We Work As a Team

Law offices can seem impersonal or even intimidating. This is not the case at Surprenant & Beneski, PC. At our law firm, we are warm, friendly, and we work as a team. Each of our valued clients enjoys the assistance of our hard-working support staff in addition to experienced elder law attorneys. Our receptionists, case manager, client service manager, and MassHealth coordinator all work together to make sure that our clients receive the attention and communication they deserve.

Contact Our Experienced New Bedford Estate Planning Lawyers Today

If you are interested in discussing your estate planning needs, Surprenant & Beneski, PC can help. When you are ready to schedule your consultation, please call or complete our Request a Consultation form. One of our friendly staff members will give you a call to schedule your appointment.

Our Other office Locations


45 Bristol Drive, Easton, MA 02375


336 South Street, Hyannis, MA 02601

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