Joe grew up in East Lansing, Michigan. Joe’s father was a doctor working for St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing. His mother raised 5 children and was a registered nurse. When Joe was 17, his father died.
“When my father died, I was a senior in high school and planned to attend the University of Michigan,” Joe recalls. “We were left without our confidante, major breadwinner, and mentor. My father thought that his $300,000 in life insurance and a debt-free house was enough to keep the family afloat if he passed. Yet, none of his 5 children had completed college and all of us wanted to attend. My mother’s lifestyle disappeared after my father died. We struggled mightily to cope with his passing and it forever changed our lives.”
It is this early experience that ignited Joe’s passion to work in the Trust & Estate and Elder Law field. “If I can make this transition after death a little better for survivors, it gives me a great sense of personal accomplishment.”
Joe graduated from the University of Michigan with high distinction, and received his master’s degree in public policy studies and a law degree there, as well. The University of Michigan Law School is one of the finest law schools in the country. Joe met his wife, Ellen, while attending the Law School. They came to Connecticut in 1983.
A leader in trust & estates and elder law
In his 30 years in practice, Joe has become a leader in the trust and estate and elder law field. He serves on the Executive Committees of the Estates & Probate Section and the Elder Law Section of Connecticut Bar Association (CBA). He is on the Steering Committee of the Estates & Probate Section. He has served as chair of the continuing legal education committee of CT-NAELA (Connecticut Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys) and the CBA Elder Law Section. Joe has led many seminars for CT-NAELA and the Elder Law Section on topics as diverse as evidence in conservatorship proceedings, special needs planning in the family law setting, veterans’ benefits, and home health care strategies.
Articles and books Joe has written
Joe has written numerous articles for such publications as the CT-NAELA Practice Update, the Estates & Probate Newsletter of the CBA Estates & Probate Section, the Connecticut Law Tribune, Practical Tax Strategies, and the Connecticut Lawyer and Connecticut Bar Journal of the Connecticut Bar Association.
Joe wrote the book, Annuities in Connecticut Estate Planning, published by the Connecticut Bar Association in 2011. The result of nearly three years of research, Annuities in Connecticut Estate Planning, represents the first endeavor to bring together estate planning and elder law concerning this popular investment, all in the context of Connecticut and federal law. The book has led to several speaking engagements before Connecticut lawyers.
Boards and councils
Joe served on the Board of Directors of the Estate & Tax Planning Council of Eastern Connecticut. He has also served as counsel and past Board member of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.
Joe has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the results of peer reviews and client reviews giving him the highest possible rating from that organization in both legal ability and ethical standards. Joe has the highest 10.0 rating from Avvo, a leading attorney rating service for consumers. In 2013 and 2014, Joe became a Super Lawyer in Estate Plan the highest possible rating from that organization in both legal ability and ethical standardsning & Probate. Only 5 percent of the total lawyers in the state are selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers. In 2014, Joe was elected a Fellow of The American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is a non-profit association of leading trust and estate lawyers. Joe had to meet rigorous eligibility criteria to be elected a Fellow. In the field of trust and estate law, Joe demonstrated skill and significant contributions through writing, teaching and bar leadership activities.
Certified Financial Planner, too
Besides being a lawyer, Joe is also a Certified Financial Planner®. He passed the rigorous CFP® examination in 2000 and continues to attend financial planning seminars to keep his knowledge current. “I love math, writing and problem solving with my clients. Whether a client owns a business, has a considerable investment portfolio from years as an executive, or is struggling with long-term care and qualifying for Title 19, I guide them through the financial transitions in their life.”
For more information about Joe’s book click on the Learning Center above.