First, Why do I do this?
It's simple really. My family - specifically, my grandparents. Although they are no longer with us, their memory is a constant reminder to me about why I chose this field.
When my firm was still new, my grandparents (to me, Nanny & Papa) decided it would be best to move into an assisted living facility. My grandfather was starting to suffer from dementia, and his symptoms were worsening - he needed more specialized care. As we all know, the costs of long-term care are astronomical. During this time, my family and I watched as they drained their savings in order to live comfortably and safely.
My family kept asking me about my grandparents’ legal rights, but I was a young lawyer then, and the truth is, I didn't know the answers. I was still perfecting and honing the focus of my practice. I made a pledge to myself then, that I would become educated in the fields of elder law and estate planning. I took this opportunity to read and learn as much as I could to find some way — any way — to help my family. So I read, and I studied, and I attended continuing legal education, to learn this field.
What I learned is that pre-planning is the key, and we were already late to the game. That’s when I found my passion. I currently only accept cases in estate planning and elder law. While I have resources and a referral network available for clients needing other forms of legal help, my focus gives me the greatest opportunity to provide as much help as I can.
That's why I do it, and why I am passionate about it, and you can watch the "About Monteforte Law" video to see why I'm so dedicated to what I do. By helping others, in some small way, it's like I'm helping my grandparents too, and hopefully making them proud. We lost my grandfather in 2017, and my grandmother in 2019. My grandfather left me a ring when he passed away, and I keep it in a display case in my office, where I can see it every day. And it's not just the ring; my office is filled with gifts and decorations they gave me when I was first starting out, and could barely afford to pay the rent. A long time has passed since then, but I can look at these items - the ring, the nameplate on my desk, various trinkets - and feel the joy of when they were still here. They were also at the forefront of my mind when I created our firm's Core Values and wrote my two books.
People come to me in trying times. They, or their parents, worked and saved all of their lives, and now they worry they may lose it all to the costs of later-life care. And when I tell them I can help them, the weight falls off their shoulders. That's the best part of my day.
While it was my grandparents that got me into estate planning and elder law, there are three reasons why I still do it today: My wife Jill, and our two children, Gabriella and Michael. Jill and I have been together since college (1996 - yikes!) and we have been married almost 20 years. Jill works in the health care field. As of today (2020) Gabby is 16 and Mikey is almost 15, and they both go to Wilmington High School. Gabby has aspirations to (maybe) become a lawyer, and Mikey is interested in medicine and science.
Both of the kids are crazy busy! Gabriella dances competitively for The Dance Company here in Wilmington and has been traveling for dance competitions for many years. Gabby also plays field hockey and does spring track for Wilmington High School. Mikey has played club baseball since he was 9 years old, and has traveled the world playing in baseball tournaments. Along with his club team, Mikey will also play for Wilmington High School in the fall and hopes to play baseball in college. In our free time, we love to travel and go on cruises.
I grew up in Wakefield, MA, and went to Wakefield High, graduating in 1994. I attended Salem State University on the Presidential Scholarship for academics and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Salem State Honors Program in 1998 with a degree in criminal justice. The most important thing the criminal justice curriculum taught me was that I never wanted to be a criminal lawyer. It was definitely going to be the Civil side of the law for me.
I started Suffolk University Law School in Boston straight out of college, determined to finish in three years, despite having to work nights and weekends. I went to school with kids whose parents put them up in apartments around the corner from the school, while I was either taking the train or fighting the traffic. When I got out of class, I went to one of my two jobs, either a computer store in Woburn or a small law firm in Lynn.
Despite being exhausted most of the time, I graduated from Suffolk in 2001, meeting my goal of finishing in three years. I took the bar exam and got married all in the same week (bar exam on Wednesday and Thursday, rehearsal dinner on Friday, and the wedding on Sunday!) and still managed to pass on my first try. I was sworn into the Massachusetts Bar in January 2002.
Going Out on My Own
I stayed on as an Associate with the Lynn firm until 2006, when I went out on my own and opened the Law Office of Michael Monteforte Jr. in September 2006. I was licensed as a New York attorney in 2014. The firm started out as general practice, handling pretty much whatever came in the door, but over the years, I honed my expertise in estate planning and elder law.
The firm underwent a name change and incorporated it in 2017, and is now called Monteforte Law, P.C.
I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and am part of the Practice Development and Practice Management Section. Several times per year I attend the Medicare and Elder Law updates put on by the Foundation for Continuing Education and hold their Certificate in Trust & Estate Planning.
- Admitted January 2002, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
- Admitted to Federal practice March 2006, US District Court, District of MA
- Admitted to US Tax Court
- Admitted August 2014, State Supreme Court of New York
- Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Federal & Massachusetts Chapters
- Member of NAELA Practice Development & Practice Management Section
- Member of NAELA Alliances Committee
- Licensed Real Estate Broker
- Licensed Life Insurance Producer/Broker
- Holder of FCLE Certificate in Trust & Estate Planning
- Vetted and Approved by Secure Insight for real estate practice