Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law

We know that no one wants to think about estate planning, but by prioritizing the future of your family, business, and assets, you are protecting your legacy. At Salter McGowan Sylvia & Leonard, we have years of experience with estate planning for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida, as well as other locations. Our knowledge of fundamental and sophisticated trust and estate planning techniques will avoid intra-family control issues, provide asset protection, and assure smooth business succession.

Estate Planning for Individuals

If you have children, a spouse, partner, or any important assets, we will sit down with you to make sure everyone and everything you love and care about will be protected. Our collaborative team will make you feel heard, appreciated, and confident that your estate is in good hands. We can help you with:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Living Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Medicaid Planning
  • Probate Administration
  • Medicaid Applications
We structure estates to maximize flexibility and minimize the amount of state and federal taxes. Additionally, our attorneys implement techniques to address and thoughtfully provide for all circumstances that may arise, as well as an expanding representation of the elderly and disabled.

Most of the estate planning we do for business owners involves coordinating the business, corporate and income tax planning, lifetime management of the assets of their owners, and the succession and appropriate distribution of such assets through effective estate planning.

Estate planning requires an attentive, considerate approach. Our team takes your future seriously and will always work with you, and for you, to achieve the best possible outcome.


Frequently Asked Questions

There is no “right” time, so long as you implement a plan while you are of sound mind. Generally, we find that people become motivated to plan their estates when major life events occur, such as:

Getting married
Having children
Getting divorced
Dealing with the aftermath of a parent’s death
Dealing with considerable personal health concerns
Taking a job that required a significant amount of travel
Relocating overseas for work
Planning a long vacation (usually out of the country)

Many of us put off this exercise as long as possible. This is a natural human instinct – few of us enjoy exercises that remind us of our own mortality. It is important, however, to plan, not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of those important to us.
A revocable trust is perhaps the most commonly used trust in estate planning. In many ways, the language used in a revocable trust is similar to the language used in a will. The person establishing the trust – called a grantor – directs particular assets to pass to specific beneficiaries, and appoints people to manage and distribute the assets.

If properly set up, a revocable trust serves two main purposes:

First, when the grantor dies, the assets in the trust will pass directly to the beneficiaries without passing though the probate system.

Second, if the grantor becomes incapacitated, the person appointed as backup trustee can step in and handle the assets without the need for court intervention.

Probate is the court process of transferring title to certain property and assets after a person has died. Probate property is, generally speaking, all of your assets which are not held in trust, and not pass title by some other means, such as joint tenancy or beneficiary designation. If you have no will in place, and your assets are not held in a trust, state law will determine who will receive your probate property when you pass. If you have a properly drafted will, your wishes will be stated as to where your probate assets should go. This can be a complicated process at an already difficult time, and it is wise to seek legal counsel from a probate attorney.
Yes. If you want to stay in your home, you have options that may be less expensive than a nursing home. You could obtain a reverse mortgage on your home or long-term care insurance or support through federal or state funding sources. A family member, friend or paid caretaker may be able to help you with personal care. If you want to stay in your home, an experienced elder law attorney can advise you about your options.


Our office is located in beautiful Downtown Providence with easy access to the Financial District and courts, with ample parking within walking distance.
Salter McGowan Sylvia & Leonard, Inc.

56 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401.274.0300
Fax: 401.453.0073