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Megan C. Neal



Megan is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Private Clients group. Megan focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, tax planning and estate and trust administration. She creates personalized estate plans tailored toward each client’s family, financial and business goals.

What do you focus on?

With over twelve years of experience, I have developed the following areas of focus:

Estate and Tax Planning for High Net Worth Individuals

I advise and counsel individuals and families through various life events and work with clients to understand the various estate planning tools available to them to further their objectives. Specifically, I provide sophisticated estate planning strategies to minimize transfer tax exposure and creditor risks; to control, to preserve and pass family wealth to the next generation; and to protect family heirloom real estate by creating a mechanism with which to manage the real estate throughout the generations. I help clients with their philanthropic goals and assist clients encouraging social responsibility among future generations. I have extensive experience using progressive estate planning tools such as directed trusts, non-judicial settlement agreements and decanting.

Asset Protection

I help clients protect their hard-earned assets and family wealth from creditors, including spouses in divorce. I facilitate asset protection planning using various vehicles such as third-party settled discretionary trusts, domestic asset protection trusts and the formation and funding of family limited liability companies.

Income Tax Planning

I advise clients on fiduciary income tax matters pertaining to irrevocable non-grantor trusts. I structure trusts to enable beneficiaries to stretch the retirement account benefits over their lifetimes, thereby maximizing the income tax deferral on such trust assets.

Estate and Trust Administration

I advise fiduciaries with respect to their duties and powers in trust and estate administration. I also personally serve as independent executor and as trustee of irrevocable trusts. I have successfully defended multiple state and federal estate tax returns on audit.

Trusts and Divorce

I draft prenuptial agreements. I also advise family law attorneys and draft expert opinions with respect to the divisibility of trust interests in divorce and the vulnerability of trust assets to claims of alimony and child support.

What do you see on the horizon?

As the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions continue to rise, the focus for many families has shifted toward creditor protection and income tax minimization, particularly with respect to trust level taxation. Creative ways to shift assets to the next generation and use of trusts as vehicles to minimize income taxation and provide creditor protection is an important aspect of future estate planning.

Publications and Presentations

  • Speaker, “State Taxation of Trusts,” 35th Annual Tax Forum, Concord, New Hampshire, November 30, 2017
  • Speaker, “The Role of the Trustee: Basic Duties, Distribution Powers & Duties” and “Termination of Trusts and Funding Sub-Trusts,” Fundamentals of Administering Formerly Revocable Trusts, Concord, New Hampshire, November 29, 2017
  • Speaker, “Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes” and “Funding Trusts and Beneficiary Designations,” Concord, New Hampshire, November 30, 2016
  • Speaker, “Trust Interests in Divorce,” 34th Annual Tax Forum, Concord, New Hampshire, November 3, 2016
  • “Highway Bill Imposes New Basis Consistency and Reporting Requirements,” New Hampshire Bar News, Feb. 17, 2016, Vol. 26, No. 9 at 30
  • McDonald and Neal, “New Rules for the Treatment of a Spouse’s Discretionary Trust Interests and Powers of Appointment in Divorce under UTC Article 5 and Goodlander: Good, Bad and Ugly,” 55 N.H. Bar Jour. 20 (December 2015)
  • McDonald and Neal, “Family Law: Treatment of Trust Interests in Divorce: An Overview,” New Hampshire Bar News, Nov. 19, 2014, Vol. 25, No. 6 at 30

Contact

Megan C. Neal

Associate

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1152


Boston University School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation

Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

Skidmore College, B.A., magna cum laude

New Hampshire

Massachusetts

Rhode Island

  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of Trusts and Estates
  • Rising Star, Massachusetts Super Lawyers—2015, 2017 and 2018
  • Ernest M. Haddad Award, for overall ability taking into consideration academic achievement, character and potential to serve the public interest, May 2014
  • Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Served as co-chair of the Trusts & Estates Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Member of both the Boston and New Hampshire Estate Planning councils
  • Served as president of the New Hampshire Estate Planning Council during the 2015–2016 fiscal year
  • Member of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s CLE Committee
  • Served as a member of an ad hoc legislative study committee, which resulted in the enactment of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in New Hampshire in 2017
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