Don J. J. Cordell's law practice is primarily concentrated in the areas of estate and related tax planning and business law with particular emphasis in the representation of closely held and family businesses. He also specializes in administering trusts and estates, long-term-care planning and other elder law matters, estate planning for disabled persons, guardianship and conservatorship matters, and representation of clients in probate controversies.
At the request of certain clients, Don serves in the role of executor (personal representative) and trustee. He also regularly serves as guardian ad litem by appointment of the Massachusetts Probate Courts.
Honors & Awards
Boston Magazine, "Top Lawyers" - Trusts & Estates, 2022
Massachusetts Super Lawyers - Estate Planning & Probate, 2020-2022
John D. O'Reilly, Jr. Award for Contributions to the Law
JD, Boston College Law School
BA, magna cum laude, Boston College
- Member, Boston Estate Planning Council
- Member, Trusts & Estates Section, Boston Bar Association
- Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (including the National and Massachusetts chapters)
- Member, Probate Law Section Council, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Co-author, Amicus Brief filed on behalf of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys in Nadeau vs Thorn (Director of the Office of Medicaid), Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court No. SJC-12205, concerning Medicaid/MassHealth eligibility denials arising from irrevocable income only trusts (IIOTs) that contain reserved rights to use and occupy a primary residence transferred to the IIOT
- Co-author, Amicus brief filed on behalf of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA”) in Heyn (Roche) vs. Thorn (Office of Medicaid), which led to the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s decision that validates the use of Irrevocable Income Only Trusts (IIOTs) in long-term-care planning. The Court held that assets held by a properly drafted IIOT are not countable for Medicaid long-term-care coverage. The decision struck down a number of legal arguments on which MassHealth (the Office of Medicaid) and assorted fair hearing officers have been relying since the outcome in Doherty v. Office of Medicaid to count IIOT assets and disqualify elders from coverage.
- Co-author, "Five Reasons You Should Have an Updated Will — and Estate Plan,"MarketWatch, 2019