Lisa Cukier is a Partner and Executive Committee member at Burns & Levinson LLP in Boston. To start, Lisa explains why guardianships and conservatorships may be necessary for your family. Lisa then talks about what signs may appear when someone is experiencing a decline in their mental health. Finally, Lisa dives into exactly what the process looks like of going through guardianships and conservatorships. Some families can be apprehensive about the process, and there are other options. Tune in as Lisa explains why an incentive trust could be a better alternative to a typical guardianship or conservatorship.
IN THIS EPISODE:
- [04:10] Lisa explains why guardianships and conservatorships are needed. Lisa then talks about what signs may appear when someone is experiencing a decline in their mental health.
- [09:20] About the process of going through guardianship and conservatorship.
- [15:10] How Lisa works with families who are resistant to guardianships and conservatorships.
- [19:05] There’s a less intrusive alternative to guardianships and conservatorships: an incentive trust.
- Guardianships and conservatorships are typically court-appointed. To get one, you will need to file a petition in court.
- There needs to be a link between a medical diagnosis and lacking the capacity to make certain decisions.
- An incentive trust can be a more suitable alternative to guardianship and conservatorship.
- Mental health issues will happen in every single family; it’s critical to be prepared ahead of time.
LISA M. CUKIER is a Partner and Executive Committee member at Burns & Levinson LLP in Boston. Her practice includes fiduciary representation, trust planning and trust dispute resolution and litigation, family crisis and family dispute resolution, sophisticated high end divorce, divorce impacted by family trusts and family business, blended family planning and litigation, mental health and addiction related legal interventions, elder law, guardianship and conservatorship litigation, grandparents visitation matters, and elder financial exploitation and undue influence matters. Previously, Ms. Cukier was assistant general counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Department of Mental Retardation (now DDS). As Special Assistant Attorney General at DMR, she prosecuted disabled person abuse cases for the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. She is a past president of the Massachusetts Family and Probate American Inn of Court and is presently serving on its Board of directors, is a member of the Boston Probate and Estate Planning Forum, the Boston Estate Planning Council, and the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem. Ms. Cukier has been recognized with the Best Lawyers designation from 2010 – 2021, the SuperLawyers designation from 2005-2021, the Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award in 2005, a National Law Journal Trailblazer in 2017, the Women Worth Watching recognition in 2018, Top Women of Law in 2019, and sits on the WBA Women Leaders Initiative as of 2020. Ms. Cukier is a graduate of Northeastern University and Suffolk University Law School. Ms. Cukier is raising her two children in Weston Massachusetts.