Michael DellaMonaca graduated with honors from Boston College Law School in 1997. After graduation, Michael was an associate at the prestigious Fitchburg law firm of Gelinas and Ward, LLP, where he represented high-net worth families and their businesses, and assisted in formulating their estate plans. He then went on to practice for several years in the greater Boston area, where he continued his estate planning practice, and also became well-versed in commercial law and real estate finance.
Despite great success in the legal field, Michael always felt something was missing. He became an attorney to help people, to guide them through life's potential pitfalls, but yet he felt the traditional law firm set up was actually serving as a barrier between him and his clients.
Also, he felt that it was time to return to North Central Massachusetts, where he grew up and where his career started, to give back to his local community.
Based on this experience, in the fall of 2008, Michael started a law firm that differs from traditional firms in three key ways:
A Lifetime Approach: You can go to any general practitioner (or with a little practice, even the Internet) and get a set of form estate planning documents. Some offices have even set themselves up as "mills," where documents are cranked out at a dizzying speed, you sign where the attorney indicates, and you pay your bill and go on your way, possibly without ever dealing with that office ever again.
This assembly-line approach to estate planning is something Michael has set out to change. Of course, our office drafts your estate planning documents. But this is accompanied by immeasurable advice, counseling, and consultation -- several face-to-face encounters in which we spend as much time as is needed for you to truly understand your estate plan. We have follow-up and review sessions where you can make any tweaks or adjustments to your plan at no additional charge, and most importantly, we meet with you every three years, for the rest of your life (again at no additional charge) to discuss your estate plan, your family, your assets, and any life changes that need to be incorporated into your plan. Once you become a member of our office family, you are a member throughout your lifetime; hence our motto: "Have a plan for life."
Flat-Fee Billing: As explained above, Michael was at a point where clients were afraid to ask him questions. This was not because they didn't trust his advice, but they were afraid of getting a bill in the mail the next day. How did we solve this problem? We disposed of all the time clocks, time slip programs, and other traditional hourly measurements of time. As a result, more than 90% of our legal work is done on a flat-fee basis. For you, this means not only should you never be afraid of picking up the phone to talk to Michael or his staff, but rather, your questions and comments are welcomed and encouraged. It is in your best interest, and Michael's best interest, that you and your family understand your estate plan, fully, without exception. Our flat-fee billing, and the superior value it offers, helps to assure this.
A Different Kind of Office Environment: In March 2010, we moved our office to a beautiful building in south Fitchburg and custom-designed a true client service center. Gone are all of the stereotypical images of a law office, and in their place is a welcoming environment, where clients and prospective clients can feel free to drop in, have a cup of coffee, read a pamphlet, and discuss with our staff any questions or concerns regarding their plan for life.
Our office is also different because instead of the attorney being made purposely inaccessible or "hidden" behind a wall of receptionists or legal secretaries or seemingly always "in conference," Michael is always accessible to answer his clients' questions in person or by telephone. He purposely blocks off specific times throughout the week in which clients can drop in to discuss their estate plan, their brother-in-law's estate plan, or any other legal matter, without the worry that a meter is running or that a bill will follow.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. We welcome your questions and hope that you too will experience the peace of mind that comes with being a valued member of our office family.
Boston College Law School (Juris Doctorate, 1997)
Connecticut College (Bachelor of Arts, 1994)
Lunenburg High School (Class of 1990)
Admitted to Massachusetts Bar and U.S. District Court
Business Network International
Wilder Lodge of Freemasons
National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
If you have a question, a comment, or simply want to have a conversation and explore how we can help, we'd love to hear from you.