Many wealthy families envision keeping a shared property in the family as a means of building family unity, harmony and legacy. A number of notable families have been successful at this, but many others find the reality creates the opposite of their intention.

With this in mind, Ballentine Partners hosted an event on April 25, 2013 at Boston’s Ritz-Carlton for clients and advisors to hear some advice and best practices from several professionals with deep experience on the topic.

You can view a recording of the panel discussion above. You can also read a summary of the event here.


Our distinguished panel of speakers:

Michael A. Bass
Attorney, Bass & Doherty

Michael is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the New England School of Law. He holds an LL.M degree in Taxation from the Graduate Tax Program at Boston University School of Law. He is admitted to both the Massachusetts and Florida Bars and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Michael represents successful individuals, families and closely-held businesses in the areas of sophisticated estate planning, business succession, tax law, planned charitable giving and trust and probate administration. In addition, he provides guidance and counsel to clients with their real estate ventures and business transactions. As a trusted advisor he is frequently called upon to serve as Executor or Trustee to oversee the administration of complex probate estates and trusts, including those holding significant business, real estate and financial assets.

Michael is actively involved with the Boston Estate Planning Council where he served on the Board of Directors for many years. He currently sits on the Boards of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston and several private charitable foundations which are committed to benefiting the arts, medical research and overall community well being.

Michael is a frequent lecturer on a variety of Estate Planning and Business Planning topics for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and for other professional organizations.

Michael has been awarded the Accredited Estate Planner (“AEP”) designation by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils which recognizes estate planning professionals who meet special requirements of education, experience, knowledge, professional reputation, and character. For three consecutive years Michael was named by Worth magazine to its list of the 100 Top Attorneys in the United States who advise affluent clients.

Joseph F. McDonald, III
Attorney, McDonald & Kanyuk

Joe graduated from St. Anselm College in 1978 and earned his law degree from Suffolk University in 1983. He holds a masters degree in taxation (L.L.M.) from the Boston University School of Law. Joe practiced for fourteen years at the Concord, New Hampshire law firm of Cleveland, Waters and Bass, P.A., where he was a Director and Shareholder and chaired the firm’s Trusts and Estates Department. He also made a mid-career foray into the banking world, working in 1992 and 1993 as a Vice President with New London Trust’s Trust Division, where he managed two fully-staffed trust offices.

Joe has written and lectured extensively on the topics of asset protection, business succession and philanthropic planning for wealthy individuals and their families. His comments and articles have appeared in The Journal of Taxation for Accountants, The Back Forty, ACTEC Notes, The Dow Jones Investment Advisor, Trust and Estates, The New Hampshire Bar Journal, New Hampshire Bar News, Journal of the American Society of CLU and ChFC, Private Asset Management and other publications.

Joe has served as an adjunct professor at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, where he taught a course on wills, trusts and estates. He also frequently lectures to other professionals on all aspects of tax and estate planning. He is often retained as an expert witness to provide opinions and testimony in trust and estate litigation.
Joe is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is included among Woodward and White’s listing of the Best Lawyers in America. He holds the highest rating of A-V from Martindale Hubbell.

In addition to his legal work, Joe has served on several charitable and civic boards, including the NH State Arts Council, Concord Hospital, the Concord Area Chapter of the American Red Cross (Chairman), the American Automobile Association of Northern New England (Director) and the New Hampshire Trust Advisory Committee for the State Street Bank and Trust Company.

Moderated by:
Mariann Mihailidis
Family Office Exchange (FOX)

Mariann is a Managing Director at FOX and oversees its member councils, which are private networks of close peers working together to advance their professional development and to solve the unique challenges they face in their management of private wealth. She has extensive experience in the accounting and legal fields. As a practicing tax and estate planning attorney, she develops strategies in wealth transfer issues, taxes, and corporate structures.
About Ballentine Partners, LLC
Ballentine Partners is an independent wealth management firm that provides comprehensive investment and financial advice to a select group of wealthy families and entrepreneurs.The firm acts as a financial advocate for its clients and does not sell any products or have affiliations with any product sales company. Ballentine Partners has offices in Waltham, MA, Wolfeboro, NH and Providence, RI. For more information please visit