Rachel M. Wassel is a Shareholder of the firm and Chair of the Trusts & Estates Group. Rachel’s practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning as well as the administration of trusts and estates. She emphasizes a collaborative approach to estate planning and works closely with clients’ financial, legal and tax advisors. In addition to preparing fundamental estate planning documents, Rachel has significant experience preparing and implementing complex planning strategies for high net worth clients and business owners.
Rachel works closely with clients to ensure their estate planning is specifically tailored to meet their unique needs. She prepares revocable and irrevocable trusts, including irrevocable life insurance trusts, defective grantor trusts, qualified domestic trusts for non-citizen spouses, as well as so-called income-only Medicaid trusts.
She routinely works with families and individuals affected by special needs or incapacity and represents fiduciaries, including professional guardians and conservators. She prepares various special needs trusts, including self-settled (d)(4)(A) trusts. Having previously worked full-time for Perkins School for the Blind, Rachel appreciates the unique planning issues faced by families of individuals affected by special needs.
Rachel frequently serves as court-appointed fiduciary, helping families and attorneys to resolve complicated probate disputes in a tax and time efficient manner. For example, in some cases protracted litigation can be avoided with nonjudicial settlement agreements or will compromises.
Rachel enjoys working with charitably motivated clients to create and fund charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and private family foundations. Funding charitable trusts during lifetime can be an effective retirement planning strategy to minimize and defer income tax. Such trusts can also be used to pass wealth to the next generation while minimizing gift and estate taxes.
When needed, Rachel can also draw upon the resources of RIW’s other practice groups to provide services in areas such as commercial real estate, lending and general business matters.
Before joining RIW’s Trusts & Estates Group, Rachel managed her own successful practice in Foxboro, Massachusetts, for more than 15 years. She routinely presents on estate planning in Massachusetts and is a 2021 recipient of the Five Star Professional Award for estate planning.
Associations & Organizations:
- Member, Norfolk County Bar Association
- Legal Advisor, Spier Family Foundation (2015 -present)
- Docent, Art History Program, Walpole Public Schools (2013-present)
- Assistant to fundraising committee, Friends of Walpole Recreation (2021-present)
- Speaker, South Shore Support Services
- Walpole Junior Women’s Club (2005-2011)
- Volunteer personal trainer, Livestrong Program, Foxboro YMCA (2011, 2012)
- Member, Boston Estate Planning Council