Donald N. Freedman

Elder and Disability Law
Estate Planning
Probate and Trust Administration

246 Walnut Street
Suite 201
Newton, Massachusetts 02460

Tel: 617-964-7000 x160   

On the practice of Elder and Disability Law

Freedman"Our clients often come to us feeling overwhelmed by their concerns, whether about impoverishing themselves in paying for a spouse’s nursing home placement, or ensuring the personal and financial protection of a child with special needs after they are gone, or obtaining essential disability benefits and health care services. These needs pose complex issues. The law itself is complicated and government procedures and bureaucracies seldom help. Also, we need to take into account sensitive personal and family considerations, particularly involving the effort to find a balance of autonomy and protection that is appropriate for the particular client.

With seven lawyers and an experienced support staff of paralegals and legal assistants, we have the capacity to concentrate on every aspect of elder and disability law, estate planning, trust administration and estate settlement. We have the commitment, knowledge, depth and expertise to respond quickly and effectively to even the most difficult situation. Being an integral part of a full service firm helps us bring relevant expertise – in real estate, domestic relations, creditor protection, or litigation, for example – to bear on any issue within our areas of practice. We are also very willing to work with a client’s financial, tax account and care advisors, to help the client forge a comprehensive response to his or her needs."


Attorney Donald N. Freedman concentrates his practice in elder law, work and entitlement-related legal problems of adults with disabilities, special estate planning for families with children with disabilities and other special needs, and advising trustees, guardians and other fiduciaries on most appropriately meeting their responsibilities.

He has argued elder and disability law cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

In January 2009, Attorney Freedman was chosen by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. to be one of four recipients of its Scholar-Mentor Award for “outstanding contributions to legal education” over the past twenty-five years. He has been named one of “America’s Best Lawyers” in the field of elder law as published in the Boston Globe Magazine, annually 2008- 2016. (Susan Levin, of the Firm, is also on the list). As published in Boston Magazine, he has been named a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” in elder law, estate planning, probate and health care annually for the years 2004-2016, and in 2006 and 2007 was listed in the “top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers” in any field. He has also been selected as a “top rated lawyer in trusts and estates” by reason of his longstanding “AV” preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

A past Board Chair of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimers Association, and also of Learning Prep School, for children with special needs, Attorney Freedman serves on the Executive Advisory Council of The Arc of Massachusetts (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens); and on the Board of Advocates of Jewish Family and Children Services. Among other positions, he has served on the Governor’s Commission on Mental Retardation, and has worked both as chief staff and as an appointed member of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Jewish Vocational Services, where he chaired the Disability Services Committee.

Attorney Freedman, with Attorney Emily Starr, of Worcester, conceived the most important treatise for Massachusetts attorneys on elder and disability law, the three-volume, “Estate Planning for the Aged or Incapacitated Client in Massachusetts,” published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. He and Attorney Starr have authored chapters in and edited every edition of the treatise, now in its 4th edition (2015). He has also co-authorized with this wife, Ruth I. Freedman, Ph.D., the chapter, “Planning for Now and the Future: Social, Legal and Financial Concerns,” in Life Course Perspectives on Adulthood and Old Age, (American Association on Mental Retardation 1994), and has written and spoken widely on elder and disability law topics.

He has been active with Temple Emanuel, in Newton, where he currently serves on the Daily Minyan and Bereavement Committees, and volunteers with the STARS OF DAVID, an activity group he and his wife helped found about twenty-five years ago for Jewish adults with developmental disabilities or other special needs.

A 1969 graduate of Brandeis University, Attorney Freedman obtained his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1971, and has done graduate work with the Boston University School of Law Graduate Tax Program.

246 Walnut Street, Newton, MA 02460 | 617 964 7000