Chris Mehne is a respected trust and estate lawyer with many years of experience helping clients in central Massachusetts, Metro West and Cape Cod with business succession planning and other sophisticated estate and trust planning and administration needs. Chris’ clients often turn to him when they’re facing difficult, multi-generational family business issues or when they need tax-driven estate plans and updates that are more responsive to their high net worth.
“Many of my estate-planning clients are younger professionals and entrepreneurs,” Chris notes, “who recognize the importance of planning as their careers evolve, they accumulate wealth and their families grow.” He regularly serves clients as their Personal Representative and Trustee and also handles complex issues involving guardianship and conservatorship law.
Regardless of their age or circumstances, Chris takes a holistic approach to solutions for his clients. His many years of experience across a wide range of issues allow him to bring accounting, real estate, tax and other outside expertise to bear on a problem or opportunity. “Along with the benefits of my experience,” he says, “I deal with clients on a personal level that has a way of putting them at ease, particularly in high-stress, high-emotion situations where my clients need to be reassured that I will be their friend and advisor as well as their lawyer.”
Chris enjoys playing golf, traveling and watching his grandchildren’s sports events. He is also involved in community work in his home town of Shrewsbury, including serving as a trustee of their public library foundation, Town Meeting Representative and former Town Moderator.
- “Lawyer of the Year,” named in Best Lawyers in the field of Trusts and Estates, 2021
- Best Lawyers in America, selected by his peers for listing in the field of Trusts and Estates, 2013, 2017-2021
- Selected to Massachusetts Super Lawyers since 2006 for Estate Planning & Probate
- Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., recently honored for over 25 years of teaching courses and writing books for lawyers in the estate planning, probate, guardianship and conservatorship fields
- Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
- Member, Massachusetts Bar Association, Worcester County Bar Association, Estate and Business Planning Council of Worcester County
- Corporator, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc.
- Co-founder, Shrewsbury Education Foundation, Inc.
- Co-founder, Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, Inc.
- Past Recipient, Greater Worcester Jaycees Outstanding Young Leader Award
- Former Moderator, Town of Shrewsbury, MA
- Former Trustee and President, Goddard/Homestead, Inc.
- Former Director, Children’s Friend, Inc.
- Former Fellow, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Former President, Massachusetts Moderators Association
- Former Director, Shrewsbury Development Corporation
- Former Member and Chair, Shrewsbury School Committee
Articles + Talks
- “Shedding Light On Blind Trusts,” Private Wealth Magazine, Summer 2017
- “Guardianship and Conservatorship Practice Under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code,” MCLE, 2013
- Lecturer and Curriculum Advisory Committee Member, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.
- New Hampshire
- United States Supreme Court
- J.D., cum laude, Boston College Law School
- B.A., summa cum laude, Boston College; Phi Beta Kappa
Updated estate plan reflects tax minimization, charitable giving and post-retirement income
Chris has recently been working with a married couple he’s known for years. “This is common in my practice,” Chris notes. “Our children grew up together, then we became friends, and then they became clients. I started out years ago preparing the couple’s basic estate planning documents, and we’re now on our third plan update.” As part of their current update, Chris advised the clients on several charitable giving techniques. He negotiated gift agreements with their alma maters and a local community foundation and also created a charitable remainder trust which will benefit a number of charities when the couple are deceased. “Meanwhile,” Chris adds, “the trust generates income for the clients during their retirement years.” Chris is also handling a complex series of investment and insurance transactions that minimize tax liability and maximize post-retire income. Chris serves as co-trustee for the couple’s estate plan.
A holistic solution to a thorny family disagreement with a Trustee
A client on Cape Cod is a Trustee for a trust created by a longtime friend of his. With Chris acting as advisor, the Trustee faced litigation with the friend’s family members involving valuable real estate that had to be sold. “There were complex, competing interests within the family,” Chris explained, “reflecting a second marriage and multiple generations.” Thanks to Chris’ listening skills and technical help, the client and the family members reached a compromise. “The settlement included the sale of the real estate and the establishment of a continuing trust for the benefit of the youngest generation of the family.” The family and the Trustee settled the dispute without litigation.