Eileen Lee Breger concentrates her practice on estate planning, tax strategies, special needs planning, long-term care planning, and estate and trust administration. As an attorney, she takes a practical and personalized approach and frequently works with:
- Families on their estate planning, including blended families
- High net-worth families in need of asset protection, business succession planning and gift and estate tax strategies
- Families providing for special-needs family members
- Elders in need of long-term care planning
- Personal Representatives and trustees on probate matters, estate settlement and ongoing trust administration.
Eileen has a broad range of estate planning clients. “Everyone needs an estate plan,” she says, “from a simple plan, such as a young couple naming a guardian for their minor children, to an upgraded plan for a couple nearing retirement, which might include tax and asset-protection measures.” Regardless of the age or type of client, Eileen takes time to listen to her client’s goals and to design a plan that is tailored to the client’s individualized needs, yet is balanced and not overly complicated. She sees her role as a trusted adviser and, where there’s a conflict, she is a mediator, working to de-escalate and help work things out between the involved parties.
With her long-term care planning practice, Eileen helps elders who would like to protect assets for a spouse or their children from the costs of long-term care in the community or in a skilled nursing facility. She is a member of the Massachusetts NAELA public policy committee and stays up to date on current changes in this area of law and is currently pursuing her LL.M. in tax at Boston University, which will allow her to provide more in-depth tax planning and wealth transfer advice to her clients.
Prior to joining Bowditch & Dewey, Eileen practiced at a MetroWest estate planning law firm. Before that, she was a judicial intern at the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, in the chambers of Judge Torruella. She also previously served as a judicial intern for Judge Judith Fabricant of the Massachusetts Superior Court and as a law clerk for the Department of the Interior (assigned to BP oil spill litigation) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Rhode Island. During law school, Eileen represented family law clients as a student attorney in the Boston College Law School Civil Litigation Clinic.
“During the warmer months, I have a large flower garden, including perennial succulents, which are interesting because of their shape and novelty.” Additionally, Eileen and her husband like to travel, especially to the islands of Hawaii.
- Chair, Webinars and Seminars Committee, Boston Estate Planning Council
- Member, Legislative Policy Committee, Women’s Bar Association
- Member, Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
- Member, Trusts and Estates Consortium
- Member, National Association of Asian American Professionals, Boston Chapter
- Member, Public Policy Committee, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Member, Newton/Needham Chamber of Commerce
- Former Associate Director of Women in NAAAP, National Association of Asian American Professionals, Boston Chapter
- Former Vice Chair, Webinars and Seminars Committee, Boston Estate Planning Council
Articles + Talks
- “The Trust Funds of Economic Development: Reexamining the Prudent Man Standard in Nineteenth Century Massachusetts,” Economic and Business Historical Society Conference, 2011
- J.D., Boston College Law School
- B.A., Vassar College
Helping a younger married couple choose a guardian and trustee
A Boston-area married couple in their early 30s came to Eileen needing help with putting an estate plan in place shortly before the birth of their first child. The estate plan consisted of a family trust, and the couple had to decide on a guardian and trustee. Eileen noted, “The wife was an only child, so we spent a lot of time walking through their options. I asked them, ‘Who are the family members and friends in their lives, their jobs and personalities?’ They both looked to the husband’s brother as a good candidate for trustee and guardian.” Everything is signed and in place.
Updating an estate plan with a special needs trust
A married couple in their 50s wanted to update their estate plan for their three children, one of whom had developmental disabilities. “They were both well-to-do professionals working in the Boston area,” Eileen explained, “with children in middle school and high school, but their plan was outdated, without tax planning and, perhaps more importantly, did not properly provide for the special-needs situation.” Eileen met face-to-face with the couple to find out about the family and to learn about each child. As a result, Eileen recommended creating a lifetime special needs trust share to receive the child’s inheritance. “This meant that the drafting had to be done in way as to provide flexibility while not interfering with that child’s eligibility for government benefits.” She also worked with the couple’s financial advisor to ensure that additional life insurance was obtained to support the special needs child after they pass.