The Trusts and Estates Consortium was created in the fall of 2005 by a group of 40 Boston-based trusts and estates professionals seeking to discuss new developments in their field, network, and share experiences. Since then, the group, also known as “TEC,” has grown to over 200 members across Massachusetts. The Consortium now boasts a dynamic lineup of speakers at least every two months, including past speakers Natalie Choate and Steve Akers, on a variety of pertinent topics. In addition, TEC allows its members to post questions, referral needs, and job opportunities to the membership, thus being able to benefit from the experience of the group. Finally, the Consortium offers networking events throughout the year that allow the members to get to know each other in a relaxed setting.
Board of Directors and Officers
Carly Brooks | President
Caroline (Carly) Brooks is Associate Counsel with the Advanced Markets Group for the U.S. Individual Life operations of John Hancock. In her role as an advanced markets attorney, she provides life insurance, tax, estate planning, and business planning expertise to home office employees, field personnel, and producers. She serves as a lead author and editor of technical advanced marketing materials and is a frequent speaker at industry events across the country.
Carly received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Criminal Justice and Political Science from the University at Albany, SUNY, in Albany, New York. Carly received her Juris Doctor with a concentration in Estate Planning and her Masters of Business Administration from Western New England University School of Law, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Carly is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. She currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Tax Facts, a publication of The National Underwriter Company, is a co-author of the 19th Edition of the Tools and Techniques of Estate Planning, a Leimberg Library publication, and has been published in Broker World.
Advanced Markets, John Hancock Insurance
197 Clarendon St
Boston, MA 02116
Mark Alaimo | Vice President
Nikki Marie Olivera | Treasurer
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
155 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
Liza Connelly | Secretary
Professional experience and education: Liza Connelly is a Senior Vice President and Fiduciary Advisor at CIBC Private Wealth Management. Prior to joining CIBC Private Wealth Management, Liza worked at Boston Private Bank & Trust Company as a Wealth & Fiduciary Strategist, providing extensive estate and tax planning strategies for clients with sophisticated estate plans and complex tax issues. She previously practiced as an associate in the Trusts & Estates Department of Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster PC, where she focused on estate planning, estate administration, trust administration and tax work for her clients.
Prior to law school, Liza worked in offshore relationship management and marketing at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co in Boston and in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Liza received her Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University, her LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University.
Professional groups: Liza is an active member of the Boston Bar Association and a Board member of the Boston Estate Planning Council (BEPC). She is the recent Past President of the Trusts & Estates Consortium (“TEC”) in Boston, a group of over 160 trust and estates attorneys, trust officers, wealth planners and private client professionals. During her time as President, Liza launched the Women’s Forum and the Philanthropy Committee.
Community Involvement: Liza is a member of the Council of Overseers at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She is also the Vice Chair of the Professional Advisors Committee of the Brookline Community Foundation, and she is on the Alter Guild of the Brookline Episcopal Church of Our Savior.
Personal note: Liza enjoys travelling and going on safaris with her husband as well as running and playing tennis.
CIBC Private Wealth Management
100 Federal Street, 19th Fl
Boston, MA 02110
Catherine Neijstrom | Board Member
Catherine Olender Neijstrom is a lawyer at Gilmore Rees & Carlson PC. Catherine serves clients in the areas of estate planning and estate and trust administration. She is a graduate of Yale University and Boston University School of Law. Catherine is a member of Boston Probate Forum, has been a speaker at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and Boston’s Trusts & Estates Consortium and was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Massachusetts Super Lawyers in the field of Estate Planning & Probate (2013 and 2014). Catherine was a Board Member of the Yale Glee Club Associates from 2008-2014 and is a founding member of the Concord Carousel Preschool Scholarship Committee.
Gilmore Rees & Carlson PC
70 Walnut St
Wellesley, MA 02481
Nicole Hostettler | Board Member
Bass, Doherty & Finks, P.C.
40 Soldiers Field Place
Boston, MA 02135-1104
Founder & Past President
Sara A. Wells founded the Trusts and Estates Consortium in 2005, and served as its President until 2015. Sara, a Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, devotes her practice to estate planning, estate and trust administration, tax planning, and business succession planning. Sara assists clients in the creation of their estate plans, including establishing various irrevocable trusts to help clients make tax-efficient transfers to family members. She also administers estates, including the preparation of probate court documents and estate tax returns, and advises Personal Representatives on their fiduciary duties. Sara is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, an Accredited Estate Planner of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, a Massachusetts Super Lawyer, a “Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly” 2015 Top Woman of Law, and the Founder of the Trusts and Estates Consortium. Sara has her B.S. in Economics from the University of Florida, her J.D. and LL.M in Taxation from Boston University, and is licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
One Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110
Drake Richey | Lunch Seminars Chair
Drake Richey is a partner at Bush & Company in 2015, a firm that specializes in financial planning for individuals and closely held businesses. For 40 years, Bush & Company has been a trusted advisor to families and businesses across the US, helping with integrated personal, estate, and business planning.
Drake started his career working for the Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools (FOCUS) for two years, an organization that helps support Christian ministries at independent schools across New England. He then worked as a Director as Fitch Ratings in Public Finance and then as a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo in New York City.
Drake has a BA in Economics and Chinese language from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He holds his FINRA Series 65 and 7 and AIF designation. He and his wife Sarah live in Charlestown, MA and have three kids, Draper, George, and Beatrice.
Bush and Company
101 Federal Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02110
Emily Beekman | Women’s Forum Chair
Casner & Edwards, LLP
303 Congress Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
Michael Rose | Networking Chair
Michael P. Rose is a Senior Financial Advisor at Modera Wealth Management, LLC. Michael works with clients to identify and implement a custom-tailored investment management and financial planning strategy designed to help each client achieve their particular financial objectives. Michael has particular experience in advising senior-level business executives regarding the management of employer stock options and concentrated stock positions, in addition to the wide variety of financial matters that are unique to these individuals.
Professional Experience: Michael has worked in the wealth management industry since 2009. Prior to joining Modera, he worked as a financial advisor at Proctor Financial, where he provided financial planning and investment management services to the firm’s clients. Michael started his career as an industry analyst at IDC. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Master of Science in Taxation from Bentley College. He obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2013.
Outside of Modera: Michael is an active member of the Bentley University Alumni Association and the Boston Estate Planning Council. He and his wife reside in Newton, Massachusetts.
Modera Wealth Management, LLC
535 Boylston Street, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 247-0518 Ext. 316
Sarah Roscioli | Philanthropy Chair
Sarah Roscioli is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Private Clients group. Her practice focuses on the development of sophisticated estate plans tailored to the planning and wealth transfer goals of individuals and families. Sarah is a co-author of Chapter 16 of Massachusetts Nonprofit Organizations– Administering a Private Foundation. She earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her B.A. in political science and history from the University of Vermont. Sarah is admitted to the Massachusetts bar.
Nixon Peabody LLP
100 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110
Jennifer Civitella Hilario | Pro Bono Chair
Jennifer Civitella Hilario works with families and individuals to develop creative estate and tax planning strategies customized to meet her clients’ specific needs. Her approach is to understand each client’s unique goals and objectives and to develop an appropriate estate plan, often through tax-sensitive strategies. Jennifer’s estate planning practice also includes complex gifting strategies, charitable planning, advice to fiduciaries, special needs planning, and business succession planning for owners of closely-held businesses. Ancillary to estate planning, Jennifer serves as an advisor to private foundations on governance and compliance matters. She practices before the IRS and has successfully obtained Private Letter Rulings on behalf of closely-held businesses.
Jennifer has practiced as an estate and tax planning attorney since 2003. Prior to starting her own firm, Jennifer was a partner at a Boston business law firm that provided comprehensive legal services to closely-held businesses and their owners.
Jennifer received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Rosemont College in 2000. She is a 2003 graduate of Boston College Law School and received the Boston College Graduate School Association Award for Outstanding Community Service. After receiving her J.D., Jennifer attained an LL.M. from Boston University’s Graduate Tax Program in 2006, graduating with her class’s highest cumulative GPA.
Jennifer is an active member of the Boston Estate Planning Counsel, having served on its Young Professionals Committee (2009-2010), its Sponsorship Committee (2010-2011) and its Programs Committee (2011-2012). She is also an active member of the Boston Bar Association, for the BBA’s Trust & Estate’s Committee, having served as a co-chair of the Practice Fundamentals Subcommittee (2012-2014) and a co-chair of the Communications Subcommittee (2015-2016). Jennifer served on The Boston Foundation’s Professional Advisor Network from 2009 until 2011. She served as a volunteer attorney with Shelter Legal Services Foundation Inc. (SLSF) from 2003 until 2011 and served as a board member of SLSF from 2009 through 2011. Jennifer is currently the chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the Boston Trusts & Estates Consortium.
Attorey at Law
111 Rice Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
Micah Williams | Membership Committee Chair
Micah Williams is a Wealth Advisor at Heritage Financial, a firm focused on holistically serving the wealth management needs of its clients, integrating both sophisticated planning strategies and custom tailored portfolio solutions. Prior to joining Heritage, Micah worked at Lake Street Advisors as a Financial Planner and RBC Wealth Management as a Sr. Business Associate.
Micah graduated from Bentley University with a degree in Economics & Finance, while playing ice hockey for the Falcons. He obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ certification is 2016. He and his wife Courtney live in West Newton, MA with their daughter Rosie.
100 Lowder Brook Drive, Suite 1000
Westwood, MA 02090