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John Donahue

Attorney
John Donahue
Education
  • Boston University School of Law, Master of Laws (LL.M) in Taxation, 2018
  • Suffolk University Law School, Juris Doctorate (JD), 2011
  • Boston College, Bachelor of Arts (BA), 2008
Practice Areas
Contact Information

Attorney Profile

John is an associate with Wilchins Cosentino and Novins, LLP. John’s practice includes working with individuals and families to address their dynamic estate planning, business succession planning, elder law, estate and trust administration, and tax needs.

Believing in a client-centric approach, John works with families to develop unique estate plans by incorporating client goals of minimizing estate taxes, avoiding probate, efficiently transferring assets to beneficiaries, special needs planning, and protection of assets from the cost of long term care.

John regularly works with special needs clients and families to preserve current benefits and to plan for the long term maintenance of support networks as caregivers and guardians age or become unable to continue to provide the same level of involvement.

John has lectured at educational seminars for other attorneys, CPAs, and financial advisors on topics for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (“MCLE”) and the Foundation for Continuing Education concerning income tax planning, effective planning strategies for aging clients concerned about long term care, and MassHealth applications.

John is an alumni of Boston University Law School where he earned his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation, Suffolk University Law School where he earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.), Boston College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History, and Milton Academy where he graduated from high school.

Prior to joining WCN, John worked as an associate in the estate planning, estate administration, and tax departments at Cushing & Dolan, PC, of Waltham, Massachusetts and as an associated in the estate planning department at Gosselin, Moschella & Kyriakidis, P.C. of Winchester, Massachusetts.

John is married with two children and currently lives in Westwood, Massachusetts.

Representative matters:

    • John worked with a family to structure a transition a multi-million dollar family held business through the use of selective gifting and valuation discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability to save the family both estate and income taxes.

    • John worked with a Personal Representative of an intestate decedent having approximately $20 million in highly illiquid assets to obtain a Section 6166 deferral for estate taxes due nine months after date of death and coordinated various lien releases to facilitate the sale of assets to eventually pay such taxes.

    • John worked with a family to preserve a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption (“DSUE”) and strategically use the preserved DSUE for the surviving spouse’s lifetime gifting program to reduce the couple’s ultimate estate tax liability.

    • John worked with a family to effectively administer an estate whose sole beneficiaries were two developmentally disabled adults and created self-settled supplemental needs trusts (so called d(4)(A) trusts) to preserve their government benefits and programs.

    • John worked with a family to help preserve family assets for a spouse who had developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease through the use of single premium immediate annuity (“SPIA”) and eventually protect those same returned assets from the cost of long term care for the spouse continuing to live in the community.

    • John worked with a family to obtain a judicial modification to an irrevocable trust with incomplete dispositive provisions to allow the family to distribute assets to children presently rather than continue to hold assets in trust for the next twenty (20) years saving the family the time and expense of trust administration expenses and income tax filings.

  • John worked with the Trustee of an irrevocable life insurance trust to satisfy her fiduciary responsibilities to review the health of an insurance policy purchased fifteen years prior by a prior Trustee and exercise her discretionary authority to decant the policy to a trust which better suited the beneficiaries as they aged.

Professional Associations & Memberships:



Massachusetts Bar Association
Boston Estate Planning Counsel
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Bar Admissions



Commonwealth of Massachusetts