Melissa Langa

” My favorite part of the day is working with clients. They are dealing with important and sometimes difficult issues, and must understand complex concepts outside their normal comfort zones. That moment when they get it, when they understand they are in control of what happens, it’s pure joy to me. And if we can enjoy a laugh or two along the way as we discuss life and death issues, that’s the icing on the cake.”

Melissa Langa
Bove & Langa
10 Tremont Street
Suite 600
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-720-6040
Fax: 617-720-1919
[email protected]

Melissa Langa
MCLE 2019-2020 Scholar Mentor Award

Melissa Langa receives Estate Planner of the Year Award

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Melissa Langa

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Melissa Langa has built a dynamic practice guiding individuals, families, businesses, and charitable organizations in designing and implementing customized tax-efficient structures to meet their particular estate planning, asset protection planning, business, and charitable needs. Her clients are local and international. As part of her practice, Melissa has assisted business owners who wish to pass a business to certain children while treating their other children fairly, has helped surviving family members navigate the legal and tax implications of a loved one’s death while preserving family harmony, has drafted customized shared use agreements for vacation homes enjoyed by multiple generations, has prepared complex trusts to provide for family members with special needs, has assisted international families navigate the US tax system, has counseled clients in marital planning with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and has designed complex gifting structures to meet specific family and philanthropic goals. Melissa’s practice encompasses not only that of a trusts and estates advisor, but also as a family advisor and sounding board for all matters legal which a family faces in the 21st century. Melissa serves as a trustee and personal representative when asked to do so by her clients. Prior to Bove & Langa, Melissa’s legal experience included advocating for civil rights on behalf of the United States in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court — specifically protecting the employment rights of minorities, women, the disabled, and the aged. While taking time off from the law to raise her children, Melissa’s civic activities included leading a civil rights political action committee, spearheading the funding and building of a new elementary school playground, and serving as a town meeting member. Upon re-entry to the law, Melissa chose the field of Trusts and Estates as the ideal vehicle to allow her to continue her advocacy for clients’ personal rights and to help them build a better legal blueprint for themselves and their families.

Practice Areas
  • Advanced Estate, Gift, and Tax Planning
  • Asset Protection Planning:  Domestic and International
  • International Estate and Tax Planning
  • Trust, Estate, and Probate Administration
  • Family Business and Succession Planning
  • Charitable Giving
  • Special Needs Trusts for Persons with Disabilities
  • Trusts for the Beneficiary with Special Consideration
  • Fiduciary Consultation
  • Expert Witness
  • Trustee Services
  • Estate and Gift Tax Return Preparation
  • Planning for Pets
Sample Matters
  • Organization of family limited liability company (LLC) to streamline wealth management, with subsequent creation of multiple grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) to receive leveraged gifts of LLC interests to minimize estate tax and pass wealth to younger generation
  • Creation of charitable family private foundation to facilitate multi-generation impactful philanthropic endeavors
  • Design and implement multi-tiered foreign asset protection structure for a client joining the board of directors of a publically traded company
  • Design and implement domestic asset protection trust structure for a physician and her family
  • Design and implement complex dynastic generation-skipping transfer tax trust which will avoid the estate tax for multiple generations, with the trust assets to serve as the “family bank” throughout the generations
  • Use of “sale to grantor trust” device to transfer wealth to next generation where client has fully utilized gift tax exclusion
  • Advise international family on the optimal structure for the purchase of US real estate for use of child attending college in Boston
Faculty Appointments
  • Adjunct Professor, Boston University School of Law, Graduate Tax Program, 2000-Present (Has taught courses in Estate and Gift Taxation and is currently teaching Estate Planning)
Books and Texts
  • The Complete Book of Wills, Estates & Trusts 4th Edition.  St. Martin’s Press 2020 (co-author)
  • International Estate Planning:  A Reference Guide 2nd Edition.  Juris Publication 2020 (co-author)
  • Chapter 5: Lifetime Asset Transfers. A Practical Guide to Estate Planning in Massachusetts (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education updated regularly) (co-author)
  • Chapter 16: Ethics in Estate Planning. Ethical Lawyering in Massachusetts (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education updated regularly) (co-author)
  • Chapter 8: Planning Bequests or Gifts to Grandchildren. Drafting Estate Plans (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education updated regularly) (co-author)
  • Chapter 5: Special Drafting Considerations for Asset Protection Trusts: The Offspring of Offshore Trusts. Asset Protection Strategies: Wealth Preservation Planning with Domestic and Offshore Entitles (American Bar Association 2005)
Select Articles
  • LISI Estate Planning Newsletter #2851 – January 7, 2021
  • The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel State Survey of Asset Protection Techniques in Massachusetts
  • The Bove & Langa November 2018 Report: A Year End Review for a Clean Slate in 2019 LISI Estate Planning Newsletter
  • Thomson Reuter Practical Law Q&A of Massachusetts Estate Tax
  • The Trustworthy Advisor, a monthly column appearing in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • The Foreign Bank Account Bomb – How to Defuse It Estate Planning Magazine
  • The Mechanics of Expatriation at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s Annual Estate Planning Conference
  • The Great Escape: Charting the Course for the Vacation Home, Boston Bar Association
    Prying the Cold, Dead, Fingers of the Decedent Off Of The Gun: Fiduciaries and Firearms Boston Estate Planning Council
  • Cyberspace – the New Frontier of Estate Planning MA Bar Association 2nd Annual Probate Law Conference
  • Asset Protection Guide for Financial Service Professionals, 50th Annual Harris M. Plaisted New England Conference of Financial Service Professionals
  • The Massachusetts Estate Tax: What Is It, How To Calculate It, and How to Plan To Eliminate It, Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Asset Protection Planning Up-Dates: Practical Strategies and Drafting Tips to Minimize Risk, ALI-ABA Live Video Webcast (Washington D.C.)
  • The Rules of the Game: Transfer Tax Planning for the Non-Resident Alien, Boston Bar Association
  • The Bankruptcy Act of 2005, Massachusetts Association of Public Accountants, Combined Institute of Federal and State Taxation
  • New Developments in Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning, American Bar Association Joint Taxation and Probate/Real Property Meeting, San Francisco
  • Preserving and Transferring the Principal Residence Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Seminar
  • Turning Asset Protection Into Asset Collection: A Creditor’s View. New Hampshire Estate Planning Council
  • Federal and State Transfer Taxes; Uses of Insurance in Estate Planning; and The Art of Charitable Giving, Estate Planning Basics, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Offshore Trusts and The Mechanics of Establishing Them, 16th Annual Symposia, Real Property, Probate, & Trust Law, American Bar Association (Washington D.C)
  • Special Considerations in Drafting Asset Protection Trusts, 15th Annual Symposia, Real Property, Probate, & Trust Law, American Bar Association (Seattle, Washington)
  • Lifetime Asset Transfers and Section 529 Plans, Estate Planning Basics, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Common Estate Planning Errors, Boston Bar Association
  • Ten Tax Tips, Massachusetts Women Lawyers Association
  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning published in The Best of MBA-CLE, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Practicing with Professionalism Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Ten Best Practices: Joining a Nonprofit Board Boston Estate Planning Council
  • Valuations, Appraisals, & Tax Reports: An Estate Planner’s Guide Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Quoted in “Pets: Who Would Care For Them If You Couldn’t?”, Animals Magazine
Presentations & Speaking Engagements
  • The Practical Practice: Onboarding the New Client or Setting Sail Without Them. Attorney Langa will explore best practices in the decision-making process of whether to accept the representation of a new client. Ninth Annual MBA Probate Law Conference. November 8, 2021
  • When Trade Winds Blow Through True North: Cross-Border Planning and International Governance Issues. Melissa Langa and Barbara Hauser September 30, 2021 Estate Planning Council of Canada
  • BEPC Roundtable Presentation – The Perpetual Business Purpose Trust – From Pet Care to Billion Dollar Businesses- June 2021
  • Boston Bar Association’s Family Law Section – Considerations & Consequences of Trusts in Divorce – May 2021
  • Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning – The Three Faces of Asset Protection – May 2021
  • JP Morgan – Heartbroken or Just Broken?  How Trusts Fair in Divorce – April 2021
  • International Estate Planning – Podcasts with Harry Margolis – December 2020
  • Massachusetts Bar Association – Ethical Practices during COVID – November 2020
  • Trust Situs: Planning and Administration Considerations – Boston Bar Association Trusts & Estates Committee – November 2020
  • Heartbroken or Just Broken?  How Trusts Fare in a Divorce – ACTEC Fall Conference October 2020
  • Spendthrift Trusts & Equitable Distribution of Assets in Divorce: The 60-Minute Lawyer – July 2020
  • “What’s Up in the World of Fiduciary Litigation” – MCLE 21st Annual Estate Planning Conference – April 2020
  • “Structuring Trust Protector Provisions:  Protectors’ Powers & Duties, Trustee Oversight, Tax and Fiduciary Risks.  Avoiding Unintentional Fiduciary Classification, Key Trust Provisions to Limit Disputes, Navigating State Differences”- Strafford Webinar Presentation – November 2019
  • “Overview of Income Tax Considerations in Trust & Estate Administrations” MA Bar Association Probate Conference – November 1, 2019
  • “Back to Basics – IRD” ACTEC Conference, Fiduciary Income Tax Committee.  Philadelphia, PA October 19, 2019
  • “The Perpetual Business Purpose Trust” BU Graduate Tax Planning 60th Anniversary Celebration – June 20, 2019
  • “50 Points of Law – What’s New & Dangerous in Estate Planning” MCLE 50th Anniversary Series – February 28, 2019
  • “When Old Money Meets New Money: Estate Planning with Cryptocurrency” BEPC Seminar at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP – January 8, 2019
  • “The Giant QTIP Is No Small Matter!” MBA 6th Annual Probate Law Conference – November 9, 2018
  • “Serving on a Non-Profit Board – Why and How to” BEPC – September 20, 2018
  • “How to Establish A Planned Giving Legacy Society” Brookline Community Foundation Luncheon – May 10, 2018
  • “Trusts & Estate Planning” Northwestern Mutual Lunch & Learn – September 14, 2017
  • “Impact of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Trust and Estates” BU Graduate Tax Roundtable – February 2, 2018
  • “Drafting A Will” MCLE Practical Skills – January 26, 2018
  • “Practicing with Professionalism” MCLE – May 15, 2017
  • “Asset Protection Planning” at the Norfolk & Plymouth Estate & Business Planning Council, Lantana’s Randolph, MA – March 23, 2017
  • “Implementing & Funding Marital/Credit Shelter Trusts” at the Mass Bar Association 4th Annual Probate Law Conference, Four Points Conference Center, Norwood, MA – November 18, 2016
  • Practicing with Professionalism” MCLE – September 12, 2016
  • “Prying the Cold, Dead, Fingers of the Decedent Off Of The Gun: Fiduciaries and Firearms” BEPC Roundtable at the Hilton Boston – June 2016.
  • Practicing with Professionalism” MCLE – May 2016.
  • Turning Assets Protection Into Asset Collection: A Creditor’s View” NH Estate Planning Council – Bedford NH – May 2015.
  •  A Webinar “Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: Effectiveness & Ethics from the View of Planners & Creditors” American Law Institute – May 2015.
  • Turning Assets Protection Into Asset Collection: A Creditor’s View” 17th Annual Estate Tax & Financial Planning Seminar of the All Saints Children’s Hospital Foundation – February 2015.
  • “Cyberspace – the New Frontier of Estate Planning”  MA Bar Association 2nd Annual Probate Law Conference – November 2014.
  • “Essential Estate & Asset Protection Planning 101”  BU School of Medicine – October 2014.
  • Post-Mortem Planning” MCLE – October 2014.
  • The Devil is in the Details”  Sechrest & Bloom- September 2014.
  • Practicing with Professionalism” MCLE – September 2014.
  • Ten Best Practices: Joining a Nonprofit Board” BEPC Roundtable at the Henderson House – June 2014.
  • “Turning Asset Protection Into Asset Collection: A Creditor’s View” Merrimack Valley Estate Planning Council – May 2014.
  • Valuations, Appraisals, & Tax Reports: An Estate Planner’s Guide”  MCLE – February 2014.
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Fellow.   Committees:  International Estate Planning and Fiduciary Income Tax
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP): Founding and current Co-Chair of the STEP USA Boston Chapter
  • Boston Estate Planning Council: President (2009-2010); Executive Committee (2006-2008); Board Member (2004 – 2006)
  • American Bar Association: Co-Chair, Asset Protection Planning Committee. Former Chair, Generation Skipping Tax Committee 2007-2009 (Real Property and Probate Section – Income and Transfer Tax Planning)
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE): Member; Estate Planning Curriculum Advisory Committee
  • International Tax Planning Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
Honors and Awards
Community Involvement
  • Speakeasy Stage Company: Board of Directors; Member, Executive Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Foundation:  Member, Board of Trustees & Executive Committee Secretary
  • President’s Alumnae Advisory Council, Colby-Sawyer College (N.H.)
  • Brookline Bird Club – Lifetime Member
  • Massachusetts, 1982
  • United States Tax Court, 2000
  • District of Columbia, 1979
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits, 1980
  • Boston University School of Law – LL.M., Graduate Tax Program, May 1996. Class Rank: 5th
  • Washington College of Law, The American University, Washington, DC – J.D. 1979 Labor Law High Achievement Award
  • Douglass College (Rutgers University), New Brunswick, NJ – A.B. with honors, 1976. Eagleton Institute Honors Scholar
  • Colby-Sawyer College, New London, N.H. – Associate of Arts, 1974. Social and Behavior Science Award