One Citizens Plaza, 8th Floor
Providence RI 02903-1345
TEL: 401.274.7200
FAX: 401.751.0604
Practice Areas
  • Roger Williams University School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • University of Rhode Island, B.A., high distinction, 1995
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Tax Court

An experienced estate planning attorney, Joseph is a frequent lecturer for the Boston Bar Association and the Rhode Island Bar Association on estate and long term care planning issues and land conservation planning. His areas of practice include estate and income tax planning,business succession planning, land conservation planning, long-term care planning, probate and trust administration, special needs planning and real estate conveyancing.

Prior to joining Adler Pollock and Sheehan, Joseph practiced with Burns & Levinson in its Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts Offices. He often counsels clients on estate and income tax savings techniques including the most tax efficient ways in which to transfer wealth and family businesses through multiple family generations. He also helps families preserve assets through advance planning for their long-term care needs. He frequently represents trustees and banks in their service as fiduciaries in the settlement of complex estates and beneficiary disputes.

Significant Matters

  • Joseph recently assisted the beneficiaries of an estate with the liquidation and sale of their family business while at the same time mediating fundamental disagreements among the family members.
  • Joseph has assisted countless families with their estate, special needs and long-term care planning, helping them fine tune their plans to reach their goals and preserve assets. 
  • Joseph has helped business owners transition their business interests and wealth to the next generation, achieving parity among beneficiaries while at the same time helping both parents and children avoid income and estate tax.
  • Joseph has handled the reformation of numerous trusts and removal and replacement of trustees before the court system and under the new Rhode Island decanting statute in order to achieve the intended result of the drafter of the trust for estate and long-term care planning purposes.
  • Joseph has represented numerous landowners in the negotiation of their land conservation easement planning.  He has handled several of the largest land conservation acquisitions in Rhode Island.

Honors & Distinctions

    • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 and 2014 editions in the field of Trust & Estates.
    • Named by Rhode Island Monthly and Rhode Island Business Quarterly as a “2011- 2014 Five Star Wealth Manager”.  Fewer than seven percent of the wealth managers in Rhode Island were selected for this award.
    • Named as a 2014 Rhode Island Super Lawyer and as a Rhode Island Rising Star 2011 – 2013 by the publishers of Super Lawyers, recognizing him as an outstanding attorney in the Rhode Island legal community.

Professional Affiliations

  • National Association of Elder Law Attorneys - Member, of Massachusetts Chapter
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Committee on Probate and Trusts
  • Rhode Island Estate Planning Council
  • Past Member Rhode Island Foundation, Professional Advisory Council
  • Board of Governors, Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island
  • University of Rhode Island Alumni Association, Board of Directors, Finance Committee

Community & Civic Activity

  • Rhode Island Planned Giving Council
  • Board of Directors, The James L. Maher Center
  • Newport County Council of the Arts, Board of Directors
  • Little Compton Community Center, Board of Directors (1997-2007)
  • Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust, Vice Chairperson 1998-2007)


Presentations & Events

Publications & Seminars

  • Advanced Family Law, NBI September 20, 2014
  • Top Estate Planning Techniques- NBI June 6, 2013
  • Financial Planning Association of Rhode Island- Planning for Special Needs Beneficiaries, April 9. 2013
  • Boston Bar Association, Donors Remorse- Reversing 2012 Gifts, February 22, 2013
  • FAQ's Regarding Asset Protection for Physicians and Dentists, February 8, 2012
  • Estate Planning Update, Rhode Island Society of CPAs, January 19, 2012.
  • Sophisticated Probate Strategies, NBI, December 9, 2012.
  • Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting, 6./8/2011
  • “Don't let Taxes Decide your Business' Future”, Providence Business News, June 15, 2009
  • “Long-term Care Planning Essential in Tough Times”, Providence Business News, November 17, 2008
  • Rhode Island Forest Conservator’s Organization, Inc, Seminar, 2.12.2011
  • Fundamentals of Trust Administration, NBI, 2/10/2010
  • Demystifying Asset Protection Vehicles, NBI 4/17/2008
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