North Shore Elder Law and Estate Planning

At North Shore Elder Law and Estate Planning my law practice is exactly what the name says – I work on elder law issues and estate planning for clients both young and not-so-young. The lighthouse logo represents my intentions with this work – to be a beacon of hope when life presents challenges, to help provide you with shelter from the storms around life transitions, and to guide my clients into safe and satisfying care situations later in life. Through this work I build relationships with different generations from the same family. In this process I strive to become a trusted adviser and ally, and I feel privileged to work with families as they cope with issues that arise later in life. I work with clients to create asset protection plans, draft wills and trusts, administer estates after the death of a loved one, set up guardianships and conservatorships, apply for MassHealth coverage, and litigate probate matters. Please take a look at my approach to each of these practice areas and call me to arrange a meeting to discuss your legal needs.


Michael A. Stankavish

I am the principal and founder of North Shore Elder Law & Estate Planning. I received my law degree from the New England School of Law in Boston and a B.A. from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, where I majored in political science. Prior to opening my own practice I worked with experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys at larger law firms in Boston. My practice focuses on elder law, asset protection, estate planning, estate administration and probate litigation.

I am active in legal professional organizations and I do frequent outreach to seniors in North Shore communities.  I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association. I am a former co-chair of the Elder Law and Disability Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Boston Bar Association.  I have served as co-chair of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education seminars: Elder Law Under the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code and the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code; and, Supplemental Needs & Other Types of Trusts: Special Needs, Pet and Gun Trusts. 

I am a presenter and mentor at the Elder Law Project of the Women’s Bar Foundation and was awarded the Pro-Bono Award by this organization in 2015.  Along with these professional activities I am a frequent lecturer at nursing homes, assisted living facilities and councils on aging.  In addition, I am a Commissioner on the Melrose Human Rights Commission; co-chair of The Toast Committee, and Member of the Development Committee, for Boston Preparatory Charter Public School; a co-chair of the Metro-North Alzheimer’s Partnership; and the treasurer for my son’s PTO in Melrose, Massachusetts.  Each year since 2013 SuperLawyers has named me as a “Rising Star” in the field of elder law. 

At North ShoreElder Law & Estate Planning, I focus exclusively on elder law, estate planning, asset protection, probate litigation and estate administration. This allows me to be a continuous advocate for seniors and to provide good counsel for individuals wanting to plan their futures and for families with minor or adult children with special needs. My wife and I make our home on the North Shore, a community that I am privileged to serve.

Kristina Pachulis

North Shore Elder Law & Estate Planning is happy to welcome Kristina Racek Pechulis who joins the firm as an associate. In addition to her work with North Shore Elder Law & Estate Planning, Kristina is a faculty member of Simmons University where she works as the Director of the Barbara Lee Foundation Intern Fellowship program and teaches in the Political Science Department.  Prior to her current positions, Kristina worked on public health policy issues for the City of Lynn, as General Counsel for a Massachusetts state senator, a litigation attorney at the City of Boston, and an attorney with Merrimack Valley Legal Services, specializing in working with survivors of domestic violence.  Kristina holds a law degree from Northeastern School of Law, a Masters of Science Management in Nonprofit Management from Simmons College, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Kenyon College.

Kristina is an active member of the Melrose Community, serving as a current commissioner on the Melrose Commission for Women, as well as a current commissioner for the Upper Middlesex Commission on the Status of Women and a past commissioner with the Melrose Human Rights Commission.

Kristina has lived in Melrose since 2012 with her husband and two children.