Frederick M. Misilo is the Chair of the firm's Trust and Estate Department and is a member of the firm's Management Committee. His practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning, including the areas of elder law, special needs planning, estate administration, trusts and foundations, guardianship, and adult service advocacy. A former Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Mr. Misilo has spent his career as an advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families. In addition to his legal work, he is also involved in numerous advocacy organizations.
In November 2018, Mr. Misilo was elected to a two-year term as president of The Arc of the United States, the nation’s largest and oldest community-based civil rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. It has more than 650 chapters, more than 100,000 employees and serves more than 1,000,000 individuals across the country.
Mr. Misilo is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Florida.
Mr. Misilo earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and his master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He graduated from Suffolk University Law School. Mr. Misilo holds Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) certification from Institute of Certified Bankers of the American Bankers Association.
He began his career helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and worked his way up to serve as the Executive Director of Harbor Area Community Services, Inc. in Boston. In 1991, Mr. Misilo was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. Since he returned to practicing law in 1994, Mr. Misilo has become a leading voice and frequent lecturer on estate planning, special needs planning and elder law. He has also taken on leadership roles in many regional and national advocacy organizations.
Education & Certifications
- Suffolk University Law School, J.D.
- Harvard University, Ed.M.
- University of Massachusetts
- Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) certification from Institute of Certified Bankers of the American Bankers Association
- Rhode Island
Mr. Misilo has been deeply involved with a number of advocacy organizations. In November 2018, he was elected to a two-year term as president of The Arc of the United States. He has taken a number of positions with the organization, serving on the board of directors, its Legal Advocacy Committee and as chair of The Arc’s Public Policy and Positions Committee. In 2016, Mr. Misilo was elected vice president of The Arc of the United States. He was the former president of The Arc of Massachusetts, Inc.
Mr. Misilo is a member of the national and Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and of the Academy of Special Needs Planners. He has also been involved with local organizations. Mr. Misilo is a former chairperson of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Holden Board of Selectmen.
Significant Representation and Achievements
- Successfully represented more than 50 special needs clients resulting in guardianship assignments and solid long-term care plans
- Worked with the producer and is featured on the PBS documentary “Autism: Coming of Age.” This documentary is of interest to those concerned about the challenges faced by individuals with autism and their families.
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America© for Elder Law (2012-2019)
- Attorney Misilo spoke about protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. In his capacity as President of the Arc of the United States, Mr. Misilo, spoke with Naveh Eldar from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee about the mission of The Arc and its roots as a civil rights organization fighting for the rights and inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here to listen to the conversation.
- “Enormous thanks to Fred Misilo for his warmth, expertise, thoughtful consideration, and exceptional knowledge!” -- J.K., Medford, MA 2019
- “Fred and his staff are excellent to work with.” -- B & M.S. Boston, MA 2019
- "Our attorney provided excellent counsel on both a special needs trust for our adult son and an estate plan for us post-retirement. He went out of his way to accomodate my husband's medical condition by holding one appointment in our home and one at the law office in our hometown. We couldn't imagine a more caring attorney whose expertise in special needs and elder law is outstanding. Fred Misilo, and his entire team, made the emotional process of estate planning thoroughly enjoyable." -- L.W., 2019 Hudson, MA
- "We extend our sincere thanks to Fred for all the assistance he has given us. His knowledge and expertise are invaluable and it's wonderful and refreshing that he is down to earth with a great sense of humor as well. Thanks so much for everything, Fred!" -- Dave S.
- "Fred is very knowledgeable and helped us to make decisions and plan forward. I'm sure we will be using his services in the near future and for years to come." -- David & Joanna P., Kingston, RI
- "Fred was great to work with and gave us a very good understanding of how it all works. His extensive knowledge of estate and special needs planning made us very comfortable in selecting the best options." -- Dan & Pam L., Oxford, MA
- "Fred and his associates at his firm have helped my family develop a comprehensive estate planning program involving special needs trusts, life insurance trusts , aQPRT, etc., while providing assistance to our son who has special needs." -- David
- "All of my questions were answered clearly & completely. I am confident that I have helped to provide for my special needs grandson. I appreciated the convenience of the Framingham office." -- Patricia R., Westwood, MA
- "Fred is extremely knowledgeable in the field of special education planning for a child. It is reassuring to know that we have secure plans for his future." -- Jim O., Westborough, MA
- "As parents of a young adult with a developmental disability, we are especially grateful that a law firm such as yours exists. Without the comfort of your expertise & guidance, our daughter’s future would be less certain. Our entire family (all 16 of us!) are much encouraged that we have a future vision that, notwithstanding the fact that none of us can predict that future, Jennifer’s well-being, living arrangements, protection of benefits, overall quality of life and financial situation are far more secure as a result of your assistance." -- Robert P., Mattapoisett, MA
- "Mere words cannot express how comfortable I felt with Fred and his staff throughout the whole [estate planning] process. He was clear, concise, and calming. I’m very grateful." -- M.E., Boston MA
- "Fletcher Tilton is very professional in every aspect of their operation. I would recommend them to my friends and relatives." -- William M., Worcester, MA
- "Humorous, professional, great interpersonal skills. In-depth knowledge of disability law. We love you, Fred!" -- Nicole T., Medford, MA
- "I was very satisfied with the advice and preparation of my estate planning documents that ensure the support of my son with a disability and providing me with the best options to help other family members." -- JoAnn S., Swampscott, MA
- "We appreciate Mr. Misilo's professional skills navigating through the complexities of estate planning with a final product that accomplished our goals." -- Herb & Brenda D., Worcester, MA
- "Attorney Misilo and his team (Mary, Wilma & Gianna) all did an excellent job and were very accomodating. It was a pleasure for our family to work with you all during this complex process." -- James B., Upton, MA