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Stephen J Spano

About me

My mother suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.  When, she and my father sought out the advice of an attorney for their estate planning (before I became an attorney), that attorney was insensitive and did not take their financial situation and personal needs into consideration.  As a result, my parents failed to follow up, take action and create a plan.


I had earlier worked with two gerontologists who developed a system to allow people to age at home with dignity and independence.  That work inspired me to work to help others, like my mom and dad, to live with dignity and independence.  That simple system started by those town gerontologists (who were husband and wife) became the Lifeline System!


As a result of the experience of my mom and dad, I decided, while my mom was still in her early stages of dementia (Alzheimer's Disease is a form of dementia), to go to law school and become an elder law and estate planning attorney.

My Bachelor's degree in Psychology and empathy for those like my mom was a primary influence in my decision to help others.  I realized I would be able to combine my passion for those like my mom and dad with my Psychology education , experience in helping people live with dignity and independence as well as my Masters Degree in Business so that I would be able to offer sound financial and tax advice in addition to caring for the person, their family and their legal needs.

My dad took great care of my mom.  She passed away in January of 2002 after suffering many years with this terrible disease.  I have been privileged, along with my wife, who is also my law partner, to help thousands of others like my mom and dad.

Yes, we also plan for young families, families with young children, families with disabled children as well as those in the middle of their career, at retirement and beyond.  As a result of my business education and experience, we counsel businesses and help families pass their business to the next generation.  But I never forget it was my mom that not only brought me into this world, she inspired me to help others.


Languages spoken: English, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese

Practice areas


  1. Elder Law: 50%
    22 years
  2. Estate Planning: 45%
    22 years
  3. Litigation: 5%
    22 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

7 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • John L Roberts

    I endorse Attorney Spano. He has extensive experience with elder law and estate planning matters. He has instructed other lawyers on how to best serve our clients. I attended his class on how to review long term care insurance policies and advise clients on how to coordinate their benefits and coverage for long term care with other programs, including Medicaid.


    John Roberts Probate Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Ian Steven Oppenheim

    I endorse this lawyer highly. Stephen is a well regarded elder law and special needs attorney. He is one of 17 nationally certified elder law attorneys in Massachusetts. As past president of both the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Elder Law Foundation, he is widely respected in the elder law community.


    Ian Oppenheim Elder Law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Spano & Dawicki

605 Broadway, Suite 201
P. O. Box 1345
Saugus, MA, 01906


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerSuperLawyers2015
Super LawyerSuperLawyers2014
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Super LawyerSuperLawyers2011
Super LawyerSuperLawyers2010
Super LawyerSuperLawyers2009
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2008
Preeminent (AV) Highest Possible RatingMartindal Hubbell AV RatedN/A
Super LawyerSuper LawyersN/A
Board Certified Elder Law AttorneyNational Elder Law FoundationN/A
Partner of the Year AwardMystic Valley Elder ServicesN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PrincipalSpano & Dawicki1900 - Present
Adjunct Professor of Law, LLM Program in Elder Law & EPWestern New England University School of Law2013 - 2015
Association namePosition nameDuration
Stoneham TheaterBoard of Directors2014 - Present
Greater Medford Visiting Nurses AssociationBoard of Directors, PastN/A
The Community FamilyBoard of Directors, Past TreasurerN/A
Boston Estate Planning CouncilMemberN/A
Life Care Planning Law Firms AssociationPast PresidentN/A
National Elder Law FoundationPast PresidentN/A
Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysBoard of DirectorsN/A
North Shore Alzheimer's PartnershipFounding MemberN/A
North Shore HospiceAdvisory Board for Planned Giving - PastN/A
Greater Lynn Senior ServicesVice-President & Board of Directors -PastN/A
Massachusetts Guardianship AssociationIncorporator and Board of Directors - PastN/A
National Elder Law FoundationBoard of DirectorsN/A
Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysPast PresidentN/A
Life Care Planning Law Firms AssociationBoard of Directors, PastN/A
Massachusetts Bar AssociationMemberN/A
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Morrison v. Commonwealth of MassachusettsFirst child caregiver contract case to win against the state Medicaid agency, the Office of MassHealth, in Superior Court.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
NAELA Advanced InstituteElder Divorce as an Estate Planning Tool2009
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of MassachusettsEnglishBA - Bachelor of ArtsN/A
University of MassachusettsPsychologyBA - Bachelor of ArtsN/A
Northeastern UniversityBusiness AdministrationMBA Masters Degree in Business AdministrationN/A
New England School of LawLawJD - Juris DoctorN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys 2013 Annual ConferenceBasics of Medicaid for Elder Law Attorneys2013
National Advanced Elder Law Review Course In Washington DCHealth & Care Planning, Pre-Mortem Legal Planning, Fiduciary Representation, Legal Capacity Counseling, Benefits Advice, Special Needs, Insurance Counseling, Employment & Retirement Counseling, Housing Counseling, Litigation & Administrative AdvocacyN/A
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Annual ConferenceTo Marry or Not to Marry (ReMarry)N/A
Extensive Speaking Engagements Presented Annually to Professionals and the PublicElder Law, Estate Planning, Probate, Tax, Guardianship, Life Care, Medicaid, MassHealth, Asset Sheltering, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Matters, Assisted Living, Congregate Housing, Veteran's Benefits, Guardianship, Conservatorships, Financial PlanningN/A
Elder Law Basics Program for Attorneys Presented at Suffolk University School of Law Advanced Elder Law InstituteSuffolk University School of Law Advanced Elder Law Institute Elder Law Practice Areas for Attorneys Entering the Field of Elder lawN/A