A Note to You from Attorney Tom Bickford

After nearly seven years of fighting fires and giving emergency aid as a full-time fire-rescue lieutenant in Gilford, NH, I decided to help people in different way: as an attorney.

Out of three law schools, I chose to attend Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York, to broaden my horizons by living and studying in the New York metropolitan area. While there, I took advantage of every chance I had to broaden my knowledge and experience. I worked as a member of the Environmental Law Review, an editor of the law school newspaper and as a senior legal intern practicing disabilities law with the John Jay Legal Services Clinic.

Graduating In 1995, I practiced law both in Connecticut and New York handling litigation in the state and federal courts of both states as an associate with the law firm of Gallo, Feinstein and Naishtut, PLLC, of Rye Brook, NY. I returned to New Hampshire in 1999 to practice law with Attorney Philip J. Ganem of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, as his associate attorney. In 2002, Attorney Ganem retired and I opened my own practice focused on the legal issues facing seniors and their families, a field often called Elder Law.

I assist clients in examining their options for meeting long-term healthcare needs with the use of long-term-care insurance, personal care contracts with family members and medicaid benefits; in meeting the threat of mental incapacity using financial durable powers of attorney, medical advance directives (medical durable power of attorney and living will) and revocable trusts; and meeting their estate planning needs with wills and trusts.

My practice before the probate court includes petitioning for estate administration, for guardianships over incapacitated adults, and for accountings of agents under a durable power of attorney.

I counsel executors, trustees, agents under durable powers of attorney, and guardians as to their legal responsibilities. I also assist them in the administration of those estates, and I handle the related real estate and personal property transfers.

I try to give back to the community through my work on various boards, legal publication and teaching. The New Hampshire Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys elected me President of its Board of Directors. The Governor of New Hampshire appointed me to the New Hampshire Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators. I edited "The ElderLaw Portfolio Series" a two-volume reference book on dozens of elder law topics for Aspen Publishers. Additionally, I taught part of "The Fundamentals of Elder Law," a continuing legal education course for attorneys by the National Business Institute.

I grew up in New Durham, New Hampshire, graduated from Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro, and went to college to become a full-time firefighter earning degrees in Fire Protection and Arson Investigation. My wife and I were both on-call firefighters with the Wolfeboro Fire-Rescue Department. As a family, we round out our lives with plays. Our two daughters join us, both on- and off-stage, at "The Village Players" community theater in Wolfeboro. As a family, we have been in the productions of "Run for Your Wife," in which I met my wife, "Annie," "The King and I" "South Pacific," "Oklahoma!" and "Don't Drink the Water."

I have enjoyed the confidence of many clients planning for and working through difficult times and I hope that you will choose my firm to help you plan for and handle the challenges of maturing.

Sincerely,

G. Thomas Bickford, Esq. (Tom)