ATTORNEY ANDREW J. GARCIA
I’m a lifelong member of the SouthCoast community with deep family ties to this area. I’ve now been practicing law for more than 30 years helping local families with their estate planning and other legal needs.
I’m particularly committed to protecting the legal rights of cohabiting couples and those in second marriages. I know first-hand the tragic and unintended consequences that individuals, couples, and their families can face if their interests are not legally protected. My role is to educate clients about these potential consequences and to develop plans so that the unfortunate results that can happen do not, in fact, happen to them.
Living in a Blended Family and a Second Marriage, I Understand Complicated Family Arrangements
I’m in my second marriage. And, before entering into this “second go-around,” my wife and I lived together in a loving and committed relationship for 8 years.
I have a blended family. I have a daughter from my first marriage, and my wife has two children from her first marriage. (You can learn more about my family in this short video – “It’s All About Family.”). So, I know firsthand the many benefits of being in a loving, blended family, and I also know the challenges we sometimes face. I understand the subtle dynamics that exist when you’re dealing with your spouse and your stepchildren. I also personally know some of the fears we face when it comes to making sure our kids from our first relationship are protected when we are gone. The importance of knowing that your legacy is protected.
Likewise, by having lived together with my wife for so many years before our marriage, I discovered the deficiencies that exist in the law for cohabiting couples. For example, partners who are living together do not have any automatic legal rights to the estate of the other partner, or even the ability to act on behalf of the partner. Partners don’t even have the legal right to make funeral arrangements for each other without the proper legal safeguards in place.
Finally, as a father, I know that children are our greatest treasures, and yet 74% of parents don’t have a will and have not named guardians for their kids should something happen to them. I have dedicated a large part of his professional career to changing this statistic.
What Motivates Me – Why I Practice Law
My dedication to handling cases of all sizes and complexities with equal effort and enthusiasm came from a simple lesson instilled by my father years ago while building a small tool shed together at my first home:
My father was taking great pains to make sure that the stud walls were perfectly plumb and square to the deck of the shed – and being the novice that I was, it seemed that he was wasting a lot of time. So, I asked him, “Dad, why are you going through all that…this is just a small shed.” His reply, and I still remember this vividly to this day, was, “Andy (well, actually he always refers to me as “my boy”), we spend time doing the small jobs right, so that when we do the big jobs, we do ‘em right too.”
My Professional Practice
I’ve practiced law since 1991, and am a founding partner of Phillips & Garcia, PC. SouthCoast Estate Planning is a division of the firm. I created SouthCoast Estate Planning to dedicate my professional career to helping families design unique estate plans to protect the loved ones they leave behind and to help them preserve their life savings from the increasing costs of nursing home care.
Teaching the Next Generation of Attorneys
I am also an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, where I’ve taught students how to manage successful law firms after they graduate. I’ve also had the good fortune to lecture annually to law students preparing for the Rhode Island bar exam.
I live in the SouthCoast area of Massachusetts in the town in which I grew up. In fact, I’m now only about 2 miles away from my family home where we used to have cow pastures in the backyard and where we’d play outside until the street lights came on. My parents are just around the corner now, and my brother and sister live just down the street. I still see people I knew from when I was a kid. I love this town, and I love this area. Heck, they’re going to bury me here because I even have plots in the local cemetery. When I’m not practicing law, I like to build furniture, and my new passion is pickleball. But, of course, my best times are spent with my wife and my family.
I graduated with honors from Suffolk University Law School in 1991. While there, I received the prestigious American Jurisprudence Award for educational achievement in the area of wills and trusts. Before law school, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in 1988 while studying locally at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth (then known as Southeastern Massachusetts University, or more commonly referred to as “SMU” by locals).
- The United States Supreme Court
- United State District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Western District of Michigan
- Massachusetts (all state courts)
- Rhode Island
- Also appeared before the following courts: The U.S. District Courts in Florida, Illinois, California and Rhode Island, and the Superior Court of the State of Washington.
Media Appearances – Educating the Public
I am committed to helping people understand what they need to do to protect their assets and their families. As part of this commitment, I look forward to opportunities to educate the public through the media.
I’ve had the opportunity to appear on NBC’s Today Show and live on Fox’s early morning program, Fox & Friends. I have also been quoted in the well-respected AARP Bulletin.
With my law partner Carlin Phillips, I co-authored and published “Massachusetts Auto Accidents: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Massachusetts Consumers Make When Buying Car Insurance,” a book aimed at helping families make better, more informed insurance choices to protect their families.
Andrew J. Garcia A VIDEO BIOGRAPHY
“The Road to Law School”
In high school, Andrew had the “bright idea” to skip college and go right into the workforce. Listen to his father tell the story of how Andrew’s mind was changed.
Grounded in the roots of his father’s emigration from the Azorean islands and his mother’s ties to the textile mills in Lawrence, hear the story of Andrew’s heritage.
“Handcrafted Inner Peace”
No one should spend his or her entire life at work. Here Andrew discusses his passion for a hobby that provides an escape from day-to-day stress as a law business owner.
“It’s All About Family”
In the end, “it’s all about family.”