Charles Fayerweather

Of Counsel

  • 617-557-9707
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Charles Fayerweather

Of Counsel

  • 617-557-9707
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Practice Focus

Charles Fayerweather assists nonprofits, individuals and estates with planning for the future while maintaining an eye on life’s day to day activities. He has nearly 30 years of experience advising clients on estate, tax, and governance issues, as well as serving as a fiduciary.

Charles represent nonprofits with virtually every issue that arises during the life of an organization. Often serving as general counsel, he is experienced in formation, fundraising, employment and compensation issues, real estate, liability reduction, governance issues and obtaining recognition of tax-exempt status through on-going regulatory and tax compliance. Leading nonprofits seek Charles's counsel with tax compliance issues, including unrelated business income tax, self-dealing in private foundations, excess benefit transactions in public charities, and political activities.

Representing high net worth individuals, Charles uses sophisticated estate planning and charitable giving techniques to allow the transfer of wealth to successive generations and to charities in a tax efficient manner. He also often represents non-traditional families and business owners to successfully address their unique estate planning needs.

As a professional fiduciary, he acts as a trustee of individual and family trusts and as an executor of estates.

Charles is also a Senior Vice President and Chair of the Audit Committee at Hemenway Trust Company, a private fiduciary firm based in Salem, New Hampshire.

Representative Experience

  • Serving in a general counsel role for public charities and private foundations, Charles has guided organizations through reorganizations and mergers, socially responsible investing (SRI), and managing board tensions.
  • Helping private foundations engage in innovative grant making, Charles has advised on scholarship programs, investing and grants involving real estate.
  • For a private foundation, structured protocols for an innovative program of providing millions of dollars’ worth of direct assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • For an operating charity, structured sponsorship arrangements and partnerships with for-profit companies enabling the charity to bring in millions of dollars of new revenue without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status.
  • Helping family foundations structure and avoid conflicts of interest and costly self-dealing tax penalties.
  • A childless couple, wanted to create a plan designed to perpetuate their legacy of generosity. Charles created a plan to achieve the couple's goal through a trust for family and friends and a continuing charitable foundation.
  • For the family of an artist, worked with gallery owners and museums to maximize the value of the artist's work after the artist's death while minimizing estate and income taxes.
  • For an individual facing an unexpected taxable windfall, created a charitable foundation that allowed him to avoid tax liability while giving him control over the funds to carry out charitable activities that were of interest to him.
  • For the owner of a family business, created a plan that allowed the owner to successfully transfer the business to his children tax free while allowing him to remain in complete control of the business until he was ready to transfer control to the next generation.
  • For a retired couple concerned about preserving a steady income stream while maintaining their commitment to philanthropy, structured a series of charitable remainder trusts to allow for a likely substantial gift to charity at their deaths.

Activities and Publications

  • Editor, “Massachusetts Nonprofit Organizations,“ MCLE, Inc., 5th Edition, 2016
  • Frequent author and lecturer for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., including 15 years as a faculty member for the “Income Taxation of Estates & Trusts” program
  • Member of the Probate Law and Taxation sections of the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations

Community Involvement

  • Director and Officer, Friends of the Sharon Dog Park, a charitable organization that raises funds for an off-leash recreation area in Sharon, Massachusetts
  • Former Member, Board of Overseers, North Bennet Street School, a nationally known school in the field of traditional handcrafts, including bookbinding, fine woodworking, jewelry making, and preservation carpentry

Charles Fayerweather’s Comments on Innovative Grant Making

“I enjoy helping private foundations leverage their resources to engage in innovative grant making programs. From using grants to buy real estate that supports start-up charities to establishing scholarships for new programs, aiding nonprofits in fulfilling their respective missions is central to what we do at Hemenway & Barnes.”


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