2007 Articles

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Who's Your Momma? A Review of Surrogacy Rights of Partners in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Helps to Answer This Question.

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-12-27
  • In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that same sex marriages were legal in the Commonwealth. The landmark decision in Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health made same-sex ...

New Lease on Life (and the Balance Sheet) - Why Sale-leaseback Arrangements Make Sense for Many Business Owners

  • Jeffrey I. Fialky, Esq. • 2007-12-07
  • It's not exactly a recent phenomenon, but a transaction known as the sale-leaseback is becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to raise capital. As the name suggests, the ...

Uncle Sam is Coming to Dinner - Plan Ahead and Enjoy the Holidays

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-11-30
  • It's that time of year again! Most everyone is preparing for the holidays and time is at a premium. Still, the savvy taxpayer will make room in their overstuffed holiday ...

When It's All Going to the Dogs: Planning For Your Pets After You're Gone

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-11-29
  • Some people consider their pets to be members of their family. Other people have made a career out of breeding, raising and/or sheltering animals. When animal owners pass away, if ...

The Family Medical Leave Act and Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act Provide Time at Home for New Moms

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-11-16
  • Understanding an employee's rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in conjunction with the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA) can be difficult territory to navigate. A wrong turn for ...

Are Your Workers as Independent as You Think? - Misclassifying Construction Employees as Independents Can Lead to Serious Problems

  • Adam J. Basch, Esq. • 2007-11-14
  • Over the course of the last several years, there has been an upward trend in the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. While such a classification may have benefits to ...

Your Place or Mine? - Providing Care for Aging Parents

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-11-14
  • When an aging parent needs assistance to live at home, many children opt to provide the care personally. Often, the parent will not agree to hire health care professionals to ...

Dollars and Sense - How to Negotiate a Pre-foreclosure Workout Agreement

  • Justin H. Dion, Esq. • 2007-11-14
  • Prior to the recent downturn in the real estate market and turmoil in the sub-prime lending industry, a pre-foreclosure workout was extremely rare. Historically, because the housing market usually increased ...

Advanced Directives - A Way To Speak For Yourself When Your Voice Cannot Be Heard

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-10-26
  • Terminally ill people often add advanced directives to their Health Proxies to inform medical personnel about what kind of care they want for themselves in medical emergencies and at different ...

Fair Questions - Making a Case for Effectively Contesting a Will Isn't Easy

  • Hyman G. Darling, Esq. • 2007-10-18
  • "But it's just not fair!" Estate planning lawyers often hear this protest from a potential client who wishes to object to a loved one's will on the grounds that they ...

Grandma's Broken Glasses - Recognizing and Preventing Elder Abuse

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-09-24
  • All people, regardless of age or infirmity, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Being safe from physical, emotional and financial harm is a basic human right. Each year ...

Forestalling Foreclosures - Is There a Solution to This Regional and National Problem?

  • Justin H. Dion, Esq. • 2007-09-21
  • Current mortgage foreclosure statistics are harsh. Nationally, delinquency rates for first mortgages rose to 3.98 percent in June from 3.56 in April and a low of 3.08 in July 2005. ...

At the United Way, Community Matters

  • Michael B. Katz, Esq. • 2007-09-20
  • It's called the Day of Caring, and the name says it all. The program was started in 1994 by the United Way of Pioneer Valley to involve area businesses and ...

Starting a Small Business in Your Retirement - Reviewing Your Options

  • Jeffrey I. Fialky, Esq. • 2007-09-17
  • There can be no question that more and more retirees are starting their own small businesses. In fact, according to a 2003 AARP survey, about 15% of baby boomers expect ...

Crunch Time? - Lenders Tighten the Reins on Mortgage Loans

  • Justin H. Dion, Esq. • 2007-09-14
  • The facts appear overwhelming. The housing market is continuing to cool, interest rates are slowly increasing and foreclosure rates are reaching record numbers. In fact, the Mortgage Brokers Association recently ...

Reverse Mortgages Demystified - Borrowing the Equity in Your Own Residence Can Provide Financial Security

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-09-07
  • Formerly known as reverse annuity mortgages, reverse mortgages are becoming more and more common in today's estate planning and retirement planning scenarios. The reverse mortgage, a mortgage where homeowners convert ...

Reading Between the Lines - The Many Issues in Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Leases

  • Jeffrey I. Fialky, Esq. • 2007-09-07
  • Commercial leases are not merely contracts, but often roadmaps to both a landlord's and a tenant's future business plan for a particular premises. Both parties should take ample time to ...

Looking Good - on Balance - How to Make Your Business a Better Candidate for Financing

  • Gary G. Breton , Esq. • 2007-08-21
  • It is common for businesses to need conventional financing from time to time for continued growth and maybe even ultimate survival in the marketplace. What, if anything, can a small ...

Home Sweet Home - Reverse Mortgages Can Keep You from Becoming Institutionalized

  • Hyman G. Darling, Esq. • 2007-08-21
  • If you're like most retired people, the single largest asset you have is your home. Since it may be paid for or possibly subject to a small home equity loan, ...

Halt! Who Goes There? - Stopping Identity Thieves in Their Tracks

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-08-13
  • Identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. Many people have fallen victim to identity thieves, and the number of victims ...

Prevailing Wage - As Recent Cases Show, Non-compliance Penalties Are Severe

  • Kevin V. Maltby, Esq. • 2007-07-16
  • As home improvement construction begins to slow, contractors may turn to public works projects or state funded contracts in order to keep working. But contractors must maintain strict compliance with ...

Antiques, Collections and Things - Oh My!

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-06-27
  • Many of us collect "things" - some of them more valuable than the rest combined. We appreciate the beauty of things, and we take pride in owning them. We enjoy ...

New Family Plan? New Estate Plan.

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-06-27
  • The amount of planning that is necessary when starting a new family or planning for another addition to a household is overwhelming. Once people have a new baby, they seem ...

The Clock Is Ticking - Employers' Healthcare Reform Compliance Deadline Looms

  • Kevin V. Maltby, Esq. • 2007-06-15
  • Starting July 1, 2007, the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law takes full effect, and all businesses will have to comply with it. The law affects various size businesses in different ...

Your Disabled Child's Financial Future - To Ensure Adequate Support, Consider the Special Needs Trust

  • Brett A. Kaufman, Esq. • 2007-06-04
  • If you're the parent of a disabled child, you're probably concerned with the uncertainty of your child's financial future and the realization that you will not always be around to ...

What Are the Benefits of Hospice Care?

  • Hyman G. Darling, Esq. • 2007-05-29
  • Hospice care is a program that exists for end of life situations. Not only do hospice caregivers provide good medical and physical care, but also significant palliative (pain relief) therapy ...

The Basic Estate Plan - Peace of Mind for the Savvy Traveler

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2007-05-23
  • Soon you will be taking a trip. Perhaps you are going to a place you have waited your whole life to see or maybe you are traveling to see your ...

Giving Them the Business: Ensuring a Smooth Transition When It's Time

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq. • 2007-05-11
  • Unfortunately, most business owners fail to plan for the continued operation of their business should they become incapacitated or die. Only 30% of family-run companies today succeed into the second ...

Securing the Future - Millions Are Turning to Long-term Care Insurance

  • Joseph Bednar • 2007-05-11
  • As people live longer and the cost of nursing home care increases, insurance agents and estate planners are sounding the call that, for many, purchasing long-term care insurance is a ...

Workplace Violence and Background Checks

  • Adam J. Basch, Esq. • 2007-05-11
  • Although it may come as a surprise to most people, an employer can be held liable for an assault committed by his employee. Negligent hiring or negligent retention of an ...

Eeny Meeny Miney Moe? - Taking the Guesswork Out of Choosing an Attorney

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2007-05-02
  • Choosing an attorney to represent you in any legal matter can be an especially daunting task. Should you rely on advertising you might have seen in the local media or ...

Cautionary Contemporary Estate Planning Tales - Learning Our Lessons from the Rich and Famously Departed

  • Todd C. Ratner, Esquire • 2007-05-01
  • However unpleasant it may be to contemplate and prepare for our inevitable departure, few of us intend to leave a mess for our heirs after we are gone. Nevertheless, despite ...

The Cellular Tightrope - Balancing Employee Privacy and Corporate Confidentiality

  • Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire • 2007-05-01
  • Most, if not all, of your employees these days have cellular phones, and most employees regard them as one of life's conveniences and a communication staple. Parents are more comfortable ...

Web of Intrigue - Employers Face Potential Liability for Employees' Internet and E-mail Use

  • Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire • 2007-03-18
  • Recent case law suggests that employers may be liable for the conduct of their employees when they use the company's email and Internet connection. For example, you may be liable ...

I'll Trade You? - Avoiding Taxes Through Like Kind Exchanges

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-03-16
  • Conducting a "like-kind" exchange under Internal Revenue Code section 1031 is one of the few legitimate tax shelters available to individuals, corporations and other business entities engaging in the disposition ...

Special Needs Require Special Planning

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2007-03-10
  • Families with a member who has special needs understand that mainstream solutions are not enough to solve everyday issues that often arise. Likewise, mainstream estate planning is insufficient to address ...

A Matter of Trust - Giving Someone Power of Attorney over Your Financial Matters Is a Key Decision

  • Bruce M. Fogel, Esquire • 2007-03-05
  • As you may have already heard or read, a Durable Power of Attorney (DPA) is a very important and beneficial document to have available, not only as you age, but ...

Handing over the Reins - Succession Planning for Businesses Poses Challenges

  • Jeffrey I. Fialky, Esquire • 2007-03-02
  • When a business has been built up by its founders over many years, how can it guaranty survival of the loss of one or more shareholders? There are critical interests ...

If You Should Die Before You Wake, Whom Do You Pray Your Estate to Take?

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2007-03-01
  • Imagine that when you close your eyes tonight, they never reopen. Do you have a Will? Did you have a Will drafted, but never sign it? Regardless of your answer ...

Wills vs. Trusts - Explaining the Estate Planning Enigma

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2007-02-06
  • Many people believe that they should establish a Revocable Trust in order to facilitate the administration of their estate upon their passing. In many cases, a Will, or Will substitutes, ...

The Sliding Scale on Sexual Harassment

  • Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire • 2007-01-19
  • The workplace is an ever-evolving environment that continues to grow and shift from generation to generation. As corporate culture continues to change, the levels of acceptable conduct also evolve. What ...