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2006 Articles

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‘Tis the Season . . . to Review Your Estate Plan: A New Year’s Resolution That’s Easy to Keep

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-12-21
  • It’s the time of year for New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions are so cumbersome, the maker of the resolution is unable to keep the resolution, which is self-defeating. A simple …

Passing the Baton: The Importance of Succession Planning in Business

  • Martin C. Dunn, Esquire • 2006-12-20
  • The baton may go to those who plan best, not to the swiftest. Succession: The $10 Trillion Question An article posted on the Small Business Administration’s web site (Family-Owned Business …

Down in Black and White – The Latest Word on Company Handbooks

  • George O’Brien • 2006-12-19
  • The employee handbook has been part of the business landscape for decades, and its basic purpose – to inform workers of a company’s policies and operating philosophies – hasn’t changed. …

When a Loved One Passes Away – Steps to Take Even If You Think There Is No “Probate” Estate

  • Lisa L. Halbert, Esquire • 2006-12-18
  • The passing of a parent, spouse, partner or good friend is never easy to address or contemplate. In addition to the physical and emotional loss, the mere thought of navigating …

Power of Attorney – Designating Someone to Handle Your Financial Matters

  • Bruce M. Fogel, Esquire • 2006-12-16
  • 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 …

What Brownfields Can Do for You – How Some Developers are Spinning Environmental Contamination into Gold

  • Jeffrey I. Fialky, Esquire • 2006-12-03
  • Generally speaking, Brownfields are contaminated properties. Be it oil, detergents, polychlorinated biphenyls, (PCB’s,) or some other volatile organic compound, (VOC) or contaminate, a Brownfield is generally considered an environmental headache. …

Calm Before the Storm – Dealing with Secured Lenders When Times Become Tough

  • Justin H. Dion, Esquire • 2006-12-01
  • Most small businesses are financially cyclical to some extent, with some days, weeks, months and years better than others. Although good financial planning can lessen the impact of economic downturn, …

Co-owning Property with Your Spouse or Children – How To Chose the Right Type of Ownership

  • Hyman G. Darling, Esq. • 2006-11-18
  • There are three principal types of ownership (tenancies) relative to real estate. The most familiar is what is known as joint tenants. This means that if one person dies, the …

Timing is Everything-or Is It? – Cortez Challenges the “Snapshot” Approach to Analyzing Abuse Pursuant to 11 USC – 707(b)

  • Justin H. Dion, Esquire • 2006-11-17
  • It has been said that life is all about timing. This is especially true when examining someone’s financial status. Someone could be solvent today and insolvent tomorrow (or vice versa). …

Tripping over the Fine Print – How to Avoid Pitfalls When Negotiating Vendor Agreements

  • Jeffrey I. Fialky, Esquire • 2006-10-19
  • Samuel Goldwyn once said, “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” Are the days of a handshake deals gone once and for all? Perhaps. Businesses and customers …

The New Bankruptcy Law: Assessing The Law’s Impact on Women

  • Justin H. Dion, Esquire • 2006-10-18
  • It is well understood that consumer bankruptcy is designed to assist someone to obtain a “fresh start,” which in most cases entails discharging some, if not all, debts and obligations. …

Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes – And All of Them Can Be Easily Corrected

  • Brett A. Kaufman, Esq. • 2006-10-17
  • To err is human and to correct is divine. If you have an existing estate plan and haven’t revisited it for several years, or you never thought you needed one, …

The Will That Won’t – Should it be Contested?

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-10-16
  • You neighbor just received terrible news. Her mother, who was an elderly widow, has passed away. Although your neighbor was estranged from her mother for a number of years before …

Expecting Mom? Expecting Dad? – How Much Leave Should You Expect?

  • Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire • 2006-10-03
  • Many expectant parents have questions about how much leave they are entitled to after the arrival of a new child. The laws are different for expectant mothers and fathers. Depending …

Vacation Home Co-ownership – Proper Documentation Can Help Avoid Some Headaches

  • Todd C. Ratner, Esquire • 2006-10-02
  • When Michael and his wife, Alice, began looking at weekend homes on Cape Cod, it quickly became apparent they could not undertake the financial burden alone. Fortunately, they had friends …

Homestead Declaration Sweet Homestead Declaration

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-10-01
  • Very often, a person’s home is their most valuable asset, and they take many steps to protect their investment. These steps include securing homeowner’s insurance and spending countless hours and …

Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney – Providing Your Voice When You Are Unable to Speak for Yourself

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-08-21
  • If you were to become incapacitated and unable to make your medical and financial decisions, do you know who would speak for you? Ideally, you have executed formal legal documents, …

Be Careful with Handshake Deals – The Recipe for Business Agreement Success Calls for More Than a Pinch of Trust

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-08-21
  • Cooking up a successful business relationship requires trust between the parties involved, but having an agreement in writing is essential to the mix. A lack of agreement and understanding of …

Where There’s a Will, There’s an Heir

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-07-30
  • Many have heard the expression, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” but among estate planning specialists, we have changed the old adage some, that is, to “where there’s a …

People, Even Young Ones, are Not Invincible – Health Care Proxies Are Not Just for People 50 and Over

  • Brett A. Kaufman, Esq. • 2006-06-29
  • Facing your own mortality is a difficult concept to come to terms with. There are several scenarios that younger individuals must be aware of that may leave you unable to …

Your Will Means Your Way – A Look at the Most Overlooked and Undervalued Estate Planning Tool

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-06-26
  • Your Will means your way, and this is a powerful reality. We’ve all heard a horror story from a family member or friend, or have lived through one ourselves involving …

Capital Ideas – Business Financing in a Rising-interest-rate Environment

  • Gary G. Breton , Esq. • 2006-06-19
  • Business funding has become more challenging lately as rates are on the rise and venture capital seems to have dried up. Yesterday’s obvious funding solutions may seem to be a …

A Sense of Community – Assisted Living Facilities – A Means to Live Independently Longer

  • Hyman G. Darling, Esq. • 2006-06-19
  • One relatively recent residential opportunity for older adults is the option to live in an assisted living facility. These are not skilled nursing facilities, like nursing homes, but they do …

The Medicaid Rules Have Changed, but the Planning Continues

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-05-30
  • Last month, this article reviewed the changes to the Medicaid program resulting from the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (“DRA”) on February 8, 2006. The changes reviewed …

License to Chill – ‘Tis the Season for Liquor-serving Establishments to Act Responsibly

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-05-30
  • The season of spring is the first ingredient in the recipe for profit for most bars, restaurants, clubs and lounges. The next few favorably-weathered months will also see an abundance …

Additional Evidence – Bacon & Wilson Adds New Attorney to Westfield Office

  • George O’Brien • 2006-05-30
  • Steve Krevalin says it took one lunch for him to know the move made perfect sense – for both parties. He was referring to the addition of long-time Westfield attorney …

Good News for Landlords – Bankruptcy Law Revisions Make it Easier to Evict

  • Justin H. Dion, Esquire • 2006-05-15
  • It can be tough being a landlord in Massachusetts. In addition to the everyday hassles, such as dealing with ornery tenants and rent collections, there are also long term considerations, …

Medicaid Madness Continues as the Rules Change Once Again

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-04-30
  • On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (“DRA”) and significantly changed the Medicaid rules. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides …

The Power Of Planning: Legal Tools You Can Use To Avoid Guardianship and Conservatorship

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-04-19
  • In last month’s issue of The Healthcare Ledger, I discussed the role, purpose and function of guardians and conservators. In this article, I will highlight the important legal documents that …

Some Advice – on the House – Deadly Sins of a Home Improvement Project

  • Adam J. Basch, Esq. • 2006-04-19
  • For most people, their home is their most prized possession. This is often true from both a financial standpoint, as well as a sentimental one. Both aspects of your attachment …

Shaking The Money Tree – There Are Many Options for Finding Cash for Your Strapped Business

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-04-19
  • Money. Money. Money. Whether it is start up capital, cash flow injection or purchasing power, every business needs money. Cash is “King.” We all have heard the saying, and it …

Elder Abuse – Unveiling the Dirty Little Secret

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-04-12
  • All people, regardless of age, deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and in a fashion that keeps them safe from physical, emotional and financial harm. This is particularly true …

Your Place or Mine? – Addressing the Caretaker Child Conundrum.

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-03-13
  • When an aging parent needs assistance to continue to live at home, many children opt to provide the needed care personally. Often, the parent will not agree to hire health …

How to Hire a Lawyer – The Yellow Pages Is Not the Place to Begin a Search

  • Michael B. Katz, Esquire • 2006-03-07
  • At some point in life, everyone needs to consult with an attorney, but there are many things that should be considered when trying to find the right one. Where to …

Getting Paid for Your Work

  • Adam J. Basch, Esq. • 2006-03-07
  • If you have ever had to file a lawsuit to collect a debt, you will agree; the bottom line is getting paid. Quite simply, if you are owed money, you …

Guardians And Conservators: Who are They? What Do They Do? Can You Avoid Them?

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-03-07
  • Planning has become a way of life. Most of us have daily, weekly and monthly planners. We plan strategically in our careers and our investments, we plan our vacations and …

Medicaid Proposals Will Strain Everyone

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-02-17
  • Whoever said change is not always bad, obviously did not see the new proposed rules for Medicaid. Medicaid or MassHealth as we know it in Massachusetts is a joint federal-state …

Prescription For Progress – Taking The Mystery Out Of Medicare Part D and Its Enrollment Decisions

  • Gina M. Barry, Esquire • 2006-02-17
  • Approximately 42 million Medicare beneficiaries will be offered coverage for prescription costs through the new Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which became law on December 8, …

My Home Sweet Home – How to protect your personal residence from Medicaid Recovery

  • Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq. • 2006-01-17
  • My home sweet home is my most valuable asset. My home is where my heart is. I do not want to lose my home, home on the range. The question …

Business in a Box – Is Franchising Risk Worth the Potential Payoff?

  • Todd C. Ratner, Esquire • 2006-01-16
  • Frustrated middle managers, executives looking for a career change and blue-collar workers seeking financial independence alike are enticed by the idea of starting their own enterprise by purchasing a franchise. …