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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 …