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2011 Articles

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Navigating the Minefield of Long Distance Caregiving

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-12-29
  • There comes a point when most of our nation’s elders will need assistance with various tasks, such as household management, bathing, dressing, medication management, meal preparation and eating, transferring, and/or …

Your Updated Employee Manual: Amending Your Company’s Policies to Reflect Changing Times

  • Adam J. Basch • 2011-12-19
  • Everybody recognizes that technology is rapidly changing the workplace. Most employees have access to the Internet during business hours from their work computers, and even those who don’t likely have …

Lessons in Employer Liability: What to Take Away from the Sexual-abuse Scandal at Penn State

  • Kevin V. Maltby • 2011-12-05
  • Recent allegations that Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for the Penn State University football team, sexually abused children while employed by the school have brought to the forefront issues relating …

Transitional Planning in Special Ed: Start Early When Determining and Preparing for Life After School

  • Melissa R. Gillis • 2011-12-01
  • Parents and guardians of special-education students often misunderstand the rights that state and federal law affords such students, particularly in the area of transitional planning. Transition services are those designed …

Year End Planning – It’s Not Too Late . . . Yet

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-12-01
  • Year end is soon approaching. As you sit down for your holiday dinner, remember that soon Uncle Sam will be visiting you to enjoy his share of your bounty. Despite …

Changed Ice and Snow Removal Laws: Property Owners Beware!

  • Philip R. Smith • 2011-11-17
  • For 200 years, the laws Massachusetts supported the position that a property owner was not liable for any injuries caused by a natural, (or untouched,) accumulation of snow or ice. …

The 2010 Health Care Mandate: Understand the Many Ways It Can Impact Your Bottom Line

  • Bruce M. Fogel • 2011-11-07
  • Everybody knows that the government is out of money and needs to raise cash. However, do you understand the financial impact that the 2010 health care legislation will have on …

Finances and Alzheimer’s Disease: There Are Many Such Matters Involved with ‘the Long Goodbye’

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2011-11-01
  • November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month as well as National Family Caregiver Month. To appreciate the breadth of these issues, it is helpful to understand that the Alzheimer’s Association …

Taking the Guesswork out of Choosing an Attorney

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-11-01
  • 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 …

Preserving Your Home – One of Your Most Valuable Assets

  • Gary F. Bevilacqua • 2011-10-27
  • Your home is usually the most valuable asset that you own. Estate planning lawyers are frequently asked how one’s home can be successfully transferred to their children without the expense …

Explore Your Options: Many Alternative and Supplemental Financing Sources Exist for Business

  • Gary G. Breton • 2011-10-10
  • So, you’re looking for financing for your business to allow it to remain viable through these difficult and volatile economic times. But you find that all your traditional sources of …

Estate Planning in Blended Families Considerations for Couples with Children from Previous Relationships

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2011-10-01
  • The days of mostly traditional American families are probably gone for good. The modern family of today is often a mix of spouses, exes, kids, and steps who somehow find …

Things to Know When Your Child is Also Your Caregiver

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-10-01
  • It is very common for a child to provide assistance to an aging parent in order to allow the parent to continue to live at home. A child is the …

Deed with Life Estate: Understanding the Pros and Cons of This Handy Estate-planning Tool

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2011-09-01
  • Your home is typically the most valuable asset that you own. Estate-planning and elder-law attorneys are frequently asked how one’s home can ultimately be transferred to a client’s children without …

The Impact of Grief on Your Estate Plan

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-09-01
  • No one knows exactly when they will pass away, which means that it is never too soon to plan. Those left behind are called upon to tend to your final …

Charitable Giving and Medicaid Issues

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2011-08-30
  • Summary: What do charitable giving and Medicaid have in common? As it turns out, quite a bit. Writing on behalf of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Springfield, Massachusetts …

Asset Protection Planning

  • Philip R. Smith • 2011-08-25
  • It was not long ago that a typical family estate plan consisted of two wills, one for each spouse. Very few plans went beyond this. In today’s estate plans, however, …

A Case Law Update: Recent Court Decisions Have Implications for Small Businesses

  • Kevin V. Maltby • 2011-08-15
  • There have been several new developments in employment law that may have an impact on small business. These cases involve various issues, including wage-and-hour and retaliation claims. While the facts …

For Good Measure Autism Insurance Legislation: What It Means for Your Child

  • Melissa R. Gillis • 2011-08-01
  • Imagine this: an issue so big that when the governor signs a much-anticipated bill into law so many parents and families want to view the historic event that the signing …

Special Needs Require Special Planning

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-08-01
  • Many people in the United States are currently considered disabled as defined by Social Security. Their disability may entitle them to receive various benefits that are provided by the federal …

Demystifying Probate – The Probate Process, Step-By-Step

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2011-07-28
  • One of the most common goals of people as they grow older and build their assets is to avoid the probate process. Although it is not necessary a horrendous ordeal, …

Home Repair Following the Tornadoes: The Art of Finding a Contractor and Dealing with Your Insurer

  • Adam J. Basch • 2011-07-18
  • After a loss from the recent tornadoes in Western Mass., most people called their home insurer. Shortly thereafter, an agent showed up at the home to inspect it. Within a …

The MUPC: an Overview Uniform Probate Code Features Several New Provisions

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2011-07-01
  • In January 2009, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted the new Uniform Probate Code (MUPC). Although certain provisions of the MUPC pertaining to guardians and conservators came into effect on July 1, …

Estate Planning: Not Just for Elders You Should Prepare Now to Prevent Future Problems

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2011-06-01
  • Maintaining your estate plan is very important, regardless of your health or age. In fact, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has already drafted a will for you, so if you want …

Male Perspective Estate Planning

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2011-06-01
  • The conventional gender roles are eroding quickly as women have made great strides in the world of business and politics. It has become increasingly uncommon to see the likes of …

Estate Planning – The Four Documents You Really Can’t Afford to be Without

  • Philip R. Smith • 2011-05-26
  • The benefits of planning your estate, in money saved and peace of mind, make getting started on a plan one of the best ways to care for your loved ones …

A Case Law Update: Recent Court Decisions Have Implications for Small Businesses

  • Kevin V. Maltby • 2011-05-17
  • There have been several new developments in employment law that may have an impact on small business. These cases involve various issues, including wage and hour and retaliation claims. While …

Issues of Time and Space: Navigating the Minefield of Long-distance Caregiving

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-05-01
  • There comes a point when most of our nation’s elders will need assistance with various tasks, such as household management, bathing, dressing, medication management, meal preparation and eating, transferring, and/or …

Estate Planning Concerns for Women

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-05-01
  • In May, we celebrate Mother’s Day, honoring mothers and showering them with love and attention. Most could not bear to think of their mother facing any adversity, and when it …

What is Title Insurance? Why would you purchase a policy?

  • Gary F. Bevilacqua • 2011-04-28
  • Real estate has such great value and is such a basic form of wealth and prestige that many special laws have been enacted for its protection. As a result, a …

Organizing Your Estate Plan

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-04-22
  • As you complete your Spring cleaning this year, one of the most important things you can organize is your estate plan. If your estate plan is organized, your affairs can …

Estate Tax Update

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-03-01
  • When a Massachusetts resident passes away, every asset that he or she owns is subject to estate tax. Estate tax is imposed by both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (state estate …

Decisions, Decisions: An Employment Case-law Update

  • Kevin V. Maltby • 2011-02-14
  • This past year brought about several developments in employment law that have a potential impact on Western Massachusetts business. Employers in Massachusetts must comply with both state and federal law, …

IRS Form 1099 Explained: Know the Requirements in Order to Remain in Compliance

  • Bruce M. Fogel • 2011-02-14
  • Many of us, at one time or another, have seen an IRS form titled 1099. Most of us are familiar with the more usual versions of that form including: The …

Pet Trusts Arrive in Massachusetts

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-02-01
  • With the arrival of Valentine’s Day in February, many of us reflect on the relationships that are most important to us. While the focus is typically on romantic love, many …

Developmental Delay or Disability? Making Early Identification of Your Child’s Special Needs

  • Melissa R. Gillis • 2011-01-31
  • Parents of young children, particularly children under the age of 5, often wonder whether their child is meeting all the important developmental milestones. Many guiltily admit that they want to …

Understanding Veterans’ Benefits Assistance: Is Available to Those Who Qualify Financially

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2011-01-03
  • There are currently approximately 25 million veterans alive in the United States, many of whom are not disabled. In addition, there are over 9 million surviving spouses of veterans, many …

Estate Planning Checkup

  • Gina M. Barry • 2011-01-01
  • Any estate planner will tell you that your legal house is not in order if you have not yet completed the four basic estate planning documents as discussed below. 1. …