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2013 Articles

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Reverse Mortgages for the Affluent, Too: Are You Up to Speed on the Advantages and New Regulations for 2014?

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2013-12-30
  • More and more people are starting to realize that reverse mortgages aren’t just for those struggling to keep their homes. These loans can also work for affluent retirees as a …

A Never-ending Process – Here’s a Helpful Estate-planning Year-end Checklist

  • Lisa L. Halbert • 2013-12-16
  • As the end of 2013 approaches, this is a good time to take stock and review where you have been and where you want to head. Financial planners encourage annual …

Year End Tax Planning – It’s Not Too Late

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-12-01
  • With the approach of Thanksgiving, the holiday season has begun. As you sit down for your holiday dinner, remember that soon Uncle Sam will be visiting you to enjoy his …

The Bay State’s Personnel Records Law Beware – There Are Some Traps for the Unwary Employer

  • Kathryn S. Crouss • 2013-11-04
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has strict regulations regarding employee records, and non-compliance can be costly for employers. Employers and employees should be aware of certain obligations and rights regarding an …

Eliminating Guesswork: Effective Legal Planning for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2013-11-01
  • Although it is important for everyone to plan for their future, legal planning for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease takes on heightened importance. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic, progressive illness …

Things to Know When Your Child is Also Your Caregiver

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-11-01
  • It is very common for a child to provide care to an aging parent in order to allow the parent to continue to live at home. A child is most …

The Importance of the Special-needs Trust

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2013-10-07
  • A special needs trust, or sometimes referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is a document that is established to provide for a family member who has a disability. The …

Estate Tax Update

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-10-01
  • 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 …

Planning for Incapacity: Take Steps Now to Keep the Court out of Your Personal Decisions

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-09-23
  • If you were to become incapable of making your medical and financial decisions, do you know who would handle your affairs? Failing to plan for incapacity may mean becoming subject …

An Estate Plan is Only Four Documents Away

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-09-01
  • When it comes to estate planning, the old adage is true. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Many people believe that they do not have enough …

Is This the Time to Fight? When Divorce Is Complicated by Serious Medical Concerns

  • Melissa R. Gillis • 2013-08-01
  • Divorce, parenting time issues, and full blown custody battles are not easy. In fact, they are stressful to say the least. But what happens when one parent is not only …

Same Sex Married Couples Now Enjoy Same Rights Under Federal Law

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-08-01
  • Until recently, and even if they were married in a state that recognizes same sex marriage, married same sex couples were treated differently under federal law than heterosexual married couples. …

Bullying in the Workplace: Legislation Seeks to Protect Workers from Abuse, Harassment

  • Kathryn S. Crouss • 2013-07-29
  • A public hearing was held on June 25, 2013 before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development regarding HB 1766, proposed legislation entitled “An Act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, …

Call Your Lawyer: Don’t Put Off Estate Planning for Your College-aged Children

  • Lisa L. Halbert • 2013-07-21
  • Summer is here and your college aged kids (or grandkids) are on break, or home from school, if only for a short period of time. While these technically “legal” adults …

Deed with Life Estate

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2013-07-01
  • A person’s home is oftentimes the most valuable asset that they may own. As an estate planning and elder law attorney, I am frequently asked how a home can ultimately …

Estate Planning Myths Explained

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-07-01
  • Myth #1 – “If I have a valid Will, my estate does not have to go through probate.” The assets in your probate estate are those that are held in …

Assisted Living or In-home Care? This Can Often Be a Difficult Decision for Your Loved One

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2013-06-01
  • At some point, many people reach a time in their lives where they need help with day-to-day living. Elders oftentimes have unique emotional and medical needs that must be assessed. …

Considerations for Collectors

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-06-01
  • Spring has sprung, and many of us have begun our spring cleaning. As we clean, we often find ourselves clearing the dust off of our collections. Some items we collect …

Does My Child Need Guardianship?

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2013-06-01
  • As a child with cognitive disabilities nears his or her 18th birthday, parents often wonder whether they should seek a guardianship over their child. The short answer to this question …

Capital Idea: Changes in the Law Greatly Benefit Those Selling Their Homes

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2013-05-01
  • Your home is likely your greatest investment, and fortunately, the IRS provides significant tax benefits upon the sale of it, which have evolved to greater benefit you. Many people remember …

Special Needs Require Special Planning

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-05-01
  • 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 …

Custody of a Special-needs Child: Sometimes, It’s Better to Focus on Quality Parent Time, Not Quantity

  • Melissa R. Gillis • 2013-04-01
  • Child custody disputes, whether because of a divorce, modification of a prior judgment, or for never married parents who are no longer together, is a difficult, confusing and stressful process. …

You Can’t Take it With You: Consider Charity in Your Final Plans

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-04-01
  • Do you donate money to charity each year? Perhaps you donate to an organization dedicated to finding a cure for an awful disease that has affected your life or the …

Organizing Your Estate Plan

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-03-01
  • Many people are currently in the process of organizing their financial information in preparation for the completion of their yearly income tax returns. If you have kept your records in …

Regional Law Firm Attorneys Honored as 2012 SuperLawyers & Rising Stars

  • Christine Pilch Mancini

    Marketing Director

    CPilchMancini(at)BaconWilson.com

    413-781-0560

    • 2013-02-21

  • Springfield, MA – The Springfield-based regional law firm of Bacon Wilson, P.C. is pleased to announce that five of their attorneys have been distinguished as New England “SuperLawyers” and six …

Estate Planning 2013: Changes That May Affect You

  • Todd C. Ratner • 2013-02-15
  • On January 2, 2013, after much debate, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the Act) into law. The Act makes significant changes that will affect many …

Legal Practice: Law Students and Graduates Gain Valuable Experience as Clerks

  • Joseph Bednar • 2013-02-11
  • They often work behind the scenes, providing support to attorneys, judges, and others – writing, researching, and otherwise witnessing the mechanics of law. They’re clerks, usually law students or recent …

Cliff Notes – A 2013 Tax Update – What’s Changed, and What Hasn’t

  • Hyman G. Darling • 2013-02-01
  • It appears that in the short term, Congress and the President have agreed on tax legislation to avoid the proverbial fiscal cliff. Instead of reviewing what would have happened had …

Moving Forward with a Reverse Mortgage

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-02-01
  • A multitude of seniors, having paid off their mortgages many years ago, currently own their homes free and clear of any debt. Some are fortunate, and they have a nest …

Estate-planning Myths Explained – To Avoid Problems, Separate Facts from Assumptions

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-01-01
  • Certain ideas with respect to estate planning are widely accepted, yet unfortunately, inaccurate. This article will reveal and explain the most commonly stated estate planning myths. Myth #1 – “If …

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

  • Gina M. Barry • 2013-01-01
  • Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Most resolutions are so cumbersome, they are impossible to keep. A simple resolution to make and keep is to review your estate …