In honor of election day, I thought I’d write a quick post about the impact of politics on estate planning. One consideration in crafting estate plans for clients is how the federal and Massachusetts estate taxes will impact the legacies that they leave to their families. Currently, a federal estate tax is levied on decedents
Please check out my article on Caregiver Contracts in the Local Voices section of the Danvers Patch.com website. The Caregiver Contract: A Method for Keeping an Elder’s Life Savings in the Family For children who care for elderly parents, establishing a Caregiver Contract could ensure that the elder’s life savings remain in the family, instead
After years of toil and sweat, your small business is a thriving part of the local economy. But what will happen when you retire? What if you run into financial trouble, or become disabled, or pass away at a young age? Who will take over the business? How will the business take care of your
Please check out my article on Massachusetts Homesteads in the Local Voices section of the Danvers Patch.com website. The Massachusetts Homestead: A Cheap and Easy Way to Protect Your Home Filing a Declaration of Homestead can protect your Massachusetts home from judgment creditors and lawsuits.
If you are like many mid-career professionals, then your retirement accounts may comprise an enormous portion of your net worth. To the delight of estate planners and clients, qualified retirement accounts (401(k)s and IRAs) receive favorable treatment upon the owner’s death in a few areas. First, retirement accounts are non-probate assets. They have their own
Please check out my article on estate planning for families with young children in the Local Voices section of the Danvers Patch.com website. Estate Planning Has Added Importance for Families With Young Children Proper estate planning allows parents to protect and provide for their children, even in tragic circumstances.
In an earlier post I explained some common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements. In this post I want to delve further into that topic, and outline the requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement in Massachusetts. Our primary source of legal authority regarding prenups is the Supreme Judicial Court case DeMatteo v. DeMatteo, which describes these requirements
Many people face a period of physical/legal incapacity at some point in their lives, either through old age, an accident, or a medical condition. These same people often require medical treatment, but are unable to make decisions regarding their care. Different states have different methods for dealing with this problem. Here in Massachusetts, there are
Thousands of Massachusetts families have a family member with special needs. These individuals are blessings to their families, as they elicit the virtues of compassion, patience, and understanding. Unfortunately, it take more than these qualities alone to care for an individual. Caring for those of us with special needs also requires a great deal of
When estate planners bring up the topic of Trusts with clients, we’re met with a variety of reactions. Often, clients have preconceived notions that trusts are only for the very wealthy, or that they’re extremely complex. Fortunately, once we dispel these myths, we’re able to move on to a discussion of the benefits of trusts