Can my sister force my disabled sister out of the family home?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

My sister is disabled and living in our mother’s home. My mother now resides in a memory ward of a senior living facility. My other sister wants to kick my disabled sister out, but she’s on disability and can’t afford housing. She claims that they need to sell the house in order to pay the $5000/mo facility cost. Please advise

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Assisted living bills need to be paid or your mother will be evicted. Unlike nursing homes, there is little public assistance to help keep the elder in assisted living. Your sister has no right to continue to live in her mother’s house just because she is disabled.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The elder law attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for estate and asset protection planning. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

Procedure for transferring property, which is already designated to be gifted to someone in a will?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The person who has the will, is the Mother of 4 children. She is also diagnosed with mild dementia. She has decided to give one piece of her property to one dependent, but it was set to be given to another in her will. The 4 dependents are all in favor of this gift. However, there is a piece of property that the dependent who is going to be gifted this property is due to be given in the will. What we want to do is gift him the new property and sign his future property over to two of the other siblings. Is there any legal means to do so or can her will be changed?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

You need to consult with an elder law attorney. First, at some point in the near future your mother may need to enter a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. Gifting property within the five year look back will cause a disqualification period.
Second, gifting property instead of waiting for an inheritance means that the beneficiary takes the property at the basis that your mother had in the property. By waiting for the inheritance, the gain in the property is eliminated because the heir receives the property with a new basis of the fair market value on the date of your mother’s death.
Third, revising a will if a person has dementia is dangerous. You mother needs to be able to understand what document she is signing and what the ramifications are. As she already has a diagnosis, the new will can be challenged after her death. You will be put in the position of having to prove that your mother had mental capacity on the day she signed.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The estate planning attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for estate and asset protection planning. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

North Carolina trustee for Massachusetts trust

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

A non grantor complex Massachusetts trust has a North Carolina trustee and one beneficiary in Massachusetts. There is no Massachusetts sourced income to the trust such as real estate rental income, only income and gains is from stock and bond portfolio. Should the trustee file a Massachusetts or NC trust tax return along with the federal return? The trust language allows the trustee discretion to allocate income and capital gains back to the corpus if desired or to distribute. However, trustee has been distributing 3 percent per year. Does Massachusetts and NC law allow capital gains to be distributed to the beneficiary?

ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:

Massachusetts will look to see if the trust is a “resident trust”. There are two types. A testamentary trust (a trust created through the decedent will is one. The other is an inter vivos trust (a trust created during the grantor’s life). To trigger a resident trust status for an inter vivos trust the following conditions must exist: At least one of the trustees is a Mass resident AND (1) at least one of the grantors was a Mass inhabitant when the trust was created or (2) at least one of the grantors resided in Mass during any part of the year for which the income is computed or (3) at least one of the grantors died a Mass resident.
If your trustee is an individual, it does not seem from your description that a return will be needed. However, if a business which also has locations in Massachusetts is the trustee, Mass will tax the trust. There was a case decided last year against Bank of America on that issue.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

The tax attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for taxation. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

‘No vacancy’ is no defense in promotion lawsuit

Can an employer be sued for not promoting someone, even if there’s no vacancy in the job to which she wants to be promoted?

Maybe, according to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

Janean Chambers was a blind black woman who worked for the Department of Health and Human Services. She was at a GS-9 pay grade and wanted to be promoted to a GS-11 job. [Read more…]

Yoga teacher could be fired for being ‘too cute’

A Manhattan yoga teacher who claimed her female boss fired her because the boss’s husband thought she was attractive can’t bring a lawsuit for unjust termination, a judge has ruled.

Dilek Edwards worked as a yoga instructor and massage therapist at a chiropractic clinic owned by Stephanie Adams – a former Playboy model – and her husband, Charles Nicolai.

Edwards apparently had given Nicolai some massages, and Nicolai praised her work and told her that his wife might become jealous because she was “too cute.” [Read more…]

New rules for company ‘wellness’ programs

Corporate wellness programs – designed to help workers quit smoking, manage stress, lose weight and address other health issues – are becoming popular with employers. Many businesses see them as a valuable perk as well as a way to reduce absenteeism and health care costs.

However, under federal law, these programs must be voluntary – employees can’t be forced to participate in them. Further, there are limits on how companies can obtain and use medical and genetic information about workers and their families.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new rules that clarify what’s allowed. [Read more…]

Workers’ ‘right to gripe’ gets another boost

The National Labor Relations Board is cracking down on workplace rules that are designed to promote harmony and civility, but that restrict employees from complaining about their working conditions.

All employees (even those who don’t belong to a union) have a right under federal labor law to talk to each other about their pay and conditions and to agitate for improvements. Here are some examples of workplace rules that the NLRB thinks might violate that right: [Read more…]

Should companies buy wage-and-hour insurance?

Wage-and-hour lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act have increased by 30 percent in just the last five years, and with the huge changes that took place on December 1, that number is expected to increase even further.

Some companies are buying specific insurance policies to protect them against these claims.

If a business already has an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy, this might not be necessary because these claims may already be covered. However, many EPLI policies specifically exclude coverage for wage-and-hour violations. Other general liability policies might in theory cover wage-and-hour suits, but these insurers are often very aggressive in contesting their obligation to cover such claims after they arise.

Businesses that are concerned might want to review their policies with an employment attorney.

What the new overtime rules will mean for businesses and employees

Major changes to the federal overtime rules went into effect on December 1, and this could mean big changes in the workplace.

Some 4.2 million employees who aren’t eligible for overtime now will become eligible under the new rules. This could prompt many businesses to reduce overtime hours, hire new workers, raise or lower salaries, convert salaried employees to hourly employees, and adjust bonuses and commissions. It could also mean changes for workers who telecommute or have flexible schedules.

In general, employees must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours in a week, unless the employee is “exempt.” Currently, employees are “exempt” if they earn at least $23,660 per year; are paid on a salary basis; and perform managerial, professional, or administrative tasks. Employees who do not have managerial, professional, or administrative jobs are exempt if they earn more than $100,000. [Read more…]

Drug testing policies may need to be revised

If you have a policy that requires drug testing after a workplace accident or injury, you may need to change it as a result of new rules issued by OSHA.

The new rules generally require that companies have a reporting procedure in place for work-related injuries and illnesses, and prohibit them from discouraging workers from reporting injuries. The catch is that, according to OSHA, a policy that requires drug testing after a workplace accident could discourage workers from reporting accidents in the first place.

To be clear, OSHA is not saying that you can never give a drug test after a mishap. But to justify a test, two things must be true: [Read more…]