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Legal Resources

Should you choose a reverse mortgage? Pluses and minuses

For seniors, deciding whether to enter into a reverse mortgage can be complicated. Here are some pros and cons to consider: The pros A reverse mortgage allows you to maintain the title to your home while receiving income from your equity. The loan doesn’t typically affect Medicare or Social Security benefits. Reverse mortgage income is viewed as loan proceeds, and therefore isn’t likely to be taxed. Be sure to consult an advisor to confirm the tax

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Financing a home for your retired parents

Lenders are making it easier for people who want to finance homes with rental units for their retirement-age parents. In the past, banks treated such arrangements as partial investment properties and required higher down payments and loan rates than those required for typical single-family homes. But that’s not the case anymore. According to the Pew Center, 20 percent of Americans, or 64 million people, live in multigenerational homes, with at least two adult generations in the

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Tips for charging rent to your adult child

In some ways, it might seem great to have your adult child move home and spend more time with you. Or maybe you never expected it to happen, and suddenly the child you thought was moving on is at your doorstep. No matter how you feel about it, here are some tips on charging your adult child rent: Base rent on a percentage of your child’s take-home income. A good range to consider is between 10

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U.S. Supreme Court says yes to immediate takings claim

In a big change affecting property owners, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that people whose land is taken for public use without payment may, as soon as the property is taken, file federal lawsuits for constitutional violations of property rights. The high court revisited the question of whether property owners have standing to bring §1983 claims under the Fifth Amendment in federal court when a taking occurs, or if they must exhaust all state court

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Tips for protecting yourself from real-estate wire transfer fraud

Real estate transaction cybercrime is on the rise. According to The Wall Street Journal, hackers have targeted email accounts belonging to the parties in transactions, such as real-estate professionals, lawyers, and title agents, devising custom scams specific to the deals. Profits from sales are then diverted from intended recipients to the hacker’s bank account. It can take months to recover funds, and sometimes they are never recovered. Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of 43 members

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What are my Massachusetts business income tax obligations?

How a business is taxed depends in part on the business’s legal form. The five most common types of Massachusetts businesses include corporations, S corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Most states subject corporations to a corporate income tax. In contrast, pass-through entities such as S corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietorships are subject to a state’s tax on personal income. Tax rates vary widely among states regarding both corporate and private income.

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Drafting a power of attorney that reduces the chances of abuse

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents you can create, but it is also one that can be misused. While it isn’t possible to entirely prevent the possibility of abuse, there are steps you can take in drafting the document to greatly reduce the chances. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” — to act in place of you —the “principal” — for

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Four Social Security myths debunked

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the Social Security system. Here are four common myths and the facts about how Social Security works and its future prospects. Myth 1: You should collect benefits early. This is one of the biggest Social Security myths. Beneficiaries can start taking retirement benefits as early as age 62, but if you take Social Security between age 62 and your full retirement age (which ranges from 65 to 67, depending

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Don’t make the mistake of not signing up for Medicare supplemental coverage

If you are turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare as a healthy senior, do you really need to sign up for Medicare’s supplemental coverage as well? Not signing up initially could be very costly down the road.  With all the deductibles, copayments and coverage exclusions, basic Medicare pays for only about half of all medical costs. To augment Medicare’s coverage, you can purchase a supplemental, or “Medigap,” insurance policy from a private insurer.  There are 10

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Should you prepare a Medicaid application yourself, or get help?

A decision on whether to prepare and file a Medicaid application on your own or hire help depends on answers to these questions: How old is the applicant? How complicated is the applicant’s financial situation? Is the individual applying for community or nursing home benefits? How much time do you have available? How organized are you? Medicaid is the health care program for individuals without other insurance or those whose insurance does not cover what they

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