Articles

Moving? Remember to unpack that estate plan

There’s a lot to think about when you move. In all the hustle and work of a relocation, certain things can get forgotten. Once you have the utilities on and the boxes unpacked, it’s time to have your estate planning documents reviewed by an attorney in your new home state. Here’s a list of updates that might be needed:   Estate taxes: Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have state-specific inheritance or estate taxes.

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Don’t shut me down: Planning for digital assets

In a world gone increasingly remote, managing your digital assets has become an even more important part of estate planning. From email accounts to digital photos and cloud-based storage, almost everyone owns some kind of digital asset. Terms-of-service agreements and privacy policies govern these accounts and generally expire when you die. That means surviving family members may not be able to access your email, photos, social media accounts, etc. However, emerging laws are providing a legal

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Demands for wills surged during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a rise in estate planning, and yet too many Americans still aren’t planning ahead. Last spring, news reports were rife with stories of advisors experiencing a surge in demand for wills and estate planning. Power of attorney and health care directives were also a focus, as people made decisions about who could access their medical and financial records and who could make decisions on their behalf. The Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and

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Looking towards estate planning changes under new administration

Tax changes are expected under the new administration. We don’t know how quickly President Joe Biden will move to enact his tax proposals, or whether the Democrats’ thin margin in Congress will be a moderating force. Many analysts believe that economic recovery will be the administration’s first priority, meaning we might not see immediate action. But the pandemic has required high levels of government spending that could accelerate demand for tax increases. Now is the time

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The Massachusetts Homestead Exemption: How It Works and How It Can Work for You

Protecting Your Home As the saying goes, your home is your castle. It is also the largest asset that many will ever own. In recognition of this, the Massachusetts Homestead Protection Law, passed in 2011, updated existing parts of the Massachusetts General Code to expand and clarify the protections that homeowners in the Commonwealth have to preserve their home’s equity form certain creditors. What Is the Homestead Exemption? The Homestead Exemption, as detailed in the 2011

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States enact COVID-19 liability protections for businesses

States have started to pass laws to give businesses and health care providers protection against COVID-19-related lawsuits. The goal of these laws is to block businesses from being sued by people who contract the coronavirus under certain circumstances and want to claim that a particular business is at fault. Business have been concerned about COVID-19 lawsuits and have been waiting for federal legislation to make them immune from suits brought by sick workers and customers. As

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Security concerns due to remote working continue

A recent Twitter hack affected the accounts of several celebrity figures, including Barack Obama and Kanye West, and highlighted the need for businesses of all types and sizes to stay vigilant about cybersecurity as more workers and vendors work remotely. When shelter-in-place orders arose in March, many businesses very quickly moved to remote work, sending workers home with laptops that lacked proper anti-virus and security software and then never doing anything about it. In many cases,

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Protecting your e-commerce business from legal pitfalls

It can be relatively easy to make a website and start an e-commerce business, or to start selling online the same products you already sell in a brick-and-mortar shop. It’s something you can even do on your own, depending on your skills and needs. With more people purchasing online, it can be a great way to keep your business afloat. But an e-commerce business also has its fair share of legal pitfalls, and because you sell

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Living Without a Healthcare Proxy: A Risk to Avoid

Your Life, Your Way Healthcare decisions are among the most personal, and most consequential, any of us can make. For many of us, there may come a time when old age, illness, or injury will prevent us from voicing our wishes and concerns about what we prefer for our bodies, or even how we prefer to spend the remainder of our lives. In light of this, everyone needs to make provision, in writing, for someone else

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‘Poor performance’ doesn’t justify denial of unemployment benefits.

A Missouri court recently ruled that a man’s termination for “poor performance” at work didn’t justify a denial of unemployment benefits. The employee, Mark Wayne, was fired in 2019 after being written up several times for mistakes while loading freight. The employer challenged his unemployment claim, arguing that his failure to follow instructions amounted to “insubordination.” A hearing officer denied Wayne’s claim and an appeals tribunal agreed. Both rulings relied on a 2014 state law that

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