Estate Planning Articles

Dying Without a Will in Massachusetts

What Happens When You Can’t Take It with You? As of 2020, up to 60% of Americans had not created a will. While it may seem like a hassle that can be put off for another day, tomorrow is never guaranteed, and the hassle of dying intestate (without a last testament) is far greater than investing in the peace of mind that a will brings. Without a will, everything and everyone that depends on you—real estate

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Living with your parents (or adult children)

The way families are living in the day to day has changed dramatically over the past several months due to the pandemic. Most families have one or more parents working remotely, and many have one or more children in school remotely, part-time if not all of the time. The situation has also made it challenging to spend time with parents and grandparents who life in different households. As a result, some older adults are exploring or

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Addressing PPP loans in ownership transitions

By the end of June 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration had approved nearly 4.9 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Some of the businesses that applied for those loans are either in the process of a “change in ownership” or see the current climate as an opportunity to transfer value to their heirs. Estate tax exemptions are high, interest rates are low, and business valuations may have dipped. These are all factors that make this

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The issue of too much money in one investment

Some households find themselves with a large investment in one single stock. That can happen when a great investment takes off (think: Apple or Amazon). But concentrated equity positions can also occur through employee compensation arrangements or inheritance. This can be both good fortune and significant risk. Past performance of a stock is no guarantee of future results, and if that one stock were to tumble, it could have serious repercussions for your financial wellbeing. If

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Your 401(k) limits may be much higher than you think

If you participate in an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, you can contribute up to $19,500 to your retirement in 2021. But did you know some plans allow you to contribute up to $38,500 more? If you’re looking for increased savings options, find out if your existing plan allows additional after-tax 401(k) contributions. In 2021, after-tax 401(k)s have a total plan maximum of $58,000, including traditional contributions, employer contributions and after-tax contributions. As is true for traditional 401(k)s, these limits are higher ($64,500) if you’re age 50

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Who Needs to Shovel that Walkway? Landlord Responsibility for Pathway Maintenance

Saving Yourself from Slip, Trip, and Fall Lawsuits With colder weather approaching, if you are a Massachusetts residential landlord, it pays to review your responsibilities for clearing snow and other weather-related debris from rental properties. Contrary to what you may assume, Massachusetts law does not specifically assign responsibility for shoveling snow out of walkways or driveways. However, in defining “Safe Condition” for rental premises, CMR 410. 452 declares: “The owner shall maintain all means of egress

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Estate Planning Basics: Comparing Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

No Time Like the Uncertain Present to Prepare for the Certain Future While it is always the time to get your affairs in order, since putting off these important decisions can lead to financial and emotional pain for your survivors, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought mortality to the forefront of many minds and has brought home the urgency of planning for one’s end-of-life care. In this article, we will review two legal tools available to

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Don’t forget to fund your trust

Most people who have an estate plan have created a trust. But one thing many people forget is rather important: funding the trust. During the lifetime of the grantor who created the trust, the trustee can use the trust assets for the grantor’s benefit, if the grantor becomes incapacitated. If you want the trustee to do that, you must be sure your trust is funded. To fund the trust during your lifetime, you must change the

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Borrowing from your retirement due to COVID-19

When you save for retirement, the goal is to keep the money growing until you are of retirement age. But sometimes unexpected financial crises arise, as is the case with many people due to the pandemic. The CARES Act, which was signed into law in March, offers some relief with expanded withdrawals from IRAs and retirement plans and expanded loan options from certain retirement plans. You are eligible for these relief options if you, your spouse

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Tips for succession planning

The longevity of a small business depends on a well-thought-out succession plan. For a family business, you want to evaluate who else can run the business and whether you have to look beyond family members as the business grows. An experienced attorney can help the key stakeholders create a succession plan or review your existing plan. If you want to choose a successor, here is a basic how-to-guide to help you get started: 1) Think about

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