General Posts

Severance agreements are challenged by the U.S. Government

It is very common for laid-off employees to be given a certain number of weeks’ salary as severance pay. Often, in return for the severance, the employee is asked to sign a contract promising that he or she won’t sue the employer and won’t make any public statements that would put the employer in a negative light. While these types of agreements are common, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently suggested that severance contracts that

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Some ‘home improvement’ projects actually lower a home’s value

A number of home improvement projects can actually lower the value of a home by turning off potential buyers, according to an interesting recent article published by Yahoo! Finance. The following projects might make you happy if you’re staying in your home for a while, but they can be a bad idea if you’re planning to sell soon, according to the article: • Converting a bedroom. Most buyers would much rather see a four-bedroom house than

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Power of Attorney

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My husband had a stroke a year ago. We have no will. He can’t write and his speak isn’t very well. My question is can he make me power of attorney if he can only make an x? Would that be legally binding? ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS: Yes, your husband can execute a power of attorney provided he understands what he is executing and wishes to do so. He can make his

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Can my step father hold me accountable for past mortgage payments if I wasn’t informed that I inherited land through intestacy?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother passed away 8 years ago… I was told she left me nothing. Last month my step father contacted me saying he needed me to sign some some papers for him. When I asked what they were for he told me it was my mothers estate, but assured me it wasn’t worth anything. It seemed weird to me so I had his attorney send me the paperwork and discovered I had received her

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Long-Term Care Insurance Bill in Massachusetts has passed

GOV. SIGNS LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE BILL: After taking his full 10 days to review, Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday afternoon signed long-term care insurance legislation (S 2359) that sets new standards for policies and creates consumer protections. Long-term care insurance regulations already exist in Massachusetts, but the new law requires the insurance commissioner to promulgate the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ model, which provides additional consumer protections. It also gives the insurance commissioner increased authority over

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Burial Trusts Under Attack from MassHealth

MassHealth’s legal department has recently become issuing opinion letters to the MassHealth case workers stating that assets in burial trusts are countable assets, which is in clear contradiction to the regulations.  In the MassHealth appeal 120957, the fair hearing officer writes “Without reviewing the specific life insurance policies or the funeral trust in this case, MassHealth’s legal unit has concluded, according to the MassHealth representative, that it “isn’t accepting burial trusts anymore.”   This is a

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Probate in Waltham MA

If you have been named the executor of an estate, you may want help with the sometimes complex and lengthy process of guiding the will through probate. A skilled Massachusetts probate attorney can help the executor prepare and file the required probate court paperwork, including the petition, inventory, and account, arrange for the appraisal of the assets of the deceased, give proper legal notice to the decedent’s beneficiaries and the estate’s creditors, arrange for payment of

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Employer information report (EEO-1) due September 30th

The deadline for filing the Employer Information Report (also known as the EEO-1 Report) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is September 30th. The report must be filed by: (1) employers with federal government contracts of $50,000 or more who have 50 or more employees; and (2) employers who do not have a federal government contract but have 100 or more employees. The report requires employers to provide a count of their employees by job

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IRS issued revised Circular 230

The updated Treasury Department Circular 230 (Rev. 8-2011) is now available online. According to IRS, Circular 230 was revised to reflect the new return preparer oversight program and other changes. Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire The attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for estate planning (wills and trusts), Medicaid (planning and applications), probate (estate and trust administration), business law (formation and operation), real estate (residential and commercial), taxation (federal and

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Transfer of debt instruments for nonrecourse “loan” was disguised sale

In Landow, TC Memo 2011-177, the Tax Court has determined that a 90% “loan transaction program” was in fact a taxable sale of the debt instruments that purportedly collateralized the loan. The Court also rejected the taxpayer’s argument that he should qualify for nonrecognition of gain under Code Sec. 1042, noting that the fact that the debt instruments were ultimately sold by the “lender” was irrelevant since the operative sale for Code Sec. 1042 purposes was

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