Planning for Life

The Future of Law According to LegalZoom

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 26, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

I recently heard Chas Rampenthal, the general counsel of LegalZoom, the legal forms site, speak at Suffolk University Law School on how the practice of law needs to be modernized and made more efficient, accessible and affordable. He joined many commentators, most notably Richard Susskind who wrote The End of Lawyers?, in describing the practice of law as being behind the times, lawyers crafting single solutions for individual clients, which by its nature is expensive and inefficient.

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Topics: Legal profession

Expanded Estate Recovery NOT included in House Committee on Ways and Means FY 2017 Budget Recommendations

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 26, 2016

By Patricia C. D'Agostino

We are happy to report that the House Committee on Ways and Means did not include Governor Baker’s proposal to expand Medicaid estate recovery. As previously reported, the Governor’s proposed provisions would allow MassHealth to make claims against all property in which the deceased MassHealth member had an ownership interest immediately prior to death. This would include property passing by survivorship or beneficiary designation to a spouse or child that was held in joint names, life estate, tenants by the entirety or living trusts. Current law limits estate recovery to the probate estate of a deceased MassHealth member – meaning the Commonwealth could recover if the deceased member owned their home in his or her name alone.

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Topics: Massachusetts, MassHealth

The Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 19, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Caring for others who are physically or mentally incapable of taking care of themselves is a daunting task. On top of the physical and emotional strain, making personal and health care decisions for another person in circumstances that you haven't discussed in advance compounds the burden.

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Topics: caregiving

Favorable Decision from Appeals Court on Irrevocable Trusts

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 19, 2016

By Sarah Foster

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Topics: trusts, MassHealth planning, MassHealth

At What Age Should You Do Long-Term Care Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 12, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: long-term care planning, long-term care insurance, MassHealth

Another Trust Bites the Dust, or Why You Should Review Your Plan Periodically

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 5, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: trusts, MassHealth planning, long-term care planning, MassHealth

EXPANDED ESTATE RECOVERY – We Need Your Help By 4/7/16!

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on March 31, 2016

CALL TO ACTION:  This is a call to action to our clients and readers who own their homes jointly with their spouses or with another individual and those who have created life estate deeds.

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Topics: MassHealth, Estate Planning

The Crisis Facing America's Working Daughters

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 29, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Liz O'Donnell, a Boston writer and family caregiver, describes the dilemma faced by many American women who, already stretched thin by working, caring for children, and doing more than their share of chores at home, then become the primary care providers and managers for their parents.

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Topics: caregiving, family caregiving

5 Rules You Need to Know About the Tax on Capital Gains

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 22, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

There are many types of taxes out there: income, sales, real estate, estate, excise and capital gain. The tax you may be able to avoid or minimize most through planning is the tax on capital gains. Here's what you need to know to do such planning:

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Topics: income taxes, capital gains taxes

What is Probate and Should You Avoid It?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 15, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Probate is the process through which after death your possessions are passed on to whichever individuals and charities you name in your will. If you don't have a will, your property passes under what are called the rules of "intestacy" which means that state law determines who gets what -- essentially your closest relatives.

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Topics: Estate Planning, will in massachusetts, probate, Probate Estate Administration

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