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LEGAL UPDATE: New Massachusetts Homestead Legislation Signed Into Law

On December 16, 2010 Governor Patrick signed into law “An Act Relative to the Estate of Homestead”, a comprehensive revision of the Massachusetts declaration of homestead law. Under prior law, a declaration of homestead protected up to $500,000 of equity in your primary residence.  This protection was available only if the homeowner actually filed a declaration […]

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Tax Update – 2010 Tax Relief Act

Congress approved and President Obama signed into law on December 17, 2010, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. This letter is intended to inform clients about changes made by this far-reaching tax law and impress upon them the many ways in which the new law will impact their personal […]

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Legal Update – Massachusetts Adopts Additional Foreclosure Requirements

The Massachusetts legislature recently enacted emergency legislation which requires lenders to comply with new rules before foreclosing on a residential property.  The new law essentially (i) expands existing pre-foreclosure notice requirements and (ii) creates a new statutory chapter granting additional protections to tenants impacted by foreclosures. Pre-Foreclosure Notice Requirements. The new bill, S 2407, (Chapter […]

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Tax Update – Small Business Jobs Act

On September 27, 2010, the President signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, passed by Congress the prior week.  The Act’s title “Small Business Jobs Act of 2010” does not reflect its true scope; its provisions impact businesses of many sizes. In addition to the many non-tax provisions related to small business lending and […]

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Legal Update – CORI Law

On August 6, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law long-promised amendments to the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information law, commonly referred to as the CORI law.  The amendments are generally effective as of February 6, 2012.  However, the amendments relating to written employment applications become effective on November 4, 2010.  These changes will have […]

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Back to School Time

It’s that time of year where students head back to school.  If you’re like me and your oldest is heading off to college, you might want to take some time to familiarize yourself with FERPA.  FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99).  It is […]

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Estate Planning – Estate Tax Marital Deduction

First, an explanation about why this letter discusses the estate tax marital deduction at all. Technically, the estate tax marital deduction is no longer available for 2010 because there is no estate tax, period, currently on the books for 2010. Consensus, however, is that this interim 2010 period with no estate tax will be repealed […]

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Roth Conversions

Prior to 2010, the income limits on both kinds of IRAs have prevented higher income taxpayers like you from making deductible contributions to traditional IRAs, or a contribution to a Roth IRA. Although you could make nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA, the tax benefits were limited (i.e., no current deduction, the tax on the […]

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Exchange an Old Annuity or Life Insurance for Long-Term Care Insurance

A new law makes the purchase of products that combine annuities or insurance policies with long-term care insurance more attractive. As ElderLawAnswers previously reported, these “hybrid” products are gaining in popularity due to a law that went into effect January 1, 2010, making distributions from life insurance and annuities tax-free when used to pay for […]

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