E-state Planning Alert: SECURE Act: Problem or Opportunity?

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The SECURE Act, which is effective January 1, 2020, is the most impactful retirement legislation of the past decade. It increases the age for required minimum distributions from retirement accounts from 70 ½ to 72 years of age. However, among the many provisions in the new law…

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Why Does Estate Planning Matter to Your Clients?

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or…

Why Should You Want to Avoid Probate?

One of the main benefits of estate and trust planning in Essex and Middlesex Counties is the avoidance of probate proceedings. But what does that mean? And why should you want to avoid probate in the first place? The main reason to avoid probate is simply that it can be a long, public, and costly process that could have you or your loved ones tied…

The Personal Guarantee: 5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Reduce Their Liability

Small businesses make a huge contribution to the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, starting a new business is risky. Lenders view loans to small businesses, particularly start-ups, as among the riskiest they make, particularly when there is little or no credit history or business revenue on which to base their decision. In an effort to lessen their risk, lenders frequently require small business owners to sign personal…

Your Vacation Checklist

You’ve packed sunblock and a beach novel. You’ve planned your itinerary and bought plane tickets. But have you ensured that your estate plan is up to date?  Don’t leave home without making sure your financial health and the future of your loved ones is provided for. It’s even more crucial than getting a pet sitter and locking the front door.  Creating an Estate PlanIf you…

How to Avoid a Disastrous Will or Trust Contest

A will or trust contest can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. But with proper planning, you can prevent that result. What is a Will or Trust Contest? A will or trust contest is a type of lawsuit that is filed to object to the validity of a will or trust. Who Can Contest a Will or…

Coordinate Retirement and Estate Planning For Improved Client Relationships

Retirement accounts are designed to help make the transition between working and retiring easier. They provide a steady stream of income for retirees who are suddenly without take-home pay for the first time in their lives. Unlike other assets your clients may have, these accounts require extra planning and consideration since retirement account distributions are subject to income tax for the account owner and the…

Breaking News: State Bills Introduced in Massachusetts to Change the Estate Tax

In an effort to provide you with the latest estate planning news – Two bills were introduced to the Massachusetts State Senate which, if enacted, will change the Massachusetts Estate Tax laws. The first bill, S.1631, entitled “An Act to Mitigate Snowbird Relocation”, would increase the state estate tax exemption from the current $1 million to $2 million. Additionally, the tax rates are to be…

3 Liability Planning Tips for Physicians

You probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with the risk of liability. It’s not just medical malpractice claims either (although those are certainly scary enough). It’s the entire scope of risk from being in business, including employment-related issues, careless business partners and employees, and contractual obligations, as well as personal liabilities. Unfortunately, in our litigious society, these liability risks are…

Estate Planning Tips for Someone Who Is About to Go in for Major Surgery

Getting the news that you have to undergo major surgery is never easy. Preparing for absences from work, planning for childcare and household responsibilities, and reviewing your estate plan will be among the things you may be worrying about. But, what if you only have a few weeks—or even days—to react? Who should you call? How can you concentrate enough to get this work done?…

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