Considerations When Choosing a Legal Guardian Who Could Raise Your Kids

Do you have minor children? If so, have you considered choosing a legal guardian who you would want to raise your kids if you and/or their other parent suddenly passed away? While you may have a few thoughts in your mind about who would be best suited for the role (grandparents, aunts, uncles), if you don’t legally document your choices, a judge will dictate where…

Your Role in the Trust Funding Process

For many clients, a revocable living trust is a valuable tool to ensure that the client’s finances are well managed during periods of incapacity and that the client’s loved ones are financially secure upon the client’s death. However, signing the trust agreement doesn’t end the estate planning process. The team (client, attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent, etc.) must take a final, crucial step–funding the trust.…

Retirement Account Basics for 2020 – Some Changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to volatile markets, and your retirement account may have a much smaller balance than only a few short months ago. In response to the economic fallout stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was primarily aimed at providing quick…

Obtaining Loan Forgiveness through the Payment Protection Program

One of the major provisions of the CARES Act is the Payment Protection Program (PPP), a loan program created to incentivize the retention of employees in small businesses. Under the PPP, small businesses can obtain loans to pay for payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. The deadline for submitting a PPP loan application is June 30, 2020, but because the loans will be disbursed on…

How to Reopen Your Business After COVID-19

Despite the uncertainty that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and that still lies ahead, one thing remains certain: Most businesses will eventually reopen. On April 16, 2020, President Trump set forth guidelines for the reopening of businesses in the United States. Additionally, governors from various states continue to roll back statewide stay-home orders in the hopes of restarting economies that have been crippled by this…

COVID Pandemic Preparation: 6 Estate Planning Essentials for Every Adult

With the number of COVID-19 cases in America increasing exponentially, people across the country are preparing themselves for every possible scenario. As a result, many estate planning attorneys are being inundated with calls and emails about how to plan for this type of pandemic. While the following six tools are essential for estate planning at any time, they are especially important during a time of…

IRS and April 15th Tax Deadline Changes – Be Careful

Yesterday the U.S. Treasury and the IRS issued important guidance on 2019 income taxes. A few takeaways: The Treasury has announced a deferral until July 15th to pay any 2019 individual income taxes owed without penalties or interest to most (but not all) taxpayers. Returns or extension requests are still currently due on April 15th. Massachusetts has not yet granted such deferral, even though the…

Your Divorce Decree: The First Step in Estate Planning

You have recently divorced your spouse and the judge has signed the divorce decree. Now what? Although you may feel as though you have spent enough time and money on lawyers, there is one last attorney you need to talk to: an estate planning attorney. If you and your former spouse had estate planning done together previously, it is necessary for you to come in…

Preparing older and sick loved ones for flu and coronavirus

Here at Bernstein Law Group, PC, we are following the news about Coronavirus and a second burst of the traditional flu that’s impacting people in our community. While we don’t believe that anyone should panic, we do want to encourage anyone with older or immuno-compromised loved ones to be prepared. The CDC is encouraging everyone to have extra food and supplies on hand, in the event…

No Clawbacks Allowed: What Does This Mean for You and How to Take Advantage of This Gift

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the gift and estate tax exclusion amount—i.e., the amount that can either be excluded from your estate when determining if your estate will owe any taxes when you pass away or the amount you can gift to individuals during your lifetime without owing any taxes—which had previously been $5 million (adjusted each year for inflation) per individual.…

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