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Cambridge Family Law Blog

Guidance From the Grave - How Much is Too Much?

old-blank-tombstone-2.jpgMany wills and trusts set forth conditions that must be met in order for beneficiaries to receive disbursements. While there are certainly cases in which this makes sense and is in the beneficiaries' best interest, there can also be instances in which the controls put in place hinder more than they help. We've likely all heard it said that the only constant in life is change. In this entry, our American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys colleague, Attorney Steve Hartnett, lays out the ways that guidance from the grave can potentially be detrimental - and offers alternatives that ensure more practical planning to protect your beneficiaries while still preserving your values and the intent behind your bequests. Click here to read more.

6 Important Estate Planning Considerations - Part 4: Beneficiary Designations

beneficiary typewriter.jpgBeneficiary designations are meant to clearly define how assets are to be distributed upon the passing of the original asset holder. But there are potential pitfalls than can be encountered as one accumulates different kinds of assets over their lifetime. In this installment of his 6-part series on Estate Planning Considerations, our American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys colleague, Attorney Steve Hartnett, examines some common snags that can occur, and how best to avoid them. Click HERE to read on

6 Important Estate Planning Considerations - Part 3: Your Kids

Young People.jpgOne of the many tremendous benefits of our membership in the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys is having a nationwide "brain-trust" filled with talented and knowledgeable attorneys. Director of Education Steve Hartnett is no exception. Part-one of his six-part series on important Estate Planning considerations talks about incapacity. Part two talks about the high cost of long-term-care, which we also detail in this blog (click here to read). The third installment looks at the way your beneficiaries receive their inheritances and why different approaches need to be used for different people. It is critical that you consider the individual needs of your children or other beneficiaries when preparing your estate plan. Effective Estate Planning involves finding solutions that fit - in precisely the right way. We cover this idea in greater detail in our frequent, free Estate Planning Seminars (click here to learn about our next one). To read Attorney Hartnett's take on the importance of how your leave your assets to your heirs see Part Three: Your Kids, (click here).

6 Important Estate Planning Considerations - Part 1: Incapacity

ngp-emergency_resized.jpgThere are so many factors to consider in your estate plan. An experienced Estate Planning Attorney can help guide you through the process, but ultimately the decisions need to reflect your life and your values. In a six-part series, our American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys colleague, Director of Education, Steve Hartnett, examines some of the things to consider when planning. This first blog in the series touches on the critical importance of considering what might happen if we suddenly or unexpectedly became incapacitated. Where this article references a "Healthcare Power of Attorney", we in Massachusetts instead have what is called a "Healthcare Proxy" which our Founding Attorney, Nancy Marie Dowling, explains in a previous blog (click here to read). Though legal language can often vary by state according to statute, the principles for consideration are universal. CLICK HERE for Part One

Planning for retirement is about more than the money

lead your best life.jpgPlanning for retirement isn't just about dollars and cents. In his latest blog, our American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys colleague, Attorney Stephen C. Hartnett, reminds us that effective retirement planning involves not only estate planning - but also includes a well thought through picture of how you'd like to spend your time. Click here to see what he has to say...

Potential Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for Small Businesses

federal tax reg books pic.jpgThe controversial Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in December 2017 has some new benefits for small businesses that are pass-through entities. Many pass-through entities will now have a new benefit of a 20% deduction relative to profits. The law is touted as being complex, and it is, as it raises many new and interesting issues for advisors. For example, it will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this new deduction will have on the number of small businesses that opt for S-Corp status in order to avoid self-employment tax on "distributions" of profit rather than straight pass-through of profits such as occur in LLCs that are Sole proprietorships or partnerships.

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