What makes a Will Valid? Do I need an attorney to make an official Will?

A Will, is a legal document created by an individual to distribute property and provide instruction about how they would like their final wishes to be carried out after their death. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if a person dies without a Will, state law determine how and to whom the person’s assets will be distributed. This process is referred to as intestacy law, and the court’s distribution of a person’s estate cannot be disputed by the beneficiaries. This is why having a Will is one of the most important legal documents a person can create. To be considered a
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Does it really matter if I skip jury duty?

Yes—yes it does. Skipping jury duty is an easy way to land yourself in completely unnecessary trouble. Massachusetts makes it rather difficult to miss or skip your service date. There are many chances to make right on your having skipped jury duty, but they are all time-consuming and potentially nerve-wracking. After missing jury service, you will receive a “Failure to Appear” postcard. By phone or by mail, you can respond to this. If you have a reasonable excuse, such as illness, be sure to have a note from your doctor. You will then reschedule your service. Ignoring this card (at
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Malicious Destruction of Property

The crime of Malicious Destruction of Property is the willful injury to or destruction of the personal property of another person. In Massachusetts, the willful and malicious destruction of property is considered a felony crime. It is distinguished from wanton destruction of property which is a misdemeanor offense. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, Section 127, provides punishment for the crime of Malicious Destruction of Property by imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years, or state prison for up to 10 years. In order to prove the crime of Malicious Destruction of Property, the prosecutor is required
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Alimony Tax Deduction: Time is Running Out!

Alimony is the legal term for spousal support separate and apart from any child support order. Alimony can be Ordered under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208, Sections 34 and 48 – 55. There are different types of alimony known as rehabilitative alimony, reimbursement alimony and general term alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term length payment designed to help a spouse get on his or her financial feet after a divorce. Reimbursement alimony is when one spouse has paid to put the other spouse through school or job training program and that spouse seeks a divorce once they make it through
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Should I take the Breathalyzer test when pulled over and what if I refuse?

This particular question is not as easy to answer as it may seem.  If a driver refuses to take the Breathalyzer test, it is an automatic 6 month license suspension. Drivers under age 21 face a 3 year license suspension. Drivers with prior OUI offenses on their record face increased sanctions between 3 years and a lifetime loss depending on how many priors you have. There are no hardship licenses for  suspensions resulting from breath test refusals. If you take and fail the test, there is a 30 days license suspension. The suspension for a failed test is significantly less
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Thousands of criminal cases dismissed by Massachusetts court.

While thousands of criminal cases are being dismissed in Massachusetts, the ACLU and Committee for Public Counsel Services also are asking the court to throw out thousands of other cases potentially impacted by the rogue chemist. If your case isn’t among the ones being dismissed, please contact our law office to determine if your case should be dismissed. By The Associated Press A judge on Massachusetts’ highest court has ordered the dismissal of thousands of cases tainted by a former chemist who authorities say was high almost every day she worked at a state drug lab for eight years. The American Civil Liberties
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Understanding the Essentials of Annulment in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a no-fault divorce state which means that as long as you show that the marital relationship is over, you can obtain a divorce. For some people, however, there are religious or social beliefs that may result in a need for an annulment.  A legal annulment is different than a religious annulment and are not connected. Often, people have clauses in their divorce agreement that neither party will oppose a religious annulment or religious divorce.  Legally, the difference between the two is that a divorce will end a marriage whereas an annulment determines there never was a legal marriage
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Pets and Divorce: Custody or Property?

Do you think worrying about what happens to a dog or cat, when there is a divorce, is silly? Probably not if you are a pet lover. When a couple decides to divorce, the question of who gets the pets is very common. Pet lovers do not buy an animal, they adopt a family member. However, while the law focuses on the best interests of human children, pets are legally defined as personal property. Therefore, Courts tend to work under this strict interpretation. Under the law, asking for custody or visitation rights for pets is along the lines of asking for those rights
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Is Collaborative Law Right For Your Divorce

The emotional repercussions of the breakdown of a marriage make divorce one of the most complicated of all legal processes. However, complicated court appearances and stressful litigation are not always necessary. For those that are seeking a more respectful method of resolving the issues and want settle outside of court, collaborative law is an excellent option. The Collaborative Law process sets rules, boundaries and guidelines to assist families in reaching a resolution that meets the needs of everyone. There are many experienced attorneys throughout the state of Massachusetts that are collaboratively trained to assist individuals in this regard. What is
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How to Handle False Allegations During Child Custody & Divorce

It seems like everyone knows a story about false allegations during child custody and divorce. One spouse points the finger at the other and receives a restraining order from the court. The wife or husband recognizes that doing this will, almost by default, give them custody of the children and exclusive use of the family home. The accused parent then must defend themselves in court and prove these allegations false. While false accusations are a legal mess, it is also terrible to have someone who you once shared a life make claims of either abuse or neglect. It is something
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