© 2017 By Law Offices of David P. LiBassi

FAMILY LAW - GENERAL INFORMATION

In our family law practice, we understand that no matter who made the decision to obtain a divorce, your divorce is a very difficult time in your life. We will help determine how to divide your marital property; both assets and debts are shared between both spouses.

 

Child custody arrangements are decided according to the best interest of the child. There are many factors that are considered in determining which or if both parents retain physical custody of the child and how much child support must be provided. Our office can assist you with your questions about child custody issues, including recent changes to Massachusetts law regarding joint physical care and issues regarding primary physical care. Our office also calculates what amount of child support should be paid in your situation under the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. Keeping you informed of your legal options is our priority, from the time an action is started through a final order or appeal.

 

To arrange a free initial consultation with Attorney David LiBassi, call us at (978) 441-9339, or contact us online.

WILLS/TRUSTS - GENERAL INFORMATION

We've all been told that if we do nothing else to take care of our legal affairs, we should write a will. That's pretty good advice. If you don't make a will before your death, state law will determine who gets your property (and it may well not be whom you would have chosen), and a judge may decide who will raise your children. In your will, you can make these decisions yourself.

 

An example of a legally binding will would include but not be limited to:

 

• leaving your property to the people and organizations you choose
• naming a guardian to care for your minor children if you can't
• naming someone to manage property you leave to minor children (yours or someone else's), and
• naming your executor, the person with authority to make sure that the terms of your will are carried out.

 

When a Basic Will Is Enough

By and large, if you are under age 50 and don't expect to leave assets valuable enough to be subject to estate taxes, you can probably get by with only a basic will. But as you grow older and acquire more property, you may want to engage in more sophisticated planning -- we go into these details below.

 

To arrange a free initial consultation with Attorney David LiBassi, call us at (978) 441-9339, or contact us online.

 

Executor

The person named in a will to handle the property of someone who has died. The executor collects the property, pays debts and taxes, and then distributes what's left, as specified in the will. The executor also handles any probate court proceedings and notifies people and organizations of the death. Also called personal representatives.

 

Will a Basic Will Avoid Probate?

No. If you leave anything more than a small amount of property through a will, probate court proceedings will probably be necessary after your death. Although it varies from state to state, probate can take six months or a year, and eat up three to five percent of your estate in lawyers' and court fees. And your beneficiaries will probably get little or nothing until probate is complete.

 

How Living Trusts Avoid Probate

Ask people why they work hard and save their money, and often you'll hear that it's not only because they want to raise their own standard of living; they want to leave something behind for their children, too. Understandably, they don't want a big chunk of that money to be used up for probate lawyers' fees.

 

That's where living trusts come in. They don't save you a penny while you're alive, but after death they can eliminate the need for probate -- and probate fees. (Probate involves inventorying and appraising the property, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the property according to the will.) When you make a living trust -- a device in which you hold property as a "trustee" -- your surviving family members can transfer your property quickly and easily, without probate. More of the property you leave goes to the people you want to inherit it.

 

Types of Living Trusts

The two most common types of living trusts are: Basic living trust (for an individual or couple), which avoids probate, and an AB trust, which both avoids probate and saves on estate tax.

 

Probate-Avoidance Living Trusts

A basic living trust allows property to avoid probate and to quickly and efficiently pass to the beneficiaries you name, without the hassles and expense of probate court proceedings. A married couple can use one basic living trust to handle both co-owned property and the separate property of either spouse.

 

The above information gathered from Nolo.com.

ESTATE LAW - GENERAL INFORMATION

Our real estate services range from loan closing, title opinions, deed and document preparation along with various other services. If you are in a real estate transaction or plan to, you may be confused or worried about what steps to take next.

 

  • Who will prepare the necessary documents and are they in my best interests? 

  • Who has to pay for closing costs? 

  • What is an abstract and a title opinion? 

  • Is my realtor really looking out for me? 

  • When can we legally take possession?

 

There is enough stress when purchasing a new home or when buying commercial real estate. You should leave the details of your legal transaction to us. We can help to ensure that your questions are answered and concerns addressed.

DIVORCE LAW - GENERAL INFORMATION

In our family law practice, we understand that no matter who made the decision to obtain a divorce, your divorce is a very difficult time in your life. We will help determine how to divide your marital property; both assets and debts are shared between both spouses.

 

Child custody arrangements are decided according to the best interest of the child. There are many factors that are considered in determining which or if both parents retain physical custody of the child and how much child support must be provided. Our office can assist you with your questions about child custody issues, including recent changes to Massachusetts law regarding joint physical care and issues regarding primary physical care. Our office also calculates what amount of child support should be paid in your situation under the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. Keeping you informed of your legal options is our priority, from the time an action is started through a final order or appeal.

 

Comprehensive Divorce Information and Expectations

FAQ Section on Massachusetts Divorce Information - Additional Reading

What to Expect - Information derived Divorce.net - Additional Reading

 

Online Divorce / Parenting Class Information (Required in MA)

Positive Parenting Through Divorce- Click Here

REAL ESTATE

REAL-ESTATE LAW - GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Why You Need a Lawyer When You Buy or Sell a House

Buying a home will probably be the largest and most significant purchase you will make in your life. It also involves the law of real property, which is unique and raises special issues of practice, and problems not present in other transactions. A real estate lawyer is trained to deal with these problems and has the most experience to deal with them. Some states certify lawyers as "Real Property Specialists" as a result.

In the typical home purchase, the seller enters into a brokerage contract with a real estate agent, usually in writing. When the broker finds a potential buyer, negotiations are conducted through the broker, who most often acts as an intermediary. Once an informal agreement is reached, buyer and seller enter into a formal written contract for the sale, the purchase agreement. The buyer then obtains a commitment for financing. Title is searched to satisfy the lender and the buyer. Finally, the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer, and the seller receives the purchase price bargained for in the contract. This seems simple, but without a lawyer, the consequences may be more disastrous than purchasing a car that turns out to be a lemon, or a stock investment that was unwise.

A lawyer can help you avoid some common problems with a home purchase or sale. For example, a seller may sign a brokerage agreement that does not deal with a number of legal problems. This happens quite often; realtors often use standard forms, expecting that they will cover all circumstances or will be easily customizable for unusual circumstances.

In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the seller may become liable to pay a brokerage commission even if a sale does not occur, or to pay more than one brokerage commission. If the agreement allows the seller the right to negotiate on his or her own behalf, for example, you may avoid this problem. A lawyer can explain the effect of multiple listings. He or she can negotiate the realtor's rights if the seller withdraws the property from the market, or can't deliver good marketable title.

 

Additional Home Buying FAQ Valuable Information - Click Here

BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy law is federal statutory law contained in Title 11 of the United States Code. Congress passed the Bankruptcy Code under its Constitutional grant of authority to "establish. . . uniform laws on the subject of Bankruptcy throughout the United States." See U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8. States may not regulate bankruptcy though they may pass laws that govern other aspects of the debtor-creditor relationship. See Debtor-Creditor. A number of sections of Title 11 incorporate the debtor-creditor law of the individual states.

Bankruptcy proceedings are supervised by and litigated in the United States Bankruptcy Courts. These courts are a part of the District Courts of The United States. The United States Trustees were established by Congress to handle many of the supervisory and administrative duties of bankruptcy proceedings. Proceedings in bankruptcy courts are governed by the Bankruptcy Rules which were promulgated by the Supreme Court under the authority of Congress.

There are two basic types of Bankruptcy proceedings. A filing under Chapter 7 is called liquidation. It is the most common type of bankruptcy proceeding. Liquidation involves the appointment of a trustee who collects the non-exempt property of the debtor, sells it and distributes the proceeds to the creditors. Bankruptcy proceedings under Chapters 11, 12, and 13 involve the rehabilitation of the debtor to allow him or her to use future earnings to pay off creditors. Under Chapter 7, 12, 13, and some 11 proceedings, a trustee is appointed to supervise the assets of the debtor. A bankruptcy proceeding can either be entered into voluntarily by a debtor or initiated by creditors. After a bankruptcy proceeding is filed, creditors, for the most part, may not seek to collect their debts outside of the proceeding. The debtor is not allowed to transfer property that has been declared part of the estate subject to proceedings. Furthermore, certain pre-proceeding transfers of property, secured interests, and liens may be delayed or invalidated. Various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code also establish the priority of creditors' interests.

However, a recent decision by the Supreme Court has shifted this power towards the debtor. In Rousey v. Jacoway, (April 4th, 2005), the Court held that assets in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) are protected under 11 U.S.C § 522(d) and thus exempt from withdrawal from the bankruptcy estate. This decision has broad implications for the baby-boomer generation, providing millions of Americans nearing retirement with increased protection of their earnings.

Recent passage of the Bankruptcy Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in April 2005 has also resulted in major reforms in bankrupcy law, outlining revised guidelines governing the dismissal or conversion of Chapter 7 liquidations to Chapter 11 or 13 proceedings. The law also expands the responsibilities of the United States Trustees Program to include supervision of random and targeted audits, certification of entities to provide credit counseling that individuals must receive before filing for bankruptcy, certification of entities that provide financial education to individuals before being discharged from debt, and greater oversight of small business Chapter 11 reorganization cases.

 

The above Overview was Retrieved from "http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Bankruptcy"

 

Pre-Discharge Bankruptcy / Budget Course (Required in MA)

"Credit Advisors" Class - Click Here

Online Debtor Education Court - Click Here