Partners' Letter
Dear Clients and Friends,
 
Happy New Year and we hope your 2019 is off to a good start! In keeping with resolutions made at the New Year, this issue of our newsletter provides helpful tips and steps you can take to get your house in order in 2019, as well as information on upcoming events, and other firm news.

Maria Baler provides "Five Answers to your Questions about Using Trusts to Save Estate Taxes," and offers guidance on the impact that estate tax will have on you and your family. This information is particularly important for Massachusetts residents because Massachusetts is one of only 18 states to impose a separate state estate or inheritance tax on the estates of its residents at death.

In "Getting Organized," Steven Samuel's checklist gives insights on key money, health and legal issues to keep top of mind in the New Year. In "Ask SS&B..." readers will learn the nuts and bolts of what happens with the home when a person needs long-term care Medicaid benefits. And don't miss "Retirement Account Caution: Change in Firm or Provider Requires Confirmation of Beneficiaries," for an explanation on when you need to confirm your beneficiary designations.

For upcoming events, on Thursday, January 31, Suzanne Sayward is co-hosting a workshop on Social Security retirement benefits at the UBS office of Bill Keyser, Senior Vice President, in Wellesley. Also, the next program in our Smart Counsel Series entitled Planning for your Digital Assets and Devices, will take place on Thursday, March 14 in our Dedham office.

As always, we encourage you to send us ideas for future articles. Please feel free to send us email addresses for new subscribers or forward this newsletter to friends and family members.

Steven Joshua Samuel
Suzanne R. Sayward
Maria C. Baler 
By Attorney Maria C. Baler
 
Although all citizens or residents of the United States are subject to the federal estate tax at death, the current federal estate tax exemption of $11.2 million per person means that most of us will not pay a federal estate tax at death. However, Massachusetts has the distinction of being one of only 18 states to impose a separate state estate or inheritance tax on the estates of its residents at death. Massachusetts and Oregon are tied for the lowest amount ($1 million) you can leave tax-free at death. This means that if you live in Massachusetts and own assets valued at more than $1 million, your estate, or your spouse's estate, will likely pay Massachusetts estate tax at death without proper trust and estate planning.

By Steven Joshua Samuel JD, MBA, AIF®
 
Is "getting organized" in 2019 on your list of New Year's resolutions? It is on my list of resolutions, so, for starters, I created a checklist of health, legal and money issues. I hope you find it helpful!
Ask Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC

Q:         It's likely that my mom will need to go into a nursing home soon. She does not have a lot of money but she still owns her home. Will we need to sell her house to pay for her care?
Retirement Account Caution: Change in Firm or Provider Requires Confirmation of Beneficiaries

Here is something to be aware of if you have IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement account. At Samuel, Sayward & Baler we are careful to advise you about how to designate the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts consistent with your estate plan. In some cases, customized beneficiary designations are required to ensure these accounts are distributed properly to achieve your planning goals.
What's New at Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC
 
Here's what's been happening at Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC!
 
Speaking Events

Attorney Suzanne Sayward is co-hosting a workshop on Social Security retirement benefits on Thursday, January 31st from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the UBS office of Bill Keyser, Senior Vice President, in Wellesley. If you would like to attend this event please contact Jennifer Poles of our office at poles@ssbllc.com.
 
Attorneys Maria Baler and Pamela Greenfield participated in a panel discussion about the legal aspects of long-term care planning at Bridges Memory Care Assisted Living in Westwood on January 23, 2019.
 
Attorneys Maria Baler and Abigail Poole, along with Attorney Ted Barone and Attorney Tim Borchers from Borchers Trust Law Group in Medway, presented at Peak Community Seminar's Coming of Age event, a free event for parents, guardians and young adults at the Medfield Public Library on January 12, 2019. The attendees discussed the financial & legal aspects of becoming an adult in Massachusetts, and the legal documents all young adults should have in place to allow financial and health care decisions to be made on their behalf should the need arise.



Smart Counsel Series Presentation

Please join us on Thursday, March 14, 2019, for our next Smart Counsel Series presentation on Planning for your Digital Assets and Devices. Your digital assets and devices are things such as your smartphone, your iPad, your Kindle or Nook, and of course your bitcoin if you have any. These terms also encompass your social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) as well your email address, your Amazon Prime account, your Audible subscription, your domain name, and so on. What happens to these assets, devices and accounts when you pass away? What options do you have for taking control of the disposition of these assets? Attend and learn at our next Smart Counsel Series event where you will also be able to enjoy some wine and light refreshments. We look forward to seeing you!
 
To reserve your seat early, please call or email Kenzie at 781-461-1020 or kenzie@ssbllc.com.

These articles are not intended to provide legal advice or create or imply an attorney-client relationship. No information contained herein is a substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney
Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC, 858 Washington Street, Suite 202, Dedham, Massachusetts  
781-461-1020      www.ssbllc.com