Firm News Feedhttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?anc=350&t=39&format=XML&stylesheet=rss&directive=0&records=20en-us23 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssSubstantial Amendments to the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure Approved by SJChttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=85885&format=xmlThe Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently approved <a href="https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/11/07/The 2019 Amendments to the MRAP - Strikethrough.pdf">amendments to the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure</a> (the &ldquo;Rules&rdquo;). This marks the first time since 1974 that the Rules have been fully reviewed and revised &ndash; all other changes in the past 44 years being isolated and narrow. The approved amendments were the result of work that began in 2015 by a subcommittee appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure, in conjunction with the Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure. After public comments in 2017 led to additional revisions, the amendments were submitted for approval.<br /> <br /> In general, the amendments are designed to make the Rules more easily understood, better facilitate the just and expeditious resolution of appeals, clarify and simply filing and formatting requirements, incorporate existing practices and procedures, and facilitate new paperless processes. While the subcommittee intentionally retained much of the existing language, style, and procedures, practitioners will note that certain amendments track updated Federal rules.<br /> <br /> Certain global changes were made throughout the Rules. These global changes include: gender neutral phrases were favored over traditional gendered pronouns (e.g. converting &ldquo;his&rsquo; to &ldquo;the party&rsquo;s&rdquo;), provisions dealing with obsolete technologies and processes were removed, lengthy paragraphs and sentences were broken out into smaller segments, and sections were renumbered for consistency.<br /> <br /> Two of the global changes to the Rules were more significant than the others. First, deadlines are now mostly in increments of 7 days. This means that most 10-day deadlines are now 14-day deadlines, and most 20-day deadlines are now 21-day deadlines. These changes decrease the likelihood that deadlines will fall on weekends, and generally increase time permitted for filings. For example, in Rule 11(c), a response to an application for direct appellate review is now due 14 days (not 10) after the filing of the application.<br /> <br /> The second most notable global change is that the new Rules favor word count limits with proportionally spaced fonts as an alternative to page limits. For example, Rule 20(a)(2)(A) now limits the length of principal briefs to &ldquo;not contain more than 50 pages, or be produced in a proportionally spaced font and not contain more than 11,000 words.&rdquo; Rule 16(k) now requires that the traditional certification &ldquo;shall specify how compliance with the applicable length limit of Rule 20 was ascertained&hellip;&rdquo; and provides two methods for complying with said certification. The subcommittee&rsquo;s preference for word count limits is intended to eliminate the considerable time parties spend using formatting devices solely to comply with the current page limits and is consistent with the approach of the Federal courts. The new limits allow roughly the same amount of content in briefs as the current Massachusetts rules permit.<br /> <br /> In additional to these global changes are extensive changes to most of the individual Rules. A few of the more notable amendments include:<br /> <ul> <li>Rule 1(c). Expanded the definition of &ldquo;first class mail&rdquo; to include &ldquo;or its equivalent.&rdquo; This allows for the common practice of using third-party commercial carriers.</li> <li>Rule 3(a). The phrase &ldquo;with service upon all parties&rdquo; is added to clarify the appellant&rsquo;s duty to serve all parties when filing a notice of appeal, even though the clerk is still required to serve notice on the parties as well.</li> <li>Rule 4(a)(2)(C). Clarifies that only a motion under Rule 60(b), and not Rule 60(a), will toll the time period for filing an appeal.</li> <li>Rules 4 and 13. Establish the &ldquo;inmate mailbox rule&rdquo; for pro se litigants confined in an institution, recognizing their inherent limited ability to effectuate a &ldquo;mailing&rdquo; on a certain day.</li> <li>Rules 8 and 9. These rules were heavily revised to modernize and streamline the record assembly and transcript production process. Appellants must file with the clerk and serve on all parties within 14 days an order of all relevant proceedings to be transcribed. Appellees must order the transcript of any additional proceedings within 14 days of the appellant&rsquo;s order. There is also now a 21 day deadline for the clerk of the lower court to complete the assembly of the record, and the new Rules provide a checklist of items the lower court clerk must include.</li> <li>Rule 10(d). Clarifies that if counsel does not intend to represent a client on appeal, counsel must file a motion to withdraw. Preferably this motion would be filed in the lower court but after the appeal has been docketed it must be filed at the appellate court.</li> <li>Rule 13. Allows for electronic filing, and for electronic service through eFileMA.com or email with the consent of the party being served. The requirements of the certificate of service have been modified as well to reflect these new procedures.</li> <li>Rule 15. Encourages parties to state in their motions whether the motion is assented to or opposed, and if opposed, whether opposing party intends to file a response.</li> <li>Rule 16. Reorganized extensively into a thorough checklist of what parties should include in their briefs. Notably, appellees must now include an addendum even if the materials included were already included in the appellant&rsquo;s addendum (see 16(b)), a party may only file one brief in response to multiple briefs meaning it may not file separate response briefs to each brief (see 16(j)), and there is now a rule for filing amended briefs (see 16(n)).</li> <li>Rules 17 and 18. Revised extensively to include checklists for what should be included in an Amicus Curiae brief and an Appendix, respectively. Rule 17 is further revised to clarify deadlines for and information which must be included in an Amicus Curiae brief.</li> <li>Rules 18(b)(5) and 18(g). Specifies that no supplemental appendix or amendment to an appendix shall be permitted without making a motion for the same.</li> <li>Rule 20(a)(3). Increases the page/word limit on an appellee/cross-appellant&rsquo;s brief to account for the fact that they must reply to the appellant&rsquo;s brief as well as lay out their own cross-appeal.</li> <li>Rule 26(d). Added language indicating that certain administrative and convenience fees would be charged for electronic filings.</li> </ul> The new Rules take effect on March 1, 2019, but parties are invited to begin filing compliant documents immediately on a voluntary basis.<br /> <br /> Anyone with questions can contact Rich May, P.C. attorney <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=9323&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Nathaniel Donoghue</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. All rights reserved.<br /> <em><br /> Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorney Nathaniel Donoghue.</em>Blog20 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=85885&format=xmlWhy You Should Consider a Gifting Program Over the Next Eight Yearshttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=81133&format=xmlIf you have a significant estate, one likely to surpass eleven million dollars individually, or twenty-two million per couple, you should consider gifting assets to your children over the next eight years rather than passing them through your will. <br /> <br /> With the federal estate tax law changes that took effect in December 2017, the federal estate tax exemption was increased from $5.29M to $11.18M per individual. This resulted in many people thinking that they should take advantage of the increased exemption amount. However, on January 1, 2026 the $11.18M threshold &ldquo;sunsets&rdquo; and will revert back to $5M, indexed for inflation. <br /> <br /> Except that the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl next year, we cannot predict the future. Another administration may make this increase permanent, raise it higher, let it revert to $5M, or eliminate it altogether. However, if an estate is under $11.18M, it makes sense to consider gifting using the $11.18M exemption while it is in place. Why? For two reasons: 1) These assets are likely to appreciate over time. Therefore, getting assets (such as stock, real estate, or ownership interests in the family business) out of your estate and to your children &ldquo;saves&rdquo; any future estate tax on the appreciated amount. 2) The window to use this increased exemption is likely to close, and the legislature is not talking about &ldquo;clawing back&rdquo; any gifts made during the timeframe, over the 8-year period. Alternatively, you could also make gifts to your kids using the annual exclusion only (for 2018, you and your spouse could jointly gift $30,000 to each child), essentially &ldquo;tax-free&rdquo; if properly documented. <br /> <br /> On the other side of the coin, there are some negatives to consider. You will lose control of the assets given away and the income produced from those assets. You will also lose the tax advantage of a step-up in basis at death in determining gain when gifted property is sold. For purposes of determining gain, the basis of property acquired by gift is the same as the donor&rsquo;s basis (i.e., a carryover basis). In many cases, gifts would have to appreciate substantially to equal the benefit of obtaining a step-up in basis to fair market value at death. For example, a fully depreciated real estate interest used for a gift with a zero-cost basis would have to appreciate by 100% to equal the benefit of holding the property until death.<br /> <br /> Of course, your gifting program would need to be properly documented by an estate planning attorney. It should be accompanied by appraisals using reasonably discounted valuation methods, as well as gift tax returns filed by your accountant for each year during which you employ the gifting program.<br /> <br /> Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorneys <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=7726&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Danielle Justo</a> and <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5081&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Gerald May</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C., Danielle Justo, and Gerald V. May. All rights reserved.<br /> <br type="_moz" />Blog29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=81133&format=xmlSEC Launches Division To Engage With Public on Blockchain and Other FinTech Questionshttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=81321&format=xmlThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (&ldquo;SEC&rdquo;) has launched a new division and web portal intended to help those in the financial technology space navigate the regulatory landscape. This prominently includes assisting companies developing blockchain applications, cryptocurrency trading solutions, and startups launching initial coin offerings. <br /> <br /> The new Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (<a href="https://www.sec.gov/finhub">FinHub</a>) has an explicit mandate to &ldquo;serve as a resource for public engagement on the SEC&rsquo;s FinTech-related issues and initiatives, such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.&rdquo; The site provides links to the SEC&rsquo;s existing guidance and publications relating to the above and other topics. It also provides a means to request a meeting with SEC staff for further guidance on these subjects. <br /> <br /> FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC&rsquo;s Division of Corporation Finance, and staffed by representatives from the SEC&rsquo;s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in FinTech-related issues.<br /> <br /> The SEC&rsquo;s move is likely intended to bring clarity to a rapidly evolving space where the application of existing laws and regulations to nascent technologies is seen by many as a gray area. On some matters, such as the determination of whether an initial coin offering constitutes an offering of securities (which I have discussed in an earlier <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=74692&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5328">blog</a>) the area is not actually as gray as many promoters and investors might like to think. However given the number of recent enforcement actions involving unlawful ICOs by both the SEC and state securities authorities, the analysis of what constitutes a security continues to be poorly understood (or at least selectively ignored). On FinHub, one of the specific subjects on which one can request a meeting with the SEC is &ldquo;Determination of Instrument as a &lsquo;Security.&rsquo;&rdquo; Other topics are broader and involve a range of services and technologies including robo-advisors, digital asset trading platforms, and artificial intelligence.<br /> <br /> In a statement accompanying the announcement of FinHub, Ms. Szczepanik said: &ldquo;SEC staff across the agency have been engaged for some time in efforts to understand emerging technologies, communicate the agency&rsquo;s stance on new issues, and facilitate beneficial innovations in the securities industry. By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The SEC&rsquo;s announcement may be seen as an encouraging signal to entrepreneurs and companies working in the cryptocurrency, blockchain, or other developing FinTech space. Rather than focusing purely on its role in enforcing existing regulations, the SEC seems to be taking a proactive, collaborative approach to working with market participants. Such an approach could be the key to encouraging the development of these new technologies in line with applicable legal requirements, rather than stifling them with an aggressive enforcement focus. Of course, many of these technologies are subject to regulation by different, and often multiple, government agencies&mdash;and it remains to be seen whether those agencies will take a similar approach.<br /> <br /> Anyone having questions about the regulations applicable to blockchain products, cryptocurrencies, or other FinTech businesses may contact Rich May attorney <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5075&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">David Glod</a>.<br /> <br /> <em>Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorney David Glod.<br /> </em><br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. and David Glod. All rights reserved.<br type="_moz" />Blog22 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=81321&format=xmlDelaware Permits LLCs to Divide into Separate LLCshttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=80588&format=xmlOn August 1, 2018, new <a href="http://delcode.delaware.gov/title6/c018/sc02/index.shtml">Section 18-217</a> of the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act (&ldquo;DLLCA&rdquo;) became effective, which allows an LLC formed domestically in the State of Delaware to divide into two or more separate LLCs. Each divided LLC will then hold its own assets and be responsible for its own liabilities, separate from the original LLC and any other resulting LLCs, much like each series in a Delaware Series LLC.<br /> <br /> A Delaware LLC wishing to effect a division shall adopt a plan of division and file a certificate of division with the Delaware Secretary of State.<strong> The plan of division shall set forth the following:</strong><br /> <ol> <li>The terms and conditions of division, including any conversion or exchange of LLC interests and the allocation of assets, rights, liabilities and duties among the resulting LLCs.</li> <li>The name of each resulting LLC and whether the original LLC shall survive.</li> <li>The name and business address of the &ldquo;division contact&rdquo;, which is a natural Delaware resident or a Delaware LLC or other domestic entity that shall maintain a copy of the plan of division for a period of at least six years from the effective date of the division.</li> </ol> The plan of division is not filed with the Delaware Secretary of State but must be maintained by the identified division contact.<br /> <br /> A certificate of division must be filed with the Delaware Secretary of State along with a certificate of formation (pursuant to <a href="http://delcode.delaware.gov/title6/c018/sc02/index.shtml">Section 18-201</a> of the DLLCA) for each new resulting LLC. <strong>The certificate of division shall state the following:</strong><br /> <ol> <li>The name of the original LLC and whether it is surviving. <em>Practice tip</em>: if the original LLC is not surviving, the certificate of division acts like a certificate of cancellation and a separate filing is not necessary.</li> <li>The date of the original LLC&rsquo;s certificate of formation with the Delaware Secretary of State.</li> <li>The name and business address of the division contact; that the plan of division is on file with the division contact; and that a copy of the plan of division will be furnished on request without cost to any member of the original LLC.</li> <li>The effective date and time of the division.</li> <li>That the proposed division has been approved in accordance with the DLLCA. <em>Practice tip</em>: a limited liability company agreement may provide that the LLC shall not have the power to divide.</li> </ol> Powerfully, the DLLCA states that effective immediately upon the division of the LLC, (i) the distinct, resulting LLCs shall come into existence, (ii) if the original LLC is not surviving, it shall cease to exist, (iii) all of the properties and assets shall be vested in the resulting LLCs, (iv) all liabilities, debts and obligations shall only be enforceable against the respective, resulting LLCs, and (v) all liens shall remain attached and be unimpaired; all in accordance with the plan of division and without any further action necessary by the parties. Arguably, this means that traditional transfer documents such as an assignment and assumption agreement and bill of sale are not needed. However, creditors may wish to update any lien perfection instruments, such as UCC filings, to refer to the correct debtor name.<br /> <br /> A few cautionary notes. With respect to creditors, absent a possible fraudulent transfer, each resulting LLC shall only be responsible for those liabilities allocated to it under the plan of division. However, if a court finds that the transfer of assets pursuant to a plan of division constitutes a fraudulent transfer, the original LLC and each resulting LLC shall be jointly and severally liable on account of such fraudulent transfer. However, the validity of the division shall not otherwise be affected. Any debts and liabilities that are not accounted for in the plan of division shall be the joint and several debts of the original LLC and each of the resulting LLCs, provided that, as a practical matter, one does not need to itemize each asset or debt in the plan of division but can refer to them in a blanket or omnibus manner.<br /> <br /> For any LLCs formed prior to August 1, 2018 (the effective date of the new DLLCA section permitting divisions) that are a party to a contract also entered into prior to August 1, 2018, that prohibits transfers of assets or liabilities by the LLC, including in connection with mergers or acquisitions, such restrictions shall apply to effectively block divisions. As of August 1, 2018, parties wishing to restrict divisions must specifically state so in the contract.<br /> <br /> <em>Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorney <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=9312&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Arvid von Taube</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. and Arvid von Taube. All rights reserved.<br type="_moz" /> </em>Blog01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=80588&format=xmlCalifornia Enacts Innovative Consumer Privacy Lawhttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=79809&format=xmlOn June 28, 2018, just days after being introduced into the California Legislature, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the <a href="https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB375" target="_blank">California Consumer Privacy Act</a> of 2018 (the &ldquo;Act&rdquo;). The Act goes into effect on January 1, 2020, although amendments are possible before then. The Act gives fundamental privacy rights to California residents with respect to how certain companies doing business in California handle personal information. <br /> <br /> <div style="text-align: center;"><u>Who Does the Act Regulate?<br /> </u></div> <br /> The Act applies to all for-profit companies that (1) do business in the State of California, (2) collect personal information of California residents and (3) meet one of the following criteria: (a) have annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million, (b) annually buy, receive for commercial purposes, sell or share for commercial purposes, the personal information of 50,000 or more California residents, households or devices or (c) derive 50% or more of their annual revenues from selling California residents&rsquo; personal information.<br /> <br /> The Act specifically excludes those companies whose commercial conduct takes place entirely outside the State of California and those companies that operate on a not-for-profit basis. The Act assumes that all commercial conduct occurs outside the state if (1) the business collected the personal information from the California resident in question while he or she was outside California, (2) no part of any sale of his or her personal information occurred in California and (3) no personal information collected while the consumer was in California, is sold.<br /> <br /> <div style="text-align: center;"><u>Who Does the Act Protect and what are their Rights?</u></div> <br /> The Act protects any natural persons who are California residents for <a href="https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/I28588990D46511DEB97CF67CD0B99467?viewType=FullText&amp;originationContext=documenttoc&amp;transitionType=DocumentItem&amp;contextData=(sc.Default" target="_blank">tax purposes</a>. The Act gives those persons the following basic rights with respect to personal information: <ol> <li><strong>The right to know what personal information is being collected about them</strong>. The regulated company must disclose to the resident the categories of personal information that are collected and the purpose for which such personal information is used. Such company cannot collect information outside of those categories disclosed to the resident.</li> <li><strong>The right to know whether their personal information is sold or disclosed and to whom, and the right to opt out of such sales or disclosures</strong>. This information must be provided to the resident free of charge and may be delivered by mail or electronically.</li> <li><strong>The right to request that the company delete any personal information about the resident that the company has collected from the resident.</strong> The Act provides for certain exceptions to this requirement, such as allowing the company to retain the information to complete the transaction or perform a contract for which the information was collected, to comply with other applicable laws, or internal use in a lawful manner that is compatible with the context in which the resident provided the information.</li> <li><strong>The right to receive equal service and price, even if the resident exercises his or her privacy rights under the Act.</strong> However, this does not prohibit a company from charging a resident a different price or rate, or from providing a different level or quality of goods or services to the resident, if that difference is reasonably related to the value provided to the resident by the resident&rsquo;s data.</li> </ol> <div style="text-align: center;"><u>What is Personal Information?</u></div> <br /> The Act defines personal information as any information that &ldquo;identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household&rdquo; and includes a non-exhaustive list of examples such as name; alias; postal address; unique personal identifier; Internet Protocol address; email address; account name; social security number; driver&rsquo;s license number; passport number; commercial information, including records of personal property; products or services purchased obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies; biometric information; internet or other electronic network activity information, including, but not limited to, browsing history, search history, and information regarding a consumer&rsquo;s interaction with a website, application, or advertisement; geolocation data; audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information; and professional or employment-related information.<br /> <br /> However, California residents should be aware that personal information does not include any information that is lawfully made available from federal, state or local government records. For example, if a resident includes his email address on a filing made with a governmental entity and that filing shows up on a docket that is available for searching by the public on the web, the email address would presumably no longer be protected by the Act. As of the publication of this blog post, the State of California has not adopted any regulations to help interpret the Act, but those will be forthcoming and may address how personal information can lose, and correspondingly regain, its protected status.<br /> <br /> <div style="text-align: center;"><u>What are the Practical Implications for a Company Located Outside of California?<br /> </u></div> <br /> Unless a business outside of the State of California does not meet the applicability thresholds or is certain that it has no contact with California residents, it should seek to comply with the Act. The good news is that if such business has already undertaken to comply with the European Union&rsquo;s new <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=78277&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5328" target="_blank">General Data Protection Regulation</a> (the &ldquo;GDPR&rdquo;), a lot of the required changes may already be in place. Please review our recent <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=78277&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5328">blog post</a> on the GDPR for those recommendations, which include creating or updating privacy policies to clearly state what information is collected from users and for what purpose, creating an opt-in system for collection of data, and tracking such data by user for opt-out and deletion requests.<br /> <br /> There are two ways that a company can be punished for failure to comply with the Act. The first is by the California Attorney General, who can enforce violations, subject to a thirty day cure period, with a penalty of up to $7,500 per violation. The second is by a resident who can bring a private right of action under the Act seeking statutory damages ranging from $100 to $750 per incident, or actual damages suffered. An &ldquo;incident&rdquo; isn&rsquo;t defined under the Act so it is unclear what the actual monetary ceiling might be. However, before a resident may file a private lawsuit under the Act, he or she must give notice to the California Attorney General who can step in and file the lawsuit instead, or who can require the resident to refrain from filing it altogether.<br /> <br /> These fines do not appear to be as hefty as those that can be levied under the GDPR, however the private right of action may spur a new era of California civil litigation.<br /> <br /> Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorney <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=9312&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Arvid von Taube</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. and Arvid von Taube. All rights reserved.<br />Blog22 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=79809&format=xmlEmployment Law Alert: New Massachusetts Non-Competition Law Effective October 1, 2018http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=79618&format=xmlOn Friday, August 10, Governor Baker signed new legislation limiting the enforcement of non-competition agreements against employees and independent contractors who reside in Massachusetts. Though Massachusetts courts have long imposed reasonableness limitations on non-competition agreements <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=75276&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5328">as recently discussed on our blog</a>, this new legislation is the result of years of debate and numerous proposals. <br /> <br /> Under the new law, which will take effect on October 1, employers will only be able to enforce a non-compete by paying a former employee. Payment may be agreed upon by the parties, but the default requirement is payment of at least fifty percent of the employee&rsquo;s highest base salary during the prior two years for the term of the non-compete&ndash; known as &ldquo;garden leave.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In addition to this expense, employers will also face hurdles in drafting non-compete provisions. For example, on the procedural side, if a non-compete is signed at the commencement of employment, the provision must be presented to the employee at the time of the employment offer or ten days prior to beginning work. If the agreement is signed after employment, consideration of outside continued employment must be provided. Moreover, the legislation codifies substantive reasonableness limits, including limited scope of activity and geography and typically a maximum duration of only one year. <br /> <br /> For certain employees, non-competes are entirely unenforceable. These include minors, undergraduate and graduate student employees, and non-exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new legislation also prohibits enforcement against a laid off employee or someone terminated without cause. <br /> <br /> While the new legislation reflects the public policy in favor of allowing individuals to work without unreasonable restrictions, certain contractual covenants are specifically excluded from the definition of non-compete&mdash;allowing employers to protect their customer, client, and vendor lists from solicitation. A non-compete is therefore appropriate only where no less restrictive means are available to protect a legitimate business interest, like an employer&rsquo;s trade secrets, confidential information, or good will. <br /> <br /> All employers of Massachusetts residents should review their existing contractual arrangements to ensure compliance with the new law on October 1. For some existing non-competition agreements, re-execution in line with the legislation&rsquo;s procedural requirements may be appropriate. For others, an alternative strategy such as protection using non-solicitation agreements may be advisable. <br /> <br /> This summary is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about compliance with the new legislation or revisions to existing agreements should be directed to attorneys <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5084&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">J. Allen Holland</a> or <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=13837&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Jennifer Lang</a>. <br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. and Jennifer Lang, Esq. All rights reserved.<br />Blog13 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=79618&format=xmlSEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Announces Common Best Execution Issueshttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=79027&format=xmlThe SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (&ldquo;OCIE&rdquo;) recently issued a risk alert with respect to information concerning the most common deficiencies that the staff has cited in recent examinations of advisers&rsquo; compliance with their best execution obligations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the &ldquo;Advisers Act&rdquo;) <a href="https://www.sec.gov/files/OCIE Risk Alert - IA Best Execution.pdf">(Link Here)</a>.<br /> <br /> The most common best execution deficiencies cited include:<br /> <br /> <div style="margin-left: 40px;"><u><strong>Not performing best execution review </strong></u><br /> The staff observed advisers that could not demonstrate that they periodically and systematically evaluated the execution performance of broker-dealers used to execute client transactions. <br /> <br /> <u><strong>Not considering relevant factors during best execution review</strong></u><br /> The staff observed advisers that did not consider the full range and quality of a broker-dealer&rsquo;s services in directing brokerage &ndash; including execution capability, financial responsibility, and responsiveness to the adviser.<br /> <br /> <u><strong>Not seeking comparisons from other brokers </strong></u><br /> The staff observed advisers that did not solicit input from traders and portfolio managers; made no quality or cost comparisons with other broker-dealers; and/or used a single broker upon only a cursory review.<br /> <br /> <u><strong>Disclosure issues<br /> </strong></u>The staff observed advisers that failed to disclose best execution and soft dollar practices.<br /> &emsp;<br /> <strong><u>Soft dollar allocation issues</u></strong> <br /> The staff observed advisers that failed to allocate mixed-use products and services. <br /> <br /> <u><strong>Weak policies and procedures</strong></u><br /> The staff observed advisers that failed to adopt or follow best execution policies and procedures.<br /> &nbsp;</div> OCIE took the opportunity to remind advisers that as a fiduciary, when an adviser has the responsibility to select broker-dealers and execute client trades, the adviser has an obligation to seek to obtain &ldquo;best execution&rdquo; of client transactions, taking into consideration the circumstances of the particular transaction. An adviser should consider the full range and quality of a broker-dealer&rsquo;s services including, among other things, the value of research provided as well as execution capability, commission rate, financial responsibility, and responsiveness to the adviser. &ldquo;[T]he determinative factor [in an adviser&rsquo;s best execution analysis] is not the lowest possible commission cost but whether the transaction represents the best qualitative execution for the managed account.&rdquo; Advisers should therefore periodically and systematically evaluate the execution quality of broker-dealers executing their clients&rsquo; transactions. <br /> <br /> OCIE further noted that soft dollar arrangements (where an adviser receives brokerage and research services) can also implicate best execution issues. Under Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, an adviser may pay more than the lowest commission rate in soft dollar arrangements without breaching its fiduciary obligation, provided that certain specified conditions are met. Where a product or service obtained with client commissions also serves other functions that are not related to the making of investment decisions, an adviser should make a reasonable allocation of the costs of the product or service according to its use and keep adequate books and records concerning such allocation. Advisers must disclose soft dollar arrangements and must provide more detailed disclosure when the products or services they receive do not qualify for Section 28(e)&rsquo;s safe harbor. <br /> <br /> In concluding, OCIE indicated that typical adviser responses include amending their disclosures regarding best execution or soft dollar arrangements, revising their compliance policies and procedures, or otherwise changing their practices regarding best execution or soft dollar arrangements.<br /> <br /> Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. The websites and companies mentioned herein are for illustrative purposes only, and the author and Rich May, P.C. do not recommend any services or products that they may offer. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorneys&nbsp;<a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5098&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Thomas Bilodeau, III</a>, <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5095&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Scott Stokes</a>, or <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5075&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">David Glod</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C., Thomas Bilodeau, III, Scott Stokes, and David Glod All rights reserved.<br /> <br />Blog19 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=79027&format=xmlWhy you should care about complying with the GDPR even if you don't have customers in the European Unionhttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=78277&format=xmlYou have probably noticed over the past month that most of the websites that you use have notified you that they are updating their privacy policies and terms of use and that by continuing to use the website, you provide certain consent to their use of cookies and the data they may collect from you.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> These updates are all in response to the European Parliament&rsquo;s adoption of the <strong>General Data Protection Regulation</strong> (&ldquo;GDPR&rdquo;) that became enforceable on May 25, 2018. The companies that operate these websites scrambled to become compliant with the GDPR&rsquo;s requirements and if you operate a website, you should pay attention to compliance as well, even if you don&rsquo;t have many customers in, or visitors from, the European Union. In fact, according to a recent study, more than two-thirds of U.S. companies believe that the GDPR will impact them.<br /> <div style="text-align: center;"><br /> <u>Who Does the GDPR Apply to?</u></div> <br /> The GDPR applies to the collecting and processing of personal data of individuals in the European Union (&ldquo;EU&rdquo;). This data includes a person&rsquo;s name, address, identifying internet data such as IP address, location and typical browsing data and website preferences stored in cookies. The GDPR affects U.S. companies because any company that stores or processes such personal data about citizens or residents of the EU, regardless of where that company is located, must comply with the GDPR. Although cookies do not necessarily have personal data stored in them, the European Parliament believes that cookies can be used&mdash;with other data&mdash;to uniquely identify someone, and therefore are subject to the GDPR.<br /> <br /> <div style="text-align: center;"><u>Key Requirements of the GDPR</u></div> <br /> The GDPR allows companies to store personal data subject to certain requirements, including: <ul> <li>The data may only be stored for as long as it is necessary for the purposes that it was collected.</li> <li>The data must be able to be transferred from one company to another.</li> <li>The data may only be collected with the consent of the person and such consent must be freely and affirmatively given. As noted in the lawsuits described below, this calls into question the typical practice of clauses like, &ldquo;If you do not agree with the terms of our new Privacy Policy you must cease use of our website immediately&rdquo; and &ldquo;Your continued use of our website means you agree with our updated Privacy Policy and consent to the collection of data.&rdquo;</li> <li>Consent may be revoked by the person who gave it at any time, effectively requiring the company to keep track of all consents given. In other words, it is no longer sufficient to just have a click-through screen or notice on your website, but you must store and manage consents on your backend.</li> <li>The person has the &ldquo;right to be forgotten&rdquo;, meaning if the person revokes consent, the person can request that all data tracked and stored be deleted. However, this right would not supersede any existing legal requirements in the U.S. (or abroad) that requires a company to maintain certain data, such as HIPAA requirements for healthcare records.</li> </ul> <div style="text-align: center;"><u><br /> What Changes Should I Make?</u><br /> &nbsp;</div> Your website may already (and should) have a privacy policy and terms of use, but if it doesn&rsquo;t, those are the first things you should create. The privacy policy should clearly and plainly describe what kind of data is collected, for what purpose it is stored and for how long. If your website uses cookies, which most modern ones do, your policy should outline their purpose as well. Your website must display a cookie banner and ask a user for specific consent to the use of cookies and the collection of data. This information should be tracked in order to comply with the &ldquo;right to be forgotten&rdquo; requirements under the GDPR. Included in this tracking should be evidence that you obtained specific consent from the website user (e.g., that they clicked &ldquo;I agree&rdquo;, &ldquo;Yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;OK&rdquo; on your cookie banner and personal data collection notice). Take special care not to prefill or prepopulate any answers for the user so that their consent is freely and affirmatively given.<br /> <br /> You should also consider how third parties handle the data you collect from your website users. For example, ensure that any vendors or other third parties with whom you may share this data also comply with the requirements of the GDPR, which may necessitate a review of your standard form contracts or one-off contracts with third parties.<br /> <br /> Finally, although a lot of the talk involving the GDPR centers on websites as they are the predominant means of collecting electronic data and use of cookies, don&rsquo;t forget about your mobile app! Mobile use is quickly surpassing traditional web browsing on computers and your mobile app is subject to the same requirements as your website with respect to data collection under the GDPR. Any use of such app should be subject to written policies, explicit consent and tracking of collected data.<br /> <br /> <div style="text-align: center;"><u>Risks of Non-Compliance</u></div> <br /> Depending on your business, location of website visitors and risk assessment, there are a number of options available to you in order to comply with the GDPR. First, you can take the approach of a number of large U.S.-based businesses and simply block all visitors from the EU (approx. 500 million people), including any U.S. citizens that may be visiting the website from the EU or if their home internet connection is run through a proxy/VPN in an EU member nation. At the end of May 2018, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News and A&amp;E Television Networks are a few examples of companies that simply blocked connections from the EU until such companies could figure out how to become fully compliant with the GDPR. It is unlikely that this blocking will be permanent but it highlights the risk and cost analysis for businesses.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Alternatively, assuming you have determined that it is not cost-prohibitive to comply with the GDPR, you should evaluate each piece of your data collection and retention and ensure that your documentation, including privacy policy, cookie policy and third party contracts, complies with the GDPR.<br /> <br /> Regardless of which avenue you choose, even basic steps should be taken to ensure some compliance as failure to comply comes with steep penalties: up to &euro;20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is higher. Recent examples of this are lawsuits filed against Google, Facebook and WhatsApp, accusing them of forcing users to choose between accepting new terms of use for compliance with the GDPR or stopping use of the websites, which may be considered coerced consent and therefore not freely given. However, these are high profile examples of Fortune 100 companies, and local mom and pop internet presences shouldn&rsquo;t garner immediate enforcement action. In fact, Andrea Jelinek, the EU&rsquo;s new chief regulator of data privacy, appears to be taking a measured approach to enforcement, noting that although regulators &ldquo;have legal procedures to fulfill&rdquo;, they also &ldquo;have to give [businesses] the opportunity to talk with us too. We are at the beginning of a journey, which we&rsquo;re going to make together through the field of data protection.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> All of this may sound daunting, especially reviewing existing documentation for compliance. We&rsquo;re here to help! Give us a call if you have any questions. <br /> <br /> Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. The websites and companies mentioned herein are for illustrative purposes only, and the author and Rich May, P.C. do not recommend any services or products that they may offer. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorney <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=9312&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Arvid von Taube</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. and Arvid von Taube, Esq. All rights reserved.<br type="_moz" />Blog27 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=78277&format=xmlBreaking News: Supreme Court Overrules Decades of Precedent Limiting Power of States to Collect Taxes from Online Retailershttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=78174&format=xmlIn <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-494_j4el.pdf">a decision issued June 21, 2018</a> with national ramifications, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled over five decades of precedent limiting the power of states to collect sales and use taxes from out-of-state retailers shipping goods to consumers inside their state. See South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al., No. 17-494, 585 U.S. ___ (2018). This tax shelter for online retailers developed from the Supreme Court&rsquo;s holding in the 1992 case Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U. S. 298, which established that a mail-order catalog retailer lacked the required substantial nexus to the state to render collection and remission of tax constitutional. In the two decades since Quill, online retailers avoided state sales and use tax where they lack employees or real estate in a particular state &ndash; allowing them to offer lower prices. <br /> <br /> With the meteoric growth in online retail sales, the Quill physical presence rule hurt state tax revenues and placed traditional brick-and-mortar retailers at a significant disadvantage. Though theoretically, individual consumers were still required to pay sales tax on goods they purchased from out-of-state retailers over the Internet, few consumers complied. Estimates of the loss in state tax revenues range from $8 billion to $33 billion nationwide, dollars which could be used to fund state infrastructure which Internet shippers do use and rely on &ndash; such as roads, police and fire departments, and banking institutions. Indeed, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/29/us/politics/trump-amazon-taxes.html">President Trump argued in recent months</a> that large retailers need to pay their fair share of taxes compared to local retailers.<br /> <br /> In response to the lost revenue, many states &ndash; including Massachusetts &ndash; passed laws to try to tax out-of-state Internet retailers selling goods to consumers in their states despite Quill. Today&rsquo;s decision arose from a challenge to the constitutionality of South Dakota&rsquo;s statute, which imposes the obligation only on large retailers who deliver more than $100,000 in goods to or engage in 200 or more transactions in the state. See S. 106, 2016 Leg. Assembly, 91st Sess. (S. D. 2016) (S. B. 106). In its decision, the Court overruled Quill to hold that those online retailers who exceed the thresholds have a substantial nexus with South Dakota. Because Quill&rsquo;s reasoning was largely based on and in response to a 1967 case, National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753, it too was overruled by the Court today. <br /> <br /> The Court&rsquo;s decision to overrule precedent &ndash; in this case long-standing precedent &ndash; is always notable. Today&rsquo;s 5-4 decision was extremely close. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion joined by Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito and Gorsuch. Here, the reason to overrule was not just the physical presence requirement&rsquo;s distortion of the marketplace between traditional brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers with a physical presence, and online retailers without one, but also based on principles of federalism. Without the Quill physical presence requirement, states can design their tax schemes with increasing flexibility given the rapidly changing nature of electronic commerce. Justices Thomas and Gorsuch filed separate concurring opinions, noting their thoughts on the precedential role of stare decisis and on separation of powers, respectively. Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, dissented. The dissent emphasized that Congress could have acted to overrule Quill itself under its plenary power over interstate commerce, with the judiciary&rsquo;s role under the dormant Commerce Clause limited to where Congress has not acted. <br /> <br /> Today&rsquo;s decision will lead to some significant changes. Immediately, online retailers&rsquo; <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-21/states-can-require-internet-tax-collection-supreme-court-rules-jiomtl5c">stock prices have plummeted</a> due to the likely permanent loss of this advantageous tax treatment. Looking towards the future, the decision will likely prompt new or revised state legislation nationwide. The Court explicitly referenced Massachusetts regulation 830 C.M.R. 64H.1.7, which requires internet vendors with a principal place of business outside the Commonwealth to register, collect, and remit Massachusetts sales or use tax if they complete 100 or more transactions in excess of $500,000 in sales in the 2018 calendar year. In addition to the differing threshold, the Massachusetts regulation differs from the South Dakota legislation ruled on today in another important respect. While South Dakota&rsquo;s legislature explicitly asked the Supreme Court to reconsider Quill in its Act, Massachusetts adapted the Quill physical presence standard to the Internet age. The Massachusetts regulation posits that Internet apps and website cookies create a substantial nexus between the retailer and the state just like a traditional warehouse did under Quill. The Massachusetts regulation was challenged by an online retailer in a currently pending case in Virginia. See Crutchfield Corp. v. Harding, Dkt. No. CL17001145-00 (Va. Cir. Ct., Albemarle County) (initial filing on Oct. 24, 2017, docket last updated on Mar. 2, 2018). The Supreme Court appears to agree with the Massachusetts interpretation in today&rsquo;s decision, likely rendering the pending challenge at least partially moot. States across the country will accordingly likely follow both the Massachusetts and South Dakota examples to broaden their own sales and use taxes. <br /> <br /> With new state taxes coming, national retailers &ndash; even small individual listers on marketplaces like Etsy or eBay &ndash; may now need to comply with varying state and local tax regimes. Because there are up to 10,000 tax jurisdictions, software will likely rapidly develop in this arena to facilitate compliance. To address the concern of compliance across varying jurisdictions, it is possible that Congress will choose to act. Similarly, the states may choose to adopt a uniform national act. <br /> <br /> Despite such dramatic legal and business changes, consumers&rsquo; wallets may not feel a significant impact. Consumers already pay sales tax at brick-and-mortar stores and to online retailers with a physical presence, like a warehouse for shipping, located in the state. Moreover, some large online retailers, including Amazon, already collect and remit tax on orders nationwide due to their extensive physical presence. Finally, the elimination of the Quill physical presence requirement does not mean that all state sales and use taxes are now constitutional. The Court emphasized that the Constitution continues to require a substantial nexus between the taxing state and the retailer, and statutes may continue to be challenged based on undue burden on or discrimination against interstate commerce. However, a major hurdle to state collection of revenue has been eliminated &ndash; a relic of mail-order retail in today&rsquo;s Internet age. <br /> <br /> This summary is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions regarding the legal ramifications of this decision on your business should be directed to attorneys <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=6880&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Theodore A. Lund</a> or <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=13837&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Jennifer Lang</a>.<br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C. and Jennifer Lang, Esq. All rights reserved.<br />Blog21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=78174&format=xmlEstate Planning Toolbox - Frequently Asked Questionshttp://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=76644&format=xmlEvery year, you update your smartphone. You may be on an automatic renewal plan or you may have dropped it and cracked the screen. Yet, you have not updated your estate plan. Some of you (and you know who you are) have not even done an estate plan. If you are wondering whether you need to do so, here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine. <br /> <br /> <strong>I don&rsquo;t have a plan yet and am feeling overwhelmed. How should I get started? </strong><br /> <br /> Consider who you would like to make medical and financial decisions for you in case of emergency. It may help to appoint someone geographically close-by. Gather their legal name, address, and phone number. <br /> <br /> Consider who you would like to distribute your assets at death. This person should be organized and trustworthy. Gather their legal name, address, and phone number.<br /> <br /> Would you like either of the persons above to be guardian of your minor children? If not, gather that person&rsquo;s legal name, address, and phone number.<br /> <br /> Think of your major assets &ndash; for example your home, bank account, retirement account, and insurance. Are these assets held in your name individually or owned jointly with your spouse? Have you appointed a contingent beneficiary where applicable? Do any items need to be updated? <br /> <br /> Talk to your family members and loved ones. Is there one child who is more mature and feels ready to make stressful medical decisions if necessary? Are there particular items with which they have a strong emotional connection? Do they understand and respect your wishes? Do you anticipate any disputes?<br /> <br /> <strong>I feel strongly about my burial. How can I express those wishes? <br /> </strong><br /> Some clients have deeply-held personal or religious beliefs regarding care of their body or instructions regarding funeral service. By planning, you can express those wishes to your loved ones. <br /> <br /> You may also make arrangements in advance, for example by purchasing a particular funeral plot. Planning ensures your surviving family members can complete your burial quickly and cost-effectively. <br /> <br /> <strong>I don&rsquo;t have a lot of assets, but a certain item is particularly important to me. How do I ensure a specific person receives it? </strong><br /> <br /> You may fear family squabbles over particularly sentimental or valuable assets. For example, jewelry, art, or other collectibles may offer both financial and emotional worth. By planning during life, you can distribute your assets on your death as you see fit. Importantly, Rich May offers flexible tools that can be changed over time &ndash; for example as your children age or your relationships change. <br /> <br /> <strong>Is there anything I can do to help my family members organize my estate? </strong><br /> <br /> Listing your assets can organize administration by your surviving loved ones. The emotional toll of death can be made more difficult by the reality of the need to close bank, telephone, and electronic accounts, pay outstanding bills and debts, and transfer, sell, or dispose of property. This can be particularly complicated if a survivor has to identify those accounts and passwords, or if property has to be sold to pay taxes. Rich May offers a streamlined process to organize assets and store estate plans for ease of access by loved ones. Clients may also wish to list accounts jointly with their spouse or power of attorney. <br /> <br /> <strong>I already have an estate plan. Is there anything I need to do? <br /> </strong><br /> Revisions may be necessary due to legal changes. Older estate plans may not authorize release of medical records, consider electronic accounts and access, or maximize tax benefits: <br /> <br /> <ul> <li>If your plan was prepared in the 1990s, there is now a Massachusetts estate tax and certain provisions in your documents need to be updated. Also, HIPAA requirements have changed, and it is best practice to provide releases of your medical records so that your proxy is not having to jump through hoops during what will likely be an emotional time for them.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>If your plan was prepared in the 2000&rsquo;s, there are now portability provisions, allowing you to have flexibility to utilize unused exemption amounts that your husband or wife did not use. If your plan was prepared in the last few years, you should still review the people you have chosen as your personal representative (executor/executrix), trustee, healthcare proxy and power of attorney to see if perhaps they have passed away, moved away, or your child or children are no longer minors and you wish to have your child serve in these roles.</li> </ul> <br /> Reflect on your life changes since planning: <br /> <br /> <ul> <li>Have you received a large inheritance? This might come in the form of a gift during the lifetime of a relative, getting stock in the family business, or simply being the beneficiary of a trust or will from great aunt Martha. These assets, whether cash or stock or property, may bring your estate over the Massachusetts estate tax exemption or the federal exemption. We can navigate these taxes for you and determine whether more sophisticated techniques need to now be employed than your current will.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Has your marital status changed? If you completed your plan and are now divorced, your ex-spouse is treated as having pre-deceased you. You need to do a new estate plan. You will change your ex-spouse&rsquo;s fiduciary role to an adult child or sibling or parent. If you are getting married, you will want to take advantage of the marital deduction and eliminate estate taxes on the first of you to pass away.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Do you have kids who are minors? You may need to update guardianship provisions.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Did you start a business or receive a promotion? Maximizing tax benefits now may save money over the long-term.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Do you still have good relationships with your healthcare proxy and attorney-in-fact? It may be time to nominate adult children to take on those responsibilities instead.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Are all addresses in your plan current? Your appointments should have updated contact information in case of emergency.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Did you move out of the state? Your estate plan may not be in compliance with your current state of residence.</li> </ul> <br type="_moz" /> We at Rich May, P.C. wish all of our clients a long and happy life! Anyone with questions on planning can contact Rich May attorneys <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=7726&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Danielle Justo</a>, <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=13837&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Jennifer Lang</a>, and <a href="http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=5081&amp;format=XML&amp;p=5324">Gerald V. May, Jr.</a><br /> <br /> &copy; 2018 by Rich May, P.C., Jennifer Lang. All rights reserved. <br /> <br /> Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorneys Danielle Justo, Jennifer Lang, and Gerald V. May, Jr.Blog25 May 2018 00:00:00 -0800http://www.richmaylaw.com/?t=40&an=76644&format=xml