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Newman's Blog

U.S. Immigration Waivers for Canadians

In our immigration practice, we receive the occasional call from a Canadian who wishes to enter the United States but cannot due to a criminal conviction. For example, we recently advised on the case of an individual who had been barred from entering the United States because of a conviction for the possession of one marijuana cigarette in the United States 10 or 20 years ago (at a time when President Clinton was admitting that he had smoked marijuana, but “did not inhale”).

Elder Law Ethics and Joint Representation

During our seminar at the March 2008 Bar Meeting, we had a lively exchange on the potential ethical pitfalls of joint representation. To further this discussion, we would like to offer some language that you might consider for your estate planning joint engagement letters.

U.S. Imposes Mark-to-Market Exit Tax

A little history is helpful in understanding the imposition of an exit tax on US citizens and long-term residents who commit a taxable act of expatriation on or after June 17, 2008. Since 1966, the Internal Revenue Code has contained anti-abuse rules attempting to tax individuals who renounce their US citizenship for tax avoidance.

Unauthorized Practice of Law for Elders and Immigrants

To try to foster a state-wide contemplation on the topic of unauthorized practice of law for elders and immigration matters, herein is a rule currently under study by the Vermont Supreme Court.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Canadian Inbound Workers

Reading a state’s statutes to try to figure out how they might apply to an international transaction can be difficult. US state legislatures do not often consider international commerce, even though US trade and worker immigration flows with a contiguous country, like Canada can be substantial. One of the issues that has just arisen in our immigration practice is whether workers’ compensation coverage needs to be secured here in Vermont when an individual employed by a Canadian employer enters Vermont to perform services here.

Contempt in Probate Matters

The contempt statute has been in the Vermont statutes for well over a hundred years, but it has been underutilized in recent history.

Planning for the Vermont Estate Tax

CAUTION: The Information Contained in This Article Applies to Estates of Vermont Residents (or Nonresidents Owning Vermont Property) Dying Before January 1, 2016. An Article Addressing the Vermont Estate Tax Applicable to Decedents Dying After 2015 Will Be Posted at a Future Time. By Ron R. Morgan, Esq., and Matthew D. Getty, Esq. It would be an understatement to say that estate planning to minimize potential federal and/or state estate tax liabilities has become considerably more complex in recent years. There are two principal reasons for this.

Information Reporting for Real Estate

As a result of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, a person receiving rental income from real estate is treated as engaged in the trade or business of renting property (amended IRC §6041(h), effective for payments made after 31 December 2010).

Living Well on Other People's Money

Co-authored by Paula McCann, Esq., and Ron R. Morgan, Esq. Vermont may be well on its way to a dubious number-one ranking: for that of thefts by fiduciaries from estates of all types. What lawyers need to know about preventing or prosecuting theft by fiduciaries.

Nonprofit Governance and IRS Form 990

If you are serving on a nonprofit board, you have a fiduciary duty of care in exercising oversight of the organization. One of the ways to ensure an active oversight role for your board is to review the annual filing of IRS Form 990.

New England Condo Q & A with Jack Facey

Firm partner Jack Facey has recently been answering questions for New England Condominium Magazine readers, a magazine published for owners, board members, lawyers and businesses working for condominium associations. The column is called “Ask a Lawyer.” The questions and answers posed to Mr. Facey follow.

Collection Procedures in Probate Court

As part of an article written by our Trust and Estate Department, we are proposing that litigants in probate court be able to use the same tools as are available in the Civil Division of the Superior Court to protect their financial interests when filing a petition and to collect final judgments. Current probate rules do not set forth the normal civil rules “tool kit” of pre-judgment mechanisms for finding assets and securing them until final judgment.

Spousal Share Rule

When the Vermont Legislature was considering the changes to the spousal share rules during the 2009-2010 session, the legislation originally contained a measure that would have criminalized thefts from any fiduciary relationship.

Tax and Medicaid Planning Aspects of the Standard Vermont Estate Plan—2007 Update

Judging from the interest generated by our 2004 CLE offering and by telephone calls and emails we have received since then, our article on the tax and Medicaid planning aspects of what we tongue-in-cheek termed the “standard Vermont estate plan” has led attorneys to explore alternatives to the rather common recommendation of a joint tenancy with a family member to pass a Vermont elder’s home to the next generation. Since the article was published (VBA Bar Journal, Summer 2003), the US Congress passed legislation that radically changes the Medicaid planning aspects of our article. In addition, the Vermont Supreme Court has issued three recent decisions that also must be considered in using the survivorship or remainder features in deeds to pass a home to surviving children.

Homestead Filing Change and Its Implications

By John C. Newman, Esq. & Matthew D. Getty, Esq. There has been a recent change in Vermont's homestead filing law. Read on to see how this affects the creation of life estates and/or transfers to trusts.

Termination of Ancient Endowments

One of the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn is a decrease in the size of institutional endowments just at the time when reliance on those funds may increase.

Disclosure of Foreign Financial Accounts

As has been widely reported in the press, a U.S. citizen or resident individual must file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) to disclose foreign bank and securities accounts.

Property Transfer Tax Upon Contribution of Property to Business Entity

By Matthew D. Getty, Esq. Anyone planning to transfer real estate into any kind of business entity needs to be aware of the provisions of the Vermont property transfer tax.

Financing Your Condominium Purchase in Vermont

Many of our clients purchase or sell condominiums in and around Vermont's ski areas. A troublesome issue has surfaced recently.