The Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Estate of Mainolfi, 178 Vt. 588, illustrates the antiquated nature of Vermont’s probate laws and the need for reform efforts to instill certainty in the results of modern estate planning methods. Specifically, Mainolfi deals with the transfer of a home for estate planning purposes and the resulting implications of the statutory homestead interest for the surviving spouse. Neither the facts nor the law of the case are very clear from this 2-page decision, but the ruling casts uncertainty over any conceivable estate plan that involves the transfer of a home.
Situation: You are engaged in a good faith dispute over how much money someone owes you. That person writes you a check, and writes across it some words indicating that the payment is made in full satisfaction of the claim. If you intend to continue to dispute the claim, do not cash the check. An attempt to reserve rights and cash a check offered in satisfaction of a claim will not be effective.
These are interesting times for individuals trying to plan their estates. State and federal laws continue to be in flux. We would like to highlight some of the most significant changes.
This article was first published in Vermont Property Owners Report, a Montpelier-based subscription newsletter about Vermont and Vermont real estate.
Buying a home in Vermont has never been more challenging. But with the right guidance, you can still come out ahead.
Many people owning Vermont real estate today are not aware that the Vermont Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Prevention (hereinafter, “DFP” and formerly known as “Labor and Industry”) has jurisdiction over their homes.
There are have always been three methods of taking title to real estate in Vermont, “tenants in common,” “tenancy by the entirety” and “joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.” Recently the Legislature passed legislation allowing “civil unions” which, essentially, created a fourth type of title, “partners to a civil union.”
Although the reaffirmation process can be somewhat technical, debtors and their secured creditors have much to gain by going through the process.
Sooner or later, it is bound to happen. Your company receives a notice that one of your vendors has filed for bankruptcy. This vendor owes you money. What do you do? First, don’t despair.
Facey Goss & McPhee recently responded on behalf of a client (the “Company”) to an inquiry by the State of Vermont Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, regarding allegations of discriminatory hiring practices. The recent inquiry involved allegations that the Company discriminated against an applicant during the hiring process based upon her gender.