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SederLaw Blog Journal

Determining liability for construction defects

Any major construction project will involve numerous parties, from architects and engineers to contractors and suppliers. With so many people contributing to a single project, issues can arise when determining liability for problems like construction defects.

Defects in construction can lead to dangerous conditions, extensive damage and costly delays. Because of this, properly determining liability for a specific defect will be critical.

College Education Expenses and Child Support

The support of children during and following a divorce is a complex matter. The interplay between child support and college education expenses is an example of this. Payment of college education expenses, like child support, can be enforced, modified, or terminated in the Probate Court. Typically, when a child is attending college full time and is still financially dependent on a parent, they are not "emancipated". In Massachusetts, child support may not end when your child turns 18 and graduates from high school. Child support can continue up to age 23 or when the child graduates from college. In most cases, a divorce agreement will anticipate how the financial needs of a "adult-child" will be met including college education expenses. In others the Court will decide the issue of support of a child over 18.

Challenges Facing Business Owners During Divorce

Business owners and entrepreneurs face unique challenges when entering into a divorce. Any business that one or both spouses own, or in which they may have an interest, will come into play in a divorce case. There are three main areas in which treatment of a business in a divorce can be particularly important.

Four Elements of a Non-Compete that Can Trigger Disputes

Covenants not to compete (Non-Compete) have become increasingly common in recent years. In fact, some argue that they have become too common, adversely affecting the economy and creating unnecessary problems for both employers and employees.

These agreements can be vital to protecting a business' interests as long as they are crafted carefully and used judiciously. If you plan to use non-competition agreements, it is crucial that you make sure they are effective and enforceable. This means avoiding the following issues that can trigger a dispute:

Duties of a Personal Representative

You can determine the disposition of their assets and personal property after your death by creating a will and a comprehensive estate plan in advance. Without these documents, assets will pass to heirs as determined by state law through the probate process. Having a will can both simplify the process and enable you to make choices in advance about the disposition of your assets and personal belongings.

LIBOR Phase-Out & SOFR Replacement Option

The Financial Conduct Authority's ("FCA") announced that LIBOR the London Interbank Offered Rate, which serves as a gauge for the cost to lend money and set interest rates, would be phased out by the end of 2021. With two years to go, there are countless questions the financial world has yet to resolve.

Growing Number of Grandparents Becoming Guardians For Grandchildren

In the wake of the opioid epidemic that was declared a public health crisis in 2017, there has been an uptick in the number of children needing care that their parents are unable to provide to them. In many cases, grandparents are stepping up as guardians to their grandchildren, many who were planning to retire or already were retired.

A variety of troubles may cause grandparents to seek guardianship of a grandchild. In a growing number of cases, parents may struggle with an uncontrolled/untreated substance addiction, or a physical or mental illness that renders them unfit to care for their children. Unfortunately, this has become a common catalyst for grandparents to seek guardianship of a grandchild.

Franchise Agreements: What brand materials should be included?

It can be easy to get lost reading and analyzing a franchise agreement and disclosure documents. It is a significant investment of time and money, and you want to make sure you can start your new business successfully.

One of the advantages of purchasing a franchise is being part of an established brand. Over the years, the franchisor has worked on having a consistent product/service with an enduring message. When you invest in a franchise, part of what you need for success is access to the overall branding of the product.

Franchise Agreements: Rights and obligations that should be included.

Starting a franchise can come with significant advantages. You do not have the risk and expense of developing your own brand, but you still have a lot of independence to make decisions for managing your business.

While you may be excited about the opportunity, franchise agreements are often complicated and make it difficult to know what you will get for the money you pay. The agreement explains your rights and duties and franchisors are required to provide a disclosure document detailing essential information. However, some details may be difficult to find or understand.

5 Quick Tips for FMLA Compliance

As part of the "Grand Bargain" legislation passed last summer, Massachusetts has a new Paid Family and Medical Leave Act ("PFMLA"). The PFMLA establishes a statewide Department of Family and Medical Leave and the Family and Employment Security Trust Fund ("Trust Fund"). Here are five considerations you should be making ahead of date and rate changes.

1. Be Aware of Deadlines

Sept. 30, 2019: Notify all covered individuals about the PFMLA, benefits and withholding. Document that you provided this notification and post the PFMLA poster in a conspicuous location.

Oct. 1, 2019: Begin withholding.

Jan 31, 2020: complete quarterly filings and submit contributions, including withholdings and employer contributions, if required.

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