This article originally appeared on Citybizlist as part of a series featuring Burns & Levinson attorneys helping businesses and individuals navigate the many challenges that COVID-19 presents.
For Your Life
During this prolonged stay at home period to fight the spread of the coronavirus, many people are grappling with the mental health risks that COVID-19 presents along with the medical risks. The combination of the social isolation and sensational media coverage can trigger waves of anxiety and depression. For those with family members who struggle with mental health issues, substance abuse issues, or a combination of the two, the current situation can be especially trying and leave them feeling helpless.
What are the Courts doing to stop the spread?
The Supreme Judicial Court, the Probate and Family Courts, and the Superior Courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have taken extraordinary measures to reduce the amount of foot traffic into our courthouses in order to help limit the spread of the virus. The Courts issued the following unprecedented, relevant Orders governing courthouse practices during this pandemic, effective March 18, 2020: Order in re: COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Standing Order 2-20: Court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19, andSuperior Court Standing Order 3-20: Protocol governing Superior Court proceedings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As of March 27th, Congress has passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act is now on its way to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. The CARES Act includes a number of significant tax provisions for both your business and your life.
In a March 25th statement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig unveiled the IRS’ “People First Initiative,” through which the IRS will pursue “unprecedented actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues.”
The Courts have essentially closed, and “non-essential” law firm personnel have been ordered to work from home as much as possible, but that does not mean your probate litigation case must be held in limbo. Here are our Top 5 strategies for remaining proactive in pending and anticipated probate litigation matters.
***Update: March 27, 2020
Personal Income Tax deadline extended. Baker announced that income tax returns filing due dates and income tax payment due dates would be extended consistent with the federal extension due dates. The extension is expected to be automatic. At this time it, according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), only personal income tax returns and payments due April 15, 2020 are extended to July 15, 2020. The DOR will issue more detailed guidance shortly.
Within ten days’ time, our personal and professional worlds have been turned upside-down, and many have questions such as, “What happens now to my court case?”. As we adjust to a new “normal” in our homes and our workplaces, the courts, too, are adjusting to their new normal. Courts have issued orders to address COVID-19, ensuring that the wheels of justice do not come to a screeching halt, placing people’s rights in jeopardy. All court orders, from the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, and all Trial Courts can be found here.
As non-essential employees are asked to stay home and businesses temporarily close amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being laid off in record numbers. Some businesses will jump back to life when normalcy returns, while others will not survive. Many payors of alimony and child support are wondering how they will meet their support obligations, while many recipients of alimony and child support are worried about what happens if support stops coming or if their own income is lost. Here are five things you need to know:
Many of our clients are in the midst of settling the estate of a deceased loved one or have just had a loved one pass away and are wondering what comes next. An event such as this has both personal and legal consequences. Below are observations on issues that may immediately present themselves.