Businesses must register with federal government

NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

More than 30 million American small businesses must start disclosing to the federal government who owns their companies. Is yours one of them?
Starting Jan. 1, 2024, certain corporations and limited liability companies must file a Beneficial Ownership Information form with the U.S. Department of Treasury. The penalties for purposely failing to comply are severe: $500 a day, a $10,000 fine and/or two years in prison.
The federal Corporate Transparency Act was passed to fight terrorism and money laundering. It does not apply to sole proprietors, industries that are already well-regulated, such as banking and insurance, or to charitable organizations. There are also other exceptions that can be found at fincen.gov/boi.
The Act does apply to the following:
 Businesses that were created by filing as a corporation or an LLC with the Massachusetts Secretary of State;
 Businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees, with full-time defined as working at least 30 hours per week; and
 Businesses with gross revenues of less than $5 million.

Attorney Fine speaks at elder law conference in Boston

Attorney Fine was a panelist at the annual Elder Law Institute in Boston, sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, on September 24, 2021. From left, Patricia Keane Martin, Esq. of Seegel Lipschutz Lo & Martin, Lisa M. Neeley, Esq., of Mirick O’Connell, and Attorney Fine gave a rundown on recent cases.

Attorney Fine opens second office

The Law Office of Meredith A. Fine recently opened a second office, at 2 North Main Street, Ipswich, in the historic Appleton building. The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting that was attended by family, friends and clients.

State’s highest court rules in favor of Attorney Fine’s client

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Estate of Jacqueline Ann Kendall was not required to pay more than $100,000 to MassHealth. The landmark decision was issued December 28, 2020. Attorney Meredith A. Fine represented the Estate and was strongly supported by the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Real Estate Bar Association, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Abstract Club.

Justice Scott L. Kafker, writing for the Court, explained that the Massachusetts Probate Code created “an ultimate time limit” of three years for all creditor claims on estate and did not make an exception for MassHealth. The Court noted that, as a creditor, MassHealth has the same right as any creditor to open an estate on its own motion. The Court also noted that MassHealth already has more time to file its claims than other creditors,

“The three-year ultimate time limit is a critical provision ensuring the orderly settlement and liquidation of estates in a relatively expeditious manner. We conclude that if the Legislature intended to create an exception for MassHealth to this ultimate time limit, it would have done so expressly…” wrote Justice Kafker.

The case was the first test of the statute of limitations on MassHealth claims under the Probate Code that was passed in 2012.

“The statute in question was extremely clear,” said Attorney Fine. “At some point, estates have to close. The Legislature chose three years and I’m grateful, on behalf of Ms. Kendall’s heirs, that the Court did not disturb the Legislature’s judgment.”

Law firm celebrates milestone in 2019

Gloucester City Council President Paul Lundberg presents a citation to Attorney Meredith A. Fine marking the 10th anniversary of her law practice. The event was held at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center.

2019 Essex Clamfest

Attorney Meredith Fine volunteers at the 2019 Essex Clamfest with State Sen. Bruce Tarr, State Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Ken Riehl, CEO of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.