The past few days and weeks have been a difficult time for everyone in our community and, indeed, across the world. As we all confront the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, please know that our office is committed to continuing to provide you with the best service possible. We also want to ensure a safe and healthy environment for you and our employees.
We are continuously monitoring the available guidance from medical and government authorities. At this time, based on that guidance, we have decided to move to working remotely. Our office space will remain closed through April 1, at which point we will reassess the situation. If you have an appointment scheduled during this time, we will be in touch with more details.
Please be assured, however, that as we transition to working remotely, our office will continue to be operational. Our paralegals and staff have been exceptional in working with us to make this possible. Here are a few specific things to note:
· Both of us, together with our paralegals and staff, are all available to communicate with you by email and phone during regular business hours. Our office number will remain the same (i.e., 603-436-1211), and we will be checking for messages throughout the day. Our email addresses will also remain the same.
· Office conferences will be handled by telephone, including appointments with new clients.
· We will continue to work on all ongoing matters, including drafting estate planning documents.
· We are finding that many clients are reviewing their estate planning documents and “to do” lists while they are “social distancing” at home. They are also taking a closer look at the impact the SECURE Act (effective 1/1/20) will have on their current estate planning. (Note: we will be emailing you a Memorandum about the SECURE Act in the immediate future.) We are answering their questions on an ongoing basis, by phone and email.
· Of course, we are available to address any of your questions or concerns, by email or phone.
· If you would like to set up an “office conference” to take place by telephone, please email Gianna at firstname.lastname@example.org for scheduling.
· As always, if you have an emergency, we will use every reasonable effort to meet your needs.
Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters. We are fully committed to proving you with excellent legal services during this unique time, and will keep you updated as things progress at our end. We look forward to connecting with you soon.
Upon graduation from Harvard Law School in May 2020, James Mulhern plans to take the bars of New Hampshire and Massachusetts and will be joining the firm.
While at Harvard, James worked as a research assistant to the law school’s Trusts & Estates Professor, Robert Sitkoff. He served as executive editor of the Harvard Law Review, and was awarded both the Sears Prize as top student for 2018-19 and the John M. Olin Law and Economics Fellowship. James was also awarded prizes as a top student in Trusts and Estates, Taxation, Corporate Taxation, Evidence, Torts, and Legal Writing. At Mulhern & Scott, James plans to concentrate his practice on trust and estate law, and will also add new skills and practice strengths to the firm’s existing legal services.
This January, we welcomed a new Law Clerk to our firm. Daniel comes to us from the University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce School of Law. We are all very excited to be working with him! Click here to read more about Daniel.
The law firm received a personal invitation from the CEO of Wentworth Douglass Hospital to attend a roundtable discussion regarding the launch of the new Seacoast healthcare initiative, including the merger with Mass General and Exeter hospitals. Sally Mulhern and Henry Marley attended the event on May 23.
The IRA charitable rollover was made permanent on December 18, 2015, and is retroactive to January 1, 2015. This means that individuals who are 70 ½ or older may make “qualified charitable distributions” of up to $100,000 from their IRAs without paying any income tax on the distribution, and the distribution may serve to satisfy their required minimum distribution for a calendar year.
The Supreme Court issued an important ruling in 2014 holding that inherited IRAs are not retirement accounts for purposes of federal bankruptcy law. This means that inherited IRAs are subject to claims of creditors and additional considerations may wish to be undertaken to protect IRA assets that are passed down to the next generation.
Sally Mulhern has been appointed to the Complaint Screening Committee, to serve a three-year term, by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The Committee screens grievances filed against New Hampshire lawyers.
On June 30, 2015, the Maine Legislature passed legislation setting the Maine estate tax exemption amount at the Federal level for decedents dying in 2016 and beyond. The Federal estate tax exemption amount for 2015 is $5.43 Million (indexed for inflation).This is an increase from the $2 Million Maine estate tax exemption amount currently in effect. In light of this change, Maine clients may wish to have their estate plans reviewed.
The revised 3rd edition of Sally's book, “Estate Planning To Die For: An Insider's Guide For Financial Professionals,” is now available. The book has received accolades from the financial community. For more, click here.
Sally and David Mulhern were recently featured prominently in a Seacoastonline.com article discussing recently passed legislation allowing for lifetime approval of Wills and Trusts in New Hampshire. The article can be found here.
Sally and Kelli, as members of the New Hampshire Trust Council, were very active and instrumental in the passage of new legislation allowing for lifetime establishment of the validity of Wills and Trusts. For more, click here.
David and Sally recently spoke at a presentation sponsored by Cornell University Office of Trusts, Estate, & Gift Planning. They discussed sophisticated estate planning options and charitable giving techniques.
David Mulhernhas co-authored an article with David P. Lyons, Esq., entitled “New Hampshire Creditor Protection Trusts: A Brief Practical Guide For New Hampshire Lawyers.” It has been accepted for publication in the NH Bar Journal and a copy of the article is available here.