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The Law Offices of James A. Miller

108 Grove Street Suite 5
Worcester, Massachusetts 01605

Phone(508) 799-8885
Fax (508) 799-8929

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At the Law Offices of James A. Miller we build lifelong relationships with our clients and their families. Our unique service guarantee goes into each customized estate & nursing home protection plan crafted to help our clients protect, preserve and pass on their legacy to their loved ones.



The Law Offices of James A. Miller - Providing services in the following areas of law:

Articles Published by The Law Offices of James A. Miller

 An Example of Why Estate Planning is So Important

Although you may not know the name, you have probably read the novel or seen the movie based on the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was written by Larsson. Larsson was a lifelong journalist -- often authoring controversial political pieces. As do many writers, Larsson had a novel in his head that had to be put down on paper.

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 What Happens When You Fail to Plan for the Possibility of Your Own Death

Death is not a popular topic for obvious reasons. Most of us prefer not to spend much time thinking about the possibility of dying, at least not anytime soon. It can happen though, and being financially and practically prepared is important.

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 The Future of Social Security

If you have worked hard all of your life, and are at the point where you are starting to think about your golden years you are probably counting on Social Security retirement benefits to fund at least a portion of your golden years.

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 Something is Not Right about My Parent

If you have recently lost a parent, you are undoubtedly going through the grieving process that follows such a deep loss. The loss of a parent is never easy. If you are also concerned that something is not right about her Last Will and Testament, your grief is likely also joined by worry.

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 Estate Planning for the GLBT Community

Marriage in the United States is much more than an emotional commitment between two people--it is an official status that comes with numerous financial and legal benefits to the partners. Anyone who is in a same sex relationship is all too aware of this fact.

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 The Hurdles Faced by America

If you are one of Americaís farmers or ranchers, estate planning includes some significant hurdles for you that it does not include for other types of businesses. Although estate planning is always important, for a farmer or rancher it often takes on a heightened importance to ensure that the farm or ranch assets are not lost to estate taxes upon your death.

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 Feeling Conflicted about Seeking Guardianship of a Parent? Hereís Why You Shouldnít

For any adult child who is facing the decision whether or not to petition to become his parentís legal guardian, feelings of conflict are normal. Being appointed as your parentís guardian is the ultimate in role reversal. Many adult children feel as though seeking guardianship means taking away your parentís independence. Concerns that you may be over-reacting are also common.

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 Estate Planning Uncertainty in an Election Year

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is a complicated undertaking and requires a thorough understanding of all the myriad tax laws that will impact your plan. This can be difficult under normal circumstances. In an election year, it becomes increasingly difficult as the fate of many tax laws is uncertain. This is not, however, the time to become complacent. Doing nothing could cost you a substantial amount in taxes.

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 Are Estate Planning Documents Public Record?

In recent years, the rate at which technology has developed is mind boggling. Just a generation ago, the internet was virtually non-existent. Today almost anything can be located and viewed on the internet, giving rise to privacy concerns for many people. Are your estate documents public information?

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 How to Handle an Unexpected Inheritance

If you recently received a letter or a telephone call telling you that you just inherited a small fortune from a long lost relative you probably feel as though you just hit the lottery. The next thought is likely ďWhat do I do with the money? If you are already financially secure, then you can probably answer that question yourself.

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 What Do I Need to Do After the Death of a Family Member?

We all hope never to need to know the answer to that question; however, if you do find yourself in the position of trying to figure out what practical steps need to be taken after the death of a loved one. It is good to know where to start. Often, the emotional impact of a death prevents us from thinking clearly. While each death may require unique steps, there are some universal steps that most people find must be taken.

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 Protecting Your Elderly Family Members -- Signs of Elder Abuse

The vast majority of us will need to entrust an elderly family memberís care to a stranger at some point in time. This may be for anything from a monthly home visit by a caregiver, to full-time, around the clock nursing home care. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that elderly Americans are also being abused, neglected and generally taken advantage of at an alarming rate.

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 Estate Planning for Parents

When it comes to making sure young children are taken care of in the context of estate planning, parents have two main areas to address the management of their childrenís finances, and the upbringing of the children themselves. Itís a possibility that is tough to think about, but who should be in charge of your children and their inheritances in the unlikely event you and your spouse pass away before your children reach adulthood?

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 Passing on a Worcester Family Business

As the owner of a Worcester family owned small business, you have likely devoted your lifetime to growing the business from the ground up. As a result, you certainly have a stake in the future of the business, including what will happen to it upon your death. You have probably considered passing down the business to your children, but is this a wise choice?

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 Estate Planning and Tax Consequences for Leominster Residents

As a Leominster resident, you have probably given considerable thought and consideration to how you wish to structure your estate plan in order to transfer your estate assets to family members and loved ones upon your death.

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 All Attorneys Are Not Created Equal

Picture this: you find out you need heart surgery, and you bypass the board certified heart specialist in favor of your family practitioner, just to save some money. Itís a ridiculous idea, isnít it? And yet, when the issue is estate planning, people are quick to make a similar decision. All too often, clients entrust the future security and well-being of their families to lawyers who just arenít equipped to do the type of detailed, careful planning that is necessary.

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 Estate Planning for a Special Needs Child

Every parent should consider estate planning as important, but it is extremely important if you have a special needs child. When a parent has an estate plan, they are given a chance to decide who will raise their minor children, and how best to set money aside for those children so that they can be cared for if the parent is no longer there to provide for them.

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 How to Choose a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

With the rising cost of long-term care in our elderly years, it makes sense to look for a good long term care insurance policy early on. However there are so many different kinds of policies available that it can be very difficult to compare apples to apples. Here are some tips to make sure that you are choosing the correct company for your insurance needs.

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 Avoiding Tax Scams

Tax scams involve trying to cheat individuals out of their money. But it can also involve cheating the government, too. While some of these scams can be very persuasive, it is possible to stay out of their cross-hairs, if you know what to be on the lookout for.

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 Your Health Care Agent

Creating a durable power of attorney for health care is an important part of the estate planning process. After all, you want to make sure that the right person is in charge of your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated. Not having a durable power of attorney for healthcare can cause a variety of different issues between family members who have to make important and difficult decisions on your behalf.

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 Long Term Care Insurance

Planning for your care in your older years is critically important. The unfortunate fact is that so many seniors find themselves in a very bad situation in their later years because they did not create a plan that would protect their interests later in life.

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 Incentive Trusts

It can be a real dilemma: on the one hand, you want to pass on the wealth youíve worked hard to earn but on the other hand, you donít want a large inheritance to dull your childrenís work ethic, or leave them with a sense of entitlement. One possible solution to this dilemma is the incentive trust.

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 Why a 401(k) Loan May Not be the Best Idea

Times are tough, and credit is still in limited supply. A sign of this is a recent statistic quoted by the Wall Street Journal: 30% of 401(k) savers have an outstanding loan against their retirement plan.

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 Not Having a Healthcare Power of Attorney May Leave You Unprepared

Part of creating your estate plan should include executing a healthcare power of attorney document. This tool allows you to have some control over your medical care, if youíre ever incapacitated. The health care power of attorney is important if you want to make sure that youíre receiving the best care possible and that someone is making good decisions on your behalf. Take a look at some of the information below, to better understand the use of the document.

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 Why Would Someone Renounce a Will?

Renouncing a will means giving up your inheritance as provided in the will of a deceased. But why would anyone want to give up their inheritance? Renunciation may be a tactic used by a spouse who would choose to take a share of an estate as specifically provided by state law, rather than a smaller portion of the estate that may be provided for in the will.

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 Dividing Your Personal Property

Unlike cash or real estate that can be divided neatly into shares, tangible personal property, including jewelry, furniture and family heirlooms, can pose a challenge when creating a Will.

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 Asset Planning Can Help Avoid Probate

Avoiding probate requires thoughtful planning. Creating a Living Trust through an experienced Estate Planning attorney is an important tool in ensuring your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes and without much of the hassle associated with probate. But there are a number of other tools available to help keep your assets away from the probate court.

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 Updating Your Grafton Will -- There May Be More Reasons to Do So Than You Realize

Your Last Will and Testament is the a starting point for your entire Grafton estate plan. For this reason, your Will should be well thought out and updated on a regular basis. While there are some precipitating events that commonly prompt most people to make a change in their Will, there are some other reasons that may also warrant an update that are frequently overlooked.

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 Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Hollywood is never short on sensational accounts of legal disputes over money. Often, these disputes are over million dollar deals for recording contracts or movie scripts of publishing rights topics that have little relevance to the average Americanís life. Sometimes, though, Hollywood money disputes can be relevant and actually teach us something.

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 How to Create an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

Estate planning can be complicated, even for a relatively small estate. If you are fortunate enough to have a sizable estate, estate planning becomes even more complicated, yet takes on a heightened importance as well. Along with deciding who will receive your assets upon death, you must take into consideration things such as avoidance of estate taxes and limiting the assets that will be part of the probate process.

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 Fitchburg Estate Planning Attorney Discusses Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

If you have spent a lifetime building up your estate, then you likely donít want to lose half of it to estate taxes upon your death. Unfortunately, without careful estate planning, that can happen. Although each estate is entitled to an exemption amount which is subject to change, any estate assets above the exemption amount will be subject to the typically high rate of estate taxes.

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 How to Use the Gift Tax Exemption and Exclusion

Anyone who has a substantial estate knows that avoiding estate taxes is one of the primary goals of estate planning. The estate tax rate changes on a regular basis; however, it is typically high, meaning an estate could lose as much as half of its value to taxes. One option for avoiding estate taxes is to gift assets to family members and loved ones during your lifetime.

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 Pet Planning as an Integral Part of Estate Planning

To pet lovers, the fact pet planning as part of estate planning has now become commonplace, is a ďWhat took you so long?Ē In recognition that our pets are beloved members of our families, animal advocates, the Massachusetts state legislature, and estate planning attorneys have brought pet planning to the forefront of many estate planning discussions.

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 Do I Need to Worry about Estate Taxes?

In America, it seems as though we are always worrying about one tax obligation or another. Everything from our income to the food we purchase is taxed. Most Americans devote a considerable amount of time and effort to limiting their tax burden throughout the year and looking for every possible deduction and credit at the end of the year.

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 Why Having a Small Business

Most people realize the importance of estate planning and keeping up to date with their plan; however, if you are a small business owner, creating a succession plan is equally as important. A succession plan is basically the same as an estate plan, except it focuses on what will happen to your business, or your interest in a business, upon your death.

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 What is an Insolvent Estate?

When you start considering estate planning issues, you do so with the intent to pass on as much of your wealth and property as possible.

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 The Federal Trade Commission and the Funeral Rule

Unfortunately, many complaints filed by consumers alleging deceptive trade practices or illegal contracts involve senior citizens.

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 Advanced Estate Planning Suggestions for Alzheimerís Patients

There are a number of considerations to make during your estate planning process, of which includes getting your affairs in order prior to creating a will.

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 New Baby

If you have a new baby, adopted a child, or have a step-child or other special child you want to provide for, you need a new estate plan.

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