2009 and Earlier News

New Massachusetts Carbon Monoxide Law

January 2006 - The Massachusetts state legislature has just passed a new law requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all buildings, structures, and dwellings that are used in whole or in part for residential purposes.

As of March 1, 2006, carbon monoxide alarms will be required to be installed in all residential buildings which (1) contain fossil-fuel burning equipment (e.g., a furnace, boiler, water heater, fireplace, etc.); or (2) which have enclosed parking within the structure. If the building requires the installation of a hardwired carbon monoxide alarm, rather than just a battery operated alarm, or if the building is owned or operated by the commonwealth or a local housing authority, the requirement is deferred until January 1, 2007. For rental property, a landlord or superintendent is required to install a carbon monoxide alarm at the beginning of any rental period or lease and to maintain the alarm to insure its continued operability by, for example, replacing the batteries annually.

This new legislation also requires that the fire department inspect residential buildings to insure compliance with the carbon monoxide alarm requirement upon the sale or transfer of the building. For the construction of new buildings, the legislation provides that the state building code may impose stricter carbon monoxide alarm requirements. Upon the sale or transfer of any newly constructed building used for residential purposes, the fire department must inspect it to insure compliance with the building codes in effect at the time of the issuance of the relevant building permit.

Advisory Memorandum – The Importance of Planning for Possible Incapacity

In March 2005, the public legal battle over the fate of a profoundly disabled Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, ignited a worldwide controversy about the existence and precise parameters of the right to die. The contentious and prolonged struggles between the Schindlers and Michael Schiavo over what Terry would have wanted in her situation could have been avoided had Terry planned for the unexpected event of her incapacity and documented wishes. read more

Advisory Memorandum – Educational Gift Giving to Minors

A UTMA account is a custodial savings account for minors. To create a UTMA account, the donor simply transfers property (e.g., cash, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, real property) to a custodian who then manages the account for the minor beneficiary until the age of the majority. read more