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  • Two alarm blaze rips through Highland Ave. building

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • RHS senior receives $5,000 Hood® Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Playground Dangers

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Community ’N Unity Celebration

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00

News

Can I Inherit My Parent’s Debt?

Dear Savvy Senior,

What happens to a person’s debt after they die? My mother has taken on a lot of medical and credit card over the past few years and I’m worried that my brother and I will be responsible for it when she dies. What can you tell me?

Worried Daughter

 

Dear Worried,

In most cases when a person with debt dies, it’s their estate, not their kids, that is legally responsible. Here’s how it works.

When your mom dies, her estate – which consists of the stuff she owns while she’s alive (home, car, cash, etc.) – will be responsible for paying her debts. If she doesn’t have enough cash to pay her debts, you’ll have to sell her assets and pay off her creditors with the proceeds.

Whatever is left over is passed along to her heirs as dictated by the terms of her will, if she has one. If she doesn’t have a will, the intestacy laws of the state she resides in will determine how her estate will be distributed.

If, however, she dies broke, or there isn’t enough money left over to pay her “unsecured debts” – credit cards, medical bills, personal loans – then her estate is declared insolvent, and her creditors will have to eat the loss.

“Secured debts” – loans attached to an asset such as a house or a car – are a different story. If she has a mortgage or car loan when she dies, those monthly payments will need to be made by her estate or heirs, or the lender can seize the property.

There are, however, a couple of exceptions that would make you legally responsible for her debt after she passes away. One is if you are a joint holder on a credit card account that she owes on. And the other is if you co-signed a loan with her.

NOTE TO SPOUSES: These same debt inheritance rules apply to surviving spouses too, unless you live in a community property state – Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin. In these states, any debts that one spouse acquires after the start of a marriage belongs to the other spouse too. Therefore, spouses in community property states are usually responsible for their deceased spouses debts.

Protected Assets

If your mom has any IRAs, 401(k)s, brokerage accounts, life insurance policies or employer-based pension plans, these are assets that creditors usually cannot get access to. That’s because these accounts typically have designated beneficiaries, and the money goes directly to those people without passing through the estate.

Settling Her Estate

You also need to be aware that if your mom dies with debt, and she has no assets, settling her estate should be fairly simple. Her executor will need to send out letters to her creditors explaining the situation, including a copy of her death certificate, and that will probably take care of it. But, you and your brother may still have to deal with aggressive debt collectors who try to guilt you into paying.

If your mom has some assets, but not enough to pay all her debts, her state’s probate court has a distinct list of what bills get priority. The details vary by state, but generally estate administrating fees, funeral expenses, taxes and last illness medical bills get paid first, followed by secured debts and lastly, credit card debts.

Need Help?

If you have questions regarding your situation, you should consult with a consumer law attorney or probate attorney. Or, if you just need a question or two answered, call your state’s legal hotline if available (see LegalHotlines.org), or legal services provider.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

 

 

Thank you for a successful Jail & Bail fundraiser

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The Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance would like to thank the Lynnfield Rotary for hosting a successful Jail and Bail Fundraiser on Thursday, May 4th, as well as thank all those who came out to participate in this fun-filled parody of the legal system. Proceeds from the event, gathered from bails paid and from the purchase of warrants and immunity cards benefit the 13th Annual Reid’s Ride 28-mile Bike Ride, being held this year on Sunday morning, July 16, 2017. The theme of this year’s Ride is “Making Waves for AYAs”, and we’re planning on a “tsunami” year. As most know by now, Reid’s Ride supports programs and clinics that focus on the unique needs and gaps facing Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer.

Despite a week of rainy, gloomy days, the weather was perfect for the event, which was held from 3pm to 7pm on the Green at MarketStreet, Lynnfield. The turnout was excellent, with so many citizens from Lynnfield and nearby communities being great sports and allowing themselves to be “arrested” and then held in a jail cell crafted by the LHS theatre department, where “prisoners” awaited theirs bails to be paid. At one point, nearly a dozen such prisoners sat behind bars, and could be seen using their mobile phones to frantically call surprised colleagues, friends and family for donations to help them post bail. The prisoners came from all walks of life in Lynnfield and surrounding communities, and included students, teachers, parents, families, business owners, co-workers and town officials.

Presiding as judge was Jay Kimball, who charged each prisoner with a wide variety of creative and outlandish crimes and misdemeanors. Based on those infractions, the judge set bail amounts. Police Chief Dave Breen served as court officer, who apprehended those served with an arrest warrant, handcuffed them, and then escorted them to the jail cell to await their bail-out.

The success of this fun event speaks volumes about the town of Lynnfield, and makes us so proud to be Lynnfield residents, and so proud that Lynnfield is the home of Reid’s Ride. This Jail & Bail event is just another example of how this relatively small town continues to do such great big things for those in need. We think of Lynnfield as an uncommon community of friends and family always ready to come together for a great cause.

Many, many volunteers made this event the success it was. In particular we would particularly like to thank:

The Lynnfield Rotary, which hosted the event and whose many members participated as prisoners, court officials or event volunteers. Driving and organizing the event for Rotary were Paula Parziale and Patti Nardone, along with Chief Dave Breen and Janine Pescatore.

The Prosecution Team, led by Katie Bourque Bush and Jackie Bourque Tewkesbury which developed the event website and managed all transactions and communications for bail, arrest warrants, and immunity cards before and during the event.

Jay Kimball, for playing the role of judge for the event, and for his hilariously sharp wit and contagious energy.

Lynnfield Public Schools, for supporting the event with the construction of the jail cell props, with prisoners and volunteers, and with live music by the LHS jazz ensemble. Special thanks to Superintendent Jane Tremblay, LHS Principal Bob Cleary, physics teacher Stephen Smith, and Band Director Tom Westmoreland.

LHS Stage Crew Katy Cioffi, Stephanie Robles, Michaela Carroll for assisting in the building of the Jail along with Stephen Smith and the helping hands of a few skilled parents.

MarketStreet Lynnfield, for welcoming the event to its Green, and for generously providing staging, equipment and logistics for a smoothly run event. Special thanks to Nanci Horn, Charlotte Woods and Brian Paglia

Bob Priestley, for taking on-site instant jail cell mug-shot photos of each detainee.

Doris Boghosian, for lending Judge Kimball the robe once belonging to the late Honorable Judge Robert Stanziani.

Gia Page at Davio’s MarketStreet, for gift cards and Davio’s for being such a great supporter and partner to Reid’s Ride and Cause.

Many local businesses which came out to support the event, including Everett Savings Bank and two of this year’s Reid’s Ride Premier Sponsors.

And a huge thank you to this year’s Reid’s Ride Premier Sponsors, Cam Media, Davio’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Everett Savings Bank, Fuddruckers and Lyons Ambulance. See them on this year’s Reid’s Ride “Making Waves for AYAs” ClearChannel electronic billboards.

Sincerely,

Gene & Lorraine Sacco

Founders, Reid Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance and Reid’s Ride

 

Healthy Grilling Tips

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May is typically the month we take our grill out of the garage and into the backyard for summer’s favorite pass time of grilling our meats. This month that kicks off outdoor cooking also ignites concerns some of us have about how grilling affects our health. It’s well known that cooking meats at high temperatures, such as grilling, can lead to undesirable compounds being formed. They are Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), found in flames, can rise and adhere to meat on an open fire and Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) form in meat when animal proteins react to the intense heat of the grill.  Tweaking grilling techniques can minimize the formation of these compounds.

Veggies vs. Hot Dogs

Whether or not you grill them, eating vegetables offer many health benefits and according to American Institute for Cancer Research, (AICR), the research is clear that diets high in red meat increase certain cancers, and that even small amounts of processed meats, eaten regularly, increase certain cancer risks.  Based on this evidence, AICR recommends limiting red meat to 18 ounces of cooked meat per week and saving hot dogs and other processed meats (bacon, sausages, etc.) for special occasions.

Three grilling guidelines

It is hard to resist the allure and convenience of cooking on the grill but there are steps we can take to keep grilling healthier and safe. Here are three basic grilling guidelines recommended by experts:

1. Shorten Grilling Time: If you are grilling larger cuts, you can reduce the time meat is exposed to the flames by partially cooking it in a microwave, oven or stove first. Immediately place the partially cooked meat on the preheated grill to keep meat safe from bacteria and other food pathogens. You can also cut meat into smaller portions before grilling.

2. Trim the Fat: Trimming the fat off meat can reduce flare-ups and charring. Cook meat in the center of the grill and make sure to flip frequently.

3. Grill Green (Or Orange or Yellow or Multicolor): Grilled vegetables and fruits produce no HCAs or other potentially harmful compounds, and diets high in plant foods are associated with lower cancer risk.

Taking these easy grilling steps gives healthier start to your summer grilling.    And including lots of colorful vegetables to the grill will please your taste buds, your waistline and overall well-being.

Learn more about healthy eating. Bring Eating From Within to your workplace! Contact me to learn more about my corporate wellness programs.

Anna Tourkakis is a nutritionist, author and founder of Eating From Within Nutrition. She provides nutrition advisory services and healthy eating programs to companies and individuals to help clients manage health conditions and maintain healthy eating lifestyles.  Anna can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it T. 781 334-8752; www.eatingfromwithin.com

By Anna Tourkakis,

Nutritionist

   

The Advocate HOROSCOPE

Aries (March 21-April 20): This week should have been filled with lots of learning about your job, and possibilities for growth in the future. Take time to process and take it all in this weekend; this should be exciting! The lingering effects of the full moon might have you considering calling it quits with a friend that just seems to be toxic – do what feels right.

Taurus (April 21-May 20): After a slightly costly week, you might want to cut back this weekend in order not to be broke next week – just be mindful with spending! Stay on top of projects at work right now; your boss is likely to be breathing down your neck, and just getting it done will avoid drama. You don’t want to get poked at right now either! Touchy, touchy.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Your intuitions and emotions are high right now; small talk and gossip are borderline unbearable. Surround yourself with thinkers and deep conversations. Over the weekend and next week, friends are likely to let you down – speak up from the heart and communicate without being too logical about it. Saying something will start the needed changes!

Cancer (June 21-July 22): Continuing with last week’s advice – follow-up and dive into any opportunities that come your way; right now, specifically: new connections. Anybody you have recently felt a connection with for career-related projects, push to get to know them more. Planting seeds now for partnerships will bloom greatly this summer! Be very clear with your plans and intentions, too.

Leo (July 23-August 22): If you didn’t get something right last week, you’ll get it right soon! The planets are shifting in your favor and bad luck should be becoming less of a daily occurrence. Think before acting next week when you’re in a social spotlight; your choices could hurt someone’s feelings very easily.

Virgo (August 23-September 22): Try not to nitpick everything about your partner and family right now. You’re feeling more critical than usual, and you probably don’t have time to deal with the emotions you might stir up in your loved ones. Keep to yourself and spruce up the garden instead!

Libra  (September 23-October 22): Now is a great time to do a little research on any hobby or interest you have been considering turning into a side job. And if this isn’t something you’ve considered – maybe you should! There are likely to be skills and knowledge you have that could at the very least be shared with others. Host a gathering if you can this weekend; having friends in your home will really boost the energy!

Scorpio (October 23-November 22): Whatever it was that you had been holding back probably came up this week. Whomever it was you finally confronted – they are taking it less personally than you think, so no need to stress it. The full moon in your sign will have you craving transformation. Break to rebuild.

Sagittarius (November 23-December 21): You’ll be feeling flaky and “daydreamy” thanks to all the emotions flowing through you right now. The full moon might have you going a bit crazy internally and wanting to just shut down externally. Be quiet, it’s okay! These waves will pass soon and you’ll be back to you.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19): A few people at work who seemed pretty helpless lately might start to really show potential. Keep encouraging them and it’ll work like a domino effect within your whole team! Your leadership skills will be on point. Stay neutral when drama brews over the weekend with friends – sharing even a tidbit of an opinion will be regretted!

Aquarius (January 20-February 19): Anything that shook you up last week should be dealt with this week and next. Stand your ground and see out the changes you’d like to see happen; the full moon’s lingering energy is on your side! Allow your emotions to be a part of your communication, too; people might be more receptive to seeing an impact rather than facts.

Pisces  (February 20-March 20): Although your schedule is likely packed already – don’t turn down any opportunities for volunteering. Getting back to your community and roots will help center your mind and body. You’ll be able to get a lot of good chatting time in, too, and reconnect with some friends.

Francesca Piazza is a Lynnfield native available for astrology consultations, tarot readings/parties, crystal healing, custom jewelry, and reiki. Please like Sister Fran Designs and Readings on Facebook for more info, or contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or SisterFranDesigns.com.

 

 

Moving forward from a consequential Town Meeting

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After a consequential Town Meeting, Lynnfield is taking a closer look at how the outcomes will affect the town in the months and years ahead. With over 800 community members attending and 29 articles on the warrant, the meeting was bound to mark a place in Lynnfield history.

The rail trail – a hotly contested issue which eked by in a historic 342-341 vote, still faces a number of obstacles in the road ahead. Proponents must convince Board of Selectmen members that the recreational path does not pose a liability to the town nor come with surprise costs. The fields’ projects, a select few of which were endorsed by the Board of Selectmen, must be kept under close watch to ensure completion on-time and on-budget, with as little overrun as possible. And additions to the town’s stabilization fund will contribute positively towards helping the town improve its bond rating, allowing it to borrow at better rates. Further, an aggressive capital expenditures plan approved by voters will help pick up the slack in town capital facilities where infrastructure and utilities have fallen by the wayside.

Rail trail

The rail trail will live to fight another day, but it might be for a lot longer than some had hoped. Despite the advancement, the now more than a decade old idea still has a ways to go before it can become a reality. Opposition remains strong, with the majority of selectmen remaining skeptical towards its future without more information about what the cost and impact entail. A sizable portion of the town opposes the proposal, evidenced by the razor-thin margin of town meeting votes of 342 in favor, 341 opposed. And not to be daunted, the “Concerned Citizens of Lynnfield Against the Rail to Trail” has vowed to continue to campaign against it.

As of most recently, Selectman Dick Dalton has taken the road of caution until convinced that the path will not pose a financial threat to the town. In an e-mail, Dalton emphasized that all avenues must be explored to make sure that the path does not pose a liability to the town or set taxpayers on the hook for surprise costs – “I, as one Selectman, won’t sign a 99 year lease without exhaustive due diligence so that we as a Town understand all the implications of executing the lease.”

As part of exercising due diligence, Dalton said, he and the rest of the board have asked that the engineering firm responsible for the project schedule a meeting to elaborate more on costs. He said that he will be also asking the Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Planning Organization to provide more clarification on areas such as funding.

In a letter, the proponent group “Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail” stated their intent to work with all stakeholders to ensure a rail trail that works “for everyone.” “Our mission now is to build on this victory and to gain further support for the Rail Trail from our Selectmen, Town Committees and from Lynnfield’s electorate,” the letter reads – also thanking supporters.

Fields

If all goes according to plan, the middle school will be receiving a new track and field. According to the town administrator, there are nearly $2.25 million in funds newly available for the fields with the approval of town voters. According to Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque, $1.8-1.9 million will be dedicated to the track and field, with possible overrun pushing the total amount closer to $2 million. The remaining funds will go towards fixing the elementary schools’ playgrounds and fields, which many agree are in deplorable condition. The middle school track and field, also in terrible condition, has not been used to host a home track meet in five years due to extensive corrosion.

Reprising his role in overseeing the fields’ project to completion at the high school, Bourque will be supervising the middle school track as well. The project, which will require that a new track be poured and a grass field installed, is subject to many variables and requires keen oversight. The track must be poured at a specific temperature and must be completed before the cold sets in this fall-winter. It is favorable that the grass field be seeded in a timely manner to allow for use by the following fall. To achieve maximum usability, the field must take time to root properly, which can take up to a year.

With the track and field expected to be completed around fall 2018 and total costs finalized, the construction on the elementary school project can begin. Many, including superintendent of schools Jane Tremblay, have cited the safety concerns of the elementary school playgrounds as the impetus to allocate funds for renovations. The hard top of the playgrounds are cracked and corroded, leading to the potential for injury. The play structures in both schools themselves are in rough shape, owing to their age. The fields are not much better.

While construction of the track and field is taking place, a DPW crew will resurface the hard top at the Huckleberry School, the most dilapidated of the two, to lend the children a greater degree of safety until they can be completely overhauled. Bourque said that preliminary work on the Huckleberry playground should begin sometime this summer.

Budget

A number of other important items on the warrant will be postponed until a later date. The movie theatre article, a white-hot issue in town, is slated to appear on the fall warrant at town meeting. The National Development company has stated that it wishes to conduct more outreach to community members about the impact of traffic and parking. Citing high construction estimates, the Board of Selectmen has asked that the town postpone consideration of allotting funds to pay for a new clubhouse at King Rail golf course.

With a 4 1/2 percent increase, the budget is expected to provide long-lasting benefits. The addition of $200,000 to the town’s stabilization fund will contribute positively towards helping the town improve its bond rating, according to Boudreau, allowing it to borrow at better rates. Further, a termed “aggressive” capital expenditures plan by Boudreau that was approved by voters will help address outstanding issues in the town’s capital facilities.

Items that will either be added or replaced include a 20 passenger van for the senior center, storm water drainage for the Pilling’s Pond area, numerous purchases of gear and equipment for the Fire Department, replacement vehicles and equipment for the Police Department and repairs to the Town Hall among a few others. The School Department will be receiving $250,000 for technology.

The near future

In the coming weeks, the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee will be hosting a series of forums to gauge the public’s feelings towards any new expenditure on capital facilities that will almost certainly affect taxpayers in future years.

Taking heed of these recommendations, Dalton cautioned that the town must be “disciplined” in how it manages its finances. Accordingly, he noted that the board will be working with a consulting firm to chart out a 10-year “Capital Plan” to address what he termed are “critical needs.” “The only way to approach this challenge is to develop a long term plan,” Dalton said.

By Melanie Higgins


   

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