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Freya A Shoffner

Freya Shoffner’s Answers

99 total


  • Can I claim damages against a general contractor for being significantly over the original schedule?

    I signed a contract with this contractor for a complete remodel of my home. Over the course of the contract, he has not consistently had subs on site (they have been at other jobs) and a job that was specified as being completed after 3 months ha...

    Freya’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Bace. Massachusetts has very strict laws that protect the homeowner from unscrupulous contractors, which you will find under the Home Improvement Contractor Act. In addition, the Commonwealth has a Guaranty Fund to help homeowners who have suffered losses in home improvement endeavors. After you visit the web site at Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, make a complete list of your damages, compile all of the contracts, bills, receipts and canceled checks, and make an appointment to see a competent attorney who can help you resolve this matter.

    If you have additional questions, feel free to call my office at 617-369-0111.

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  • Is there a stepped up basis for the secondary beneficiaries of a credit shelter trust?? Primary beneficiary DOD in 12/09??

    credit shelter trust est. 1996- Took marital deduction for credit shelter trust Surviving sposue -beneficiary; children secondary beneficiary beneficary dies 12/09; assets distributed to children in 2010 What circumstances if any would allo...

    Freya’s Answer

    Based on the facts that you provided, Attorney Zaremba's answer is correct. Since the assets remained in the trust until the death of the primary beneficiary, the basis was established in 1996. You should be sure to consult with a qualified tax accountant and an estate planning attorney to ensure that you minimize any future taxes that these assets might generate.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer

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  • Medical PRactice question

    We have two physicians practicing in the same office with two seperate tax id's. I am trying to figure out if this a potential hipaa problem. They share the same computer system and database.

    Freya’s Answer

    I assume your concern is based on the fact that the physicians share the same computer system and database, since all patient information is available to both entities. As you are probably aware, you are authorized to use and disclose PHI to carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations (TPO).

    A conservative approach would be to consider each physician and the employees of that physician's entity to be business associates of the other physician. Since the law defines a business associate as any person to whom the practice discloses protected health information (PHI) for the purpose of carrying out, assisting in the performance of, and performing for or on behalf of, a function or activity for the practice. This includes individuals or contractors who receive PHI from your practice in the course of providing a service to you.

    You may only disclose this confidential PHI to a business associate if the associate has taken steps to ensure the confidentiality of the information. Therefore, you should be sure to follow all HIPAA regulations regarding the data stored in your computer system and you should be sure to have each member of the practice, and all employees, follow the requirements of the law precisely.

    Although it is not a legal source, the AMA provides a good resource to physicians who are attempting to comply with HIPAA.

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  • My parents are both deceased.. My Grandmothers name and my mothers name is still on the house we live in.. I am disable. Should

    should i get my name put on the house so I can get the tax excemption for disability..

    Freya’s Answer

    As Attorney Jarrett recommended, you should speak to a licensed attorney in your area who deals with probate and real estate matters. The attorney will need to see a copy of the deed, will need a certified copy of your mother's death certificate, and will need to know if your grandmother is also deceased. At that point, the attorney will be able to advise you as to the best next step to take.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • What to do if property is contaminated by natural gas drillers?

    I own a small business in Northeastern PA and I need to know what I can do if my property gets polluted from the gas drillers who are moving into the county. Already they're have been reports of water well contamination surrounding the drilling f...

    Freya’s Answer

    Certainly, drilling in the Marcellus Shale as just about everyone in Pennsylvania concerned. And, you are right that the drilling may well affect many more people than just the land owners and lessors. While the EPA is very busy dealing with the multitude of concerns about the drilling and fracking processes, federal agencies tend to move slowly.

    I suggest that you begin by working with your county commissioners and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • An interior design business LLC

    Do I need to contact an attorney or an account before I form an LLC for an interior design business?

    Freya’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Shultz. While there is no legal requirement, the only reason to go into business is to make money, and the best way to make sure that your business succeeds is to build it on a firm foundation. Before you begin, you should consult with an attorney who is qualified to advise start-up businesses in your area, and you should be sure to retain the services of a competent accountant. There is no such thing as too much good advice.

    I wish you the best in your endeavor.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • What are my legal rights?

    I have been with a man for 5 years and we are not married. we bought a house together but it is in his name. I have proof of paying him weekly payments for the house and have 1 bill for the house in my name. We are breaking up because he cheated a...

    Freya’s Answer

    I'm sorry to hear that your relationship is ending. Courts in Minnesota do not have authority to hear claims between men and women living together who are not married when the relationship is based on sexual relations unless there is a written contract. If you can show that your claim is not based solely on the contemplation of sexual relations then you can bring a complaint in equity. It seems that you might have a claim that you made significant payments toward the purchase and upkeep of the residence.

    You really should engage an attorney who practices family law to help you with this matter, it is not something that you should try to do on your own.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • Joint account with no preuptial

    I added my spouse to my bank accounts during the marraige, which has $100,000 of my pre marriage savings. After marriage, We spent more money than what we earned after marriage for the first several months and bought an expensive ring. 5 months af...

    Freya’s Answer

    You have raised a number of questions that relate directly to the division of marital and pre-marital assets, and the validity of post-nuptial agreements. While California does recognize post-nuptial agreements, there are limitations to their validity. Before you do anything else, you should seek the advice of an attorney who is competent in the area of divorce and family law in your jurisdiction.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this answer is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • Legality of online price error?

    I purchased a heavily discounted item from a vendor's website. The order was confirmed, my money accepted, and the item shipped to me. Then the vendor refunded my account and claimed it was an error, asking me to ship it back. What is my standing?

    Freya’s Answer

    Attorney Brown makes a very good point. While, from a classic contracts analysis, it seems like the vendor is without recourse, there may have been language on the website that covered this particular situation. Attorney Brown referred to a "TOS" contract, which is a Terms of Service contract that you can find on most online vendors' websites or in the supporting literature (bill of sale, etc.) that came with your shipment.

    The other thing to consider is that the vendor refunded your payment, so you cannot claim now that you paid for the product. The best place to start in this situation, is with a call to the vendor's customer service line to find out what happened and why.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this answer is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • What legal action to I need to take to move from MA to NE with my three children.

    My husband and I are separated. My family and support are all in NE. It would be more affordable for me to live there, I would have help from family and friends. I already have a job lined up if I can move. The schools are great and it is a safe p...

    Freya’s Answer

    Both attorneys raise good points. If there is no court order in effect, there is nothing necessarily preventing you from moving to NE. However, your husband may well respond by bringing a custody action here in Massachusetts. If, however, you've already been to court and an order is in effect, then you must comply with the order. In most cases, that means you will have to prove to the court that it is in the children's best interest (not yours) to move to NE.

    The best course of action is to face the situation head-on using the services of a well qualified attorney in your area. The attorney will be able to offer you advice based on all of the facts in your particular situation and will guide you through any necessary court actions.

    Please feel free to contact my office if you have additional questions.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this e-mail is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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