Maine is fast becoming a popular place to retire. We recently covered that Money Magazine named South Portland as the top place to live in Maine for the second year in a row. Not to be outdone, Forbes has announced their top two places to retire in Maine. If you want to be surprised, click the links below to find out who won (warning, spoilers below the links).
I am not surprised to see Portland come out on top. With an abundance of cultural and culinary destinations there is a reason young professionals, families, and retirees are flocking to the state. Jerome Gamache, Jake Bowie, and I have worked with clients on real estate matters all over Maine. With a median home price of $301,000, Portland offers affordability that cities like Boston cannot.
Not quite ready to retire? Jerome has been working with buyers and sellers of Bed and Breakfasts’ and Inns for those ready to transition into a new rewarding career.
Lewiston is another great option, and is even more affordable than Portland. The median home price is $141,000 and is home to Bates College.
Ainsworth, Thelin & Raftice offers a wide variety of legal services. Elly Dominguez and her team can assist in all your Elder Law needs. Bob Raftice has been helping families with their estate planning and probate matters since the firm was founded more than 30 years ago. Our team of Chris’s, Chris Leddy and myself are here to help with any criminal and family law matters. Mike Vaillancourt, John Turcotte, Jake Bowie and Chris Piasecki can assist with all litigation and business law matters. Our team approach allows our clients to reach out to one firm for almost all of their legal needs.
For those of you who already live here, you already know the perks of being a “Mainer”. For those that don’t, we welcome you to join us. If you want to discuss any legal matters please do not hesitate to reach out to us below.
First it was Medical Marijuana, now Adult Use is arriving at our doorstep. No matter your personal position on the matter, it is clear that Marijuana storefronts, both Medical and Recretational Use, will soon start popping up across the state. In fact, the first Medical storefront has already opened in Portland. While the State is not currently accepting applications for Adult Use Licenses, smart business owners are actively positioning themselves for when that day arrives.
It is important to note that while Recreational Marijuana is now legal in Maine, it remains illegal Federally. Please address this with any corporate counsel you decide to hire. In addition, everything published here is subject to possible change as the laws and application remain in constant fluidity.
What We Do Know:
- Maine passed the Marijuana Legalization Act (Click Here to Read Title 28-B)
- The State recently hired the same consultant that wrote the rules for Colorado’s recreational rules and expects a draft in April 2019.
- The State application process will be governed by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), this is the same authority that currently grants or denys licenses for Maine Medical Marijuana.
- There will be 4 types of licenses and DAFS will not restrict the amount of licenses they issue at the State level:
- Cultivation Facility;
- Testing Facility;
- Products Manufacturing Facility;
- Marijuana Store
- Every town in Maine that wants to allow Adult Use Facilities must OPT IN to the new law. In short, every town has the right to say no.
What We Do Not Know:
- The actual rules on how Title 28-B will be administered or enforced. We are expecting those in April 2019.
- What towns will OPT IN?
- What will the application look like? We have a general idea and the initial screening criteria can be found here.
- The actual timeline for when the State and Towns will begin accepting applications. The draft rules will be submitted for comment in April, but they will still need to accept feedback and finalize them.
This is a high level overview of the current state of affairs and each indiviual and company present a different legal situation. If you are considering trying to become a part of this new industry, please contact Chris Piasecki, Michael Vaillancourt, or Jacob Bowie of our Corporate Team to set up an appointment.
Separation and divorce are difficult regardless of when they are experienced. However, the holiday season can exacerbate these issues. Families spend years forming deep rooted holiday traditions. When children have to adapt to new extended family traditions, the transition can cause anxiety and tension for everyone.
There really is no easy way to navigate this process, and co-parents need to communicate clearly and decrease stress on the children. Mapping out the traditions around the holidays often devolves into discussions that use phrases like “my time” and “your time” when the focus really needs to be on the children. It is THEIR Christmas after all, or their Hanukah, and all they really want to do is enjoy family and have fun. To have a healthy post-separation relationship a great deal of planning and compromise needs to happen. There is simply not enough time to honor all traditions and rotating holidays is a very common answer to that issue.
The process of negotiating a workable solution must start with legal counsel that can assist you in identifying a goal for your family relationships as you move forward through divorce or separation. There are certainly times when a legal situation needs a skilled advocate, but there are many opportunities for reasonable and compassionate compromise as well. Make sure your legal counsel knows the difference between those two.
An applicant for pension benefits from the VA must meet certain medical and/or financial requirements. There is a disability requirement for the pension benefits, which is satisfied if the veteran is sixty-five (65) years of age or older, or permanently and totally disabled. If the veteran or surviving spouse has additional medical needs, then additional allowances like an aid and attendance allowance may be awarded.
The current law reads that an applicant’s net worth “must not be excessive”, taking into consideration the applicant’s age, income and expenses, life expectancy, and rate of depletion of the applicant’s net worth. The financial rules also require that household income must be less than the benefit the applicant is seeking; however, income may be reduced by out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The long-anticipated changes to the eligibility rules for veteran pensions have finally come. In October 2018 the VA officially changed two major eligibility requirements for veterans seeking pension benefits.
- There is now a thirty-six (36) month look-back period when applying for needs-based pension benefits. Historically there has been no look-back period and veterans could transfer assets freely without penalty, allowing for maximum asset planning. Now veterans cannot transfer assets, for less than fair market value, during the thirty-six (36) month period immediately before applying for benefits, without suffering a penalty. Any penalty assessed by the VA should not exceed five (5) years.
- In order to qualify for pension benefits a veteran may not have a net worth of more than $123,600.00 (2018). Prior to implementing this most recent set of rules, the VA had no bright-line asset limit, making it difficult for those applying for veteran pension benefits to know if an application would be approved. Now that there is a concrete asset limit, veterans can rest assured that their benefit applications will be reviewed uniformly.
It used to be that getting a divorce was a social “failure”. However, the simple fact is that there are now more children in divorced or separated homes than there are children in “intact” family units. They very defintion of a “Family” is now a dynamic and evolving concept in Maine and throughout the country.
While you may feel stigmatized by getting divorced or splitting up a domestic partnership, it does not have to define your life going forward. You really do have a choice. Studies make it abundantly clear that the separation of parents is NOT what harms children, CONFLICT is what does the most damage.
Kids First Center is one of the great resources available in Portland, South Portand and all throughout Maine. Kids First devotes its time and efforts to reducing the conflict that surround children during emotional times. Chris Leddy is a facilitator with the organization and spends many hours teaching classes such as “The First Step” and “ICOPE”.
A recent Facebook Live segment, hosted by Todd Gutner of New Center Maine, highlights the important work this organization does through all of Maine. Please watch and share the full video below to help reach familes that might benefit from their services.
Many times the attitude you bring to a dispute will decide the outcome, and that means emotion is the driving force. Fear is a powerful engine, but a terrible navigator.