Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Massachusetts And New Hampshire Law Blog

How can you appeal a health insurance claim denial?

If you count yourself among the many Massachusetts residents who have ever filed a health insurance claim and received a denial in response, know that denied claims are not at all uncommon. In fact, many insurance disputes arise because policy holders believe insurance companies are acting in bad faith when denying their claims. If this describes your situation, you may understand all too well just how upsetting it is when your insurer denies a valid claim and leaves you panicking about how you will pay for necessary care.

Per Healthcare.gov, one of the first things you should do after receiving notification of a health insurance claim denial is contact your insurance company for a thorough explanation. Insurers must provide this to you, and they must also do so if they decide to no longer cover you. If your insurance company gives you an explanation about why it denied your claim, but you dispute the reasoning or still believe your claim has merit, you can appeal it through one of two methods.

Is your spouse hiding assets ahead of divorce?

If you and your spouse are currently heading toward a Massachusetts divorce, chances are, the two of you experienced a breakdown of trust in your partnership somewhere along the way. Maybe you have suspicions about infidelity, or maybe you believe your spouse was being less than upfront with you when it comes to finances. Unfortunately, many divorcing spouses start to suspect that the other might be hiding assets in an attempt to get a better deal during divorce, and regrettably, in many instances, where there is smoke, there is fire.

If you suspect that your husband or wife is attempting to hide assets from you to come out ahead after divorce or reduce the amount he or she must split with you, know that he or she, per AOL, may engage in tactics that are obvious, or discreet. An example of a more obvious method many spouses use to conceal property from one another simply involves making relatively small transfers from one bank account to another, separate one, which may be at an entirely separate bank.

What to keep in mind when creating a contract

When you are negotiating a contract, you may not foresee future disagreements or disputes regarding the terms of document. However, conflicts can and do occur on a regular basis. In order to be best prepared for this type of situation, you may want to consider some potential contract complications that may occur and incorporate that into your final contract. Not only could this save you from a possible lawsuit, but it can also save you time, money and emotional drain.

In a case where a breach of contract may occur, you may want to have a liquidated damages clause included in the contract. This clause names the specific amount of money that would be owed to you if the other party fails to uphold their end of the agreement. This information could make a lawsuit move more quickly in court and may ensure you do not lose any money from the breached transaction.

Preventative measures to avoid workplace harassment

It may be easy to think that there’s never been a better time to talk about sexual harassment in the workplace. With the #MeToo movement, founding of Time’s Up and ousting of harassers from powerful positions across industries, it seems like now is the time to take on the issue of sexual harassment with gusto.

Ideally the time to take on sexual harassment isn’t after it happens, it’s before. Protecting employees from harassment needs to shift from a reactive response to a proactive plan.

What happens when business partners "divorce?"

If you are a partner in a Massachusetts enterprise, it may surprise you to learn that partnerships are analogous to marriages. How so? You and your partner(s) are individuals. You have different goals and objectives that may not be mutually compatible. You also have different work habits and methodologies that likewise may not be mutually compatible.

As reported by Entrepreneur magazine, all of these differences make partnerships 20-30 percent more likely to eventually break up than marriages. When these "divorces" occur, they often garner national or international headlines, such as was the case with Facebook, Microsoft and Apple.

The pitfalls of not planning for business succession

Although it may be difficult for Massachusetts business owners to plan ahead for business succession, experts say it is a good idea. Proprietors may find themselves resistant to the idea, believing that because retirement is several decades away, they can put off the inevitable.

The American Bar Association defines business succession in a way that pushes back, framing the process as similar to others families prioritize: "the use of estate planning strategies to implement a survival plan for a business in the event of death or illness." Husbands, wives, parents and others often put a "survival plan" in place early in life.

Tips for drafting an enforceable noncompete agreement

As a Massachusetts small business owner, you probably have certain processes, routines or trade secrets that give you an edge over your competitors. While these routines, processes or trade secrets are undoubtedly valuable to your business, they can also cause it harm if they fall into the wrong hands. At Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, we recognize that carefully crafted noncompete agreements can help you protect your business's bread and butter, and we have helped many Massachusetts business owners take steps to safeguard their private information.

According to Entrepreneur, crafting and having your employees sign noncompete agreements is one thing, but making sure those noncompete agreements are actually enforceable is entirely another. In other words, while you can certainly set guidelines in your agreement that dictate what you expect from your employees in terms of discretion, you must exercise extreme care in doing so if you want the agreement to hold up in court.

Sexual harassment affects men, too

When allegations of sexual harassment make their way into Massachusetts and the nation's headlines, the victims are frequently women, but men are not immune to being victims of this type of behavior in the workplace. In fact, about one-third of all employed American men in a recent survey reported being a victim of sexual harassment sometime within the last year, although there is limited information available about how this type of behavior can emotionally impact men. At Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, we recognize that women are not the only victims of workplace sexual harassment, and we have helped many men and women who were victims of such behavior pursue appropriate recourse.

According to Psychology Today, many men who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are hesitant to report it. This may be due, at least in part, to a prevailing belief that people do not always believe men who make such allegations. Additionally, men in many industries receive recognition or accolades for being particularly masculine, and this, too, can make men think twice before reporting instances of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Tips for successful business succession planning

If you are a Massachusetts small business owner and you want see your business outlive you, there are certain steps you can take to streamline the business succession process and ensure that your desires come to fruition. Though business succession planning can prove relatively complex, you may find that protecting your life's work is well worth the time and effort. At Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, we recognize how important crafting solid business succession plans can be, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances pursue solutions that fit their needs.

Per CNBC, one of the most common mistakes today's small business owners make when it comes to succession planning involves waiting too long to start the process. The process itself is often timely, so many financial planners recommend starting the process a good 10 years before you plan to retire. This gives you a long time to figure out exactly who you want to leave in charge and make sure they are up to the task.

Do I really have to think about business succession now?

Getting a business started is hard enough. There's so much to think about, plan for and predict that Massachusetts executives wear themselves out in the early days of entrepreneurship. If this sounds like you, and you have finally gotten your business up and running, all you want to think about is enjoying the transition into successful ownership. 

But there's something else you should be planning for. It might seem a little over the top since you have just gotten settled into your leadership role, but successful business owners need to plan ahead for the day when they will no longer be at the company's helm. 

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