Club 50 eNewsletter
September 2020
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Connie Braceland
Vice President
Community Relations & Club 50
617-928-2338
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Connie's Corner
September 2020



Fall will soon be in the air!

I already bought my pumpkin flavored coffee and am looking forward to roasting pumpkin seeds and going apple picking!

We almost always had a Fall trip that included eating some warm apple cider donuts!

We won’t be together this year to enjoy them, so make sure you go out – safely – and get some!

Pizzi Farm in Waltham has delicious ones!

Football season has started, another sure sign of Fall.  Whether you decide to watch or not, that is your call.

I will be watching both the Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

Send us your favorite pictures from the Fall or the Summer!

Our 25th Anniversary Photo Contest is still going on!

Whatever you do, if you can get outside to enjoy the weather, it will make you feel really good!

And until we can be “On The Road Again,” stay well!

Connie

Find Out About the Microenterprise Grants, Deadline Approaching
by the Watertown Department of Community Development & Planning


The following information was provided by the Watertown Department of Community Development & Planning:

Building on its commitment to supporting Watertown residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Watertown has established a $175,000 emergency rental assistance program. The program will allow income-eligible tenants to apply for up to three months assistance if they have lost income and are having trouble paying rent as a result of the pandemic. The deadline to complete the application is Thursday, September 24.

“During this difficult time, it is important that we help Watertown residents stay in their homes and help ensure their health and safety,” said Assistant Town Manager Steven Magoon. “We are pleased that the Watertown Housing Partnership was able to tap our existing affordable housing resources to fund this emergency program for households who otherwise would be unable to make their rent payments.” The Town Council endorsed the program in August.

This program will provide assistance for up to three months to Watertown residents not receiving other government rental assistance and earning below 80% of Area Median Income. Assistance is for up to $750 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment, $950 for a 2-bedroom apartment, and $1,150 for a 3-bedroom apartment.

Area median income for a household of one person is $67,400, two persons is $77,000 and 3 persons is $86,500. Applicants will need to submit documentation that they are income-qualified and that they are having trouble paying rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on the number of applicants, a lottery may be used to select recipients of this assistance.

Rent payments, which will be made directly to participating landlords, are expected to start in October.

Metro West Collaborative, a non-profit community development corporation, will administer the program. Those interested in applying can contact Robyn Rufo at robyn@metrowestcd.org or 617-923-3505 extension 5. Metro West Collaborative staff are available to assist individuals in completing their applications, including those with disabilities that may impede their ability to complete the application. Staff can also arrange for assistance for households with limited English proficiency.

This assistance is in addition to that offered by the Watertown Community Foundation’s Community Resilience Fund.

A statewide eviction and foreclosure moratorium is currently in place across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, protecting tenants from being evicted and homeowners from foreclosure. The moratorium will remain in place until October 17 or 45 days after the state of emergency ends, whichever is sooner.

Other COVID-19 resources available in Watertown are listed in a Watertown Library’s Guide at https://sites.google.com/minlib.net/watertowncovidguide/home.

For more information, please contact:
Steven Magoon, Assistant Town Manager and Director of Community Development and Planning
SMagoon@watertown-ma.gov
617-972-6417

Watertown Business Coalition Discusses Info on Microenterprise Grants

The WBC sent out the following announcement:

At this month’s Coffee Connect we will be discussing who is eligible and how to apply for the Microenterprise Grants. This grant money is available to many small business owners and can be for as much as $10,000. You don’t want to miss this!

Our online forum is free to Watertown Residents and our Business Community. Format will include: Find a comfortable place in the home with a cup of coffee or tea! Information on Microenterprise Grants General networking breakout rooms, as time permits Let’s get through these times together, Watertown!
Vote by Mail and Early Voting
New Options for Massachusetts Residents to Stay Safe During COVID

Voting By Mail:

Voter Registration and Vote by Mail Applications:
Many Massachusetts residents are receiving or have received vote-by-mail applications for the 2020 Presidential Primary. If you are not currently registered to vote, you would not have received a vote-by-mail application. However, you can download and print your own application!

How To Download the Vote-by-Mail Application:
1. Google "Vote by mail Massachusetts" and this should bring you to a results page, which should look like this:

2. Click on the "mail ballot application" to view the PDF form that you can download and print.
 If you need to register to vote, and you also want to apply to vote by mail, you can mail in both forms at the same time. 

How to Download the Voter Registration Form OR Register to Vote Online:
1. Google "Register to Vote by mail Massachusetts" and this should bring you to a results page, which should look like this:

2. If you want to update your Voter Registration by mail, click on the "Massachusetts voter registration form" and it will bring you to a PDF that you can download and print. If you want to update your Voter Registration online, click on the "online voter registration" and it will bring you to the Secretary of State's website, where it will walk you through the registration process online. If you need to register to vote, and you also want to apply to vote by mail, you can mail in both forms at the same time. 


Deadline for the November General Election:
Your application for a vote-by-mail ballot for the November general election must be received by 5:00pm on Wednesday, October 28th. It is recommended to send this application as soon as possible! Once again, you can find this in the Forms section of our newsletter. Remember that this deadline is "received by" and not "postmarked by," so it is important you send it in about 2 weeks prior to the deadline. If you are running short on time, you can deliver your application in person to the local election office at your town or city hall.

Take note that the U.S. Postal Service recommends you allow at least a week for application to get to your local election office, a week for your ballot to be delivered to you, and a week for your completed ballot to get from you, back to your local election office.

Who Pays for Postage?
Once you receive your ballot, the package already has a return envelope addressed to your local election office that is already paid for. So, all you need to do is fill it out and drop it in the mail! Federal funds will cover the cost of postage for ballots!

Voting Early to Avoid the Crowds:

The IN-PERSON early voting period runs from Saturday, October 17th to Friday, October 30th 2020. Hours and dates may vary based on where you live!

To check where your polling location is, you can simply Google "where is my polling location Massachusetts" and the top result should be "My Election Info: Search" on the Secretary of State's website. From there, you can enter your information and find our where you are expected to vote, if you are registered, and if your mail-in-ballot has been accepted.

Stay updated on your local election dates for Early Voting! Beat the crowds!

Club 50's 25th Anniversary Photo Contest!
ENTER TO WIN! Every Entry Now Entered into a Raffle!


We invite all Club 50 members to celebrate our milestone anniversary by participating in our 25th Anniversary Photo Contest.

Share your favorite photo you captured during a Club 50 trip and tell us why it is special to you. Please visit our forms section of the newsletter for more information on how to submit a photo and participate!

**ALL ENTRIES ARE ELIGIBLE TO WIN A PRIZE! ENTER OUR RAFFLE WITH YOUR SUBMISSION!**

We will announce the Top 3 Winners in November to coincide with our 25th Anniversary. The Top 3 Winners will also receive prizes! Winners are chosen by employees of the Bank, anonymously.

Although we cannot be together at the moment, we are hoping to share stories and photos that connect us. We are so excited to be celebrating this milestone with you, all of you who have made our days together so much fun!

Currently we are researching ways to connect and continue to experience new things, virtually! This contest will hopefully be one of many new things to come for Club 50.

If you have any ideas or you have a destination you want to see virtually, please let us know!

We look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Arielle and Connie
Shredding Day, October 17th!
at the Waltham Senior Center


9:00am - 12:00pm
Saturday, October 17th


This is a FREE event at the Waltham Senior Center, 488 Main Street! Residents are invited to bring any documents to the shredding truck that they need shredded. No appointment is necessary. A mask is required along with social distancing rules.

The Bank is sponsoring this event! We do expect this event to be busy, so please be patient, as the volunteers will be working hard to keep everyone safe and socially distanced.

Be safe!
Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

If you care about what happens to your money, home, and other property after you die, you need to do some estate planning. There are many tools you can use to achieve your estate planning goals, but a will is probably the most vital. Even if you're young or your estate is modest, you should always have a legally valid and up-to-date will. This is especially important if you have minor children because, in many states, your will is the only legal way you can name a guardian for them. Although a will doesn't have to be drafted by an attorney to be valid, seeking an attorney's help can ensure that your will accomplishes what you intend.


Wills avoid intestacy

Probably the greatest advantage of a will is that it allows you to avoid intestacy. That is, with a will you get to choose who will get your property, rather than leave it up to state law. State intestate succession laws, in effect, provide a will for you if you die without one. This "intestate's will" distributes your property, in general terms, to your closest blood relatives in proportions dictated by law. However, the state's distribution may not be what you would have wanted. Intestacy also has other disadvantages, which include the possibility that your estate will owe more taxes than it would if you had created a valid will.

Wills distribute property according to your wishes

Wills allow you to leave bequests (gifts) to anyone you want. You can leave your property to a surviving spouse, a child, other relatives, friends, a trust, a charity, or anyone you choose. There are some limits, however, on how you can distribute property using a will. For instance, your spouse may have certain rights with respect to your property, regardless of the provisions of your will.

Gifts through your will take the form of specific bequests (e.g., an heirloom, jewelry, furniture, or cash), general bequests (e.g., a percentage of your property), or a residuary bequest of what's left after your other gifts.

Wills allow you to nominate a guardian for your minor children

In many states, a will is your only means of stating who you want to act as legal guardian for your minor children if you die. You can name a personal guardian, who takes personal custody of the children, and a property guardian, who manages the children's assets. This can be the same person or different people. The probate court has final approval, but courts will usually approve your choice of guardian unless there are compelling reasons not to.

Wills allow you to nominate an executor

A will allows you to designate a person as your executor to act as your legal representative after your death. An executor carries out many estate settlement tasks, including locating your will, collecting your assets, paying legitimate creditor claims, paying any taxes owed by your estate, and distributing any remaining assets to your beneficiaries. Like naming a guardian, the probate court has final approval but will usually approve whomever you nominate.

Wills specify how to pay estate taxes and other expenses

The way in which estate taxes and other expenses are divided among your heirs is generally determined by state law unless you direct otherwise in your will. To ensure that the specific bequests you make to your beneficiaries are not reduced by taxes and other expenses, you can provide in your will that these costs be paid from your residuary estate. Or, you can specify which assets should be used or sold to pay these costs.

Wills can create a testamentary trust

You can create a trust in your will, known as a testamentary trust, that comes into being when your will is probated. Your will sets out the terms of the trust, such as who the trustee is, who the beneficiaries are, how the trust is funded, how the distributions should be made, and when the trust terminates. This can be especially important if you have a spouse or minor children who are unable to manage assets or property themselves.

Wills can fund a living trust

A living trust is a trust that you create during your lifetime. If you have a living trust, your will can transfer any assets that were not transferred to the trust while you were alive. This is known as a pourover will because the will "pours over" your estate to your living trust.

Wills can help minimize taxes

Your will gives you the chance to minimize taxes and other costs. For instance, if you draft a will that leaves your entire estate to your U.S. citizen spouse, none of your property will be taxable when you die (if your spouse survives you) because it is fully deductible under the unlimited marital deduction. However, if your estate is distributed according to intestacy rules, a portion of the property may be subject to estate taxes if it is distributed to heirs other than your U.S. citizen spouse.

Assets disposed of through a will are subject to probate

Probate is the court-supervised process of administering and proving a will. Probate can be expensive and time consuming, and probate records are available to the public. Several factors can affect the length of probate, including the size and complexity of the estate, challenges to the will or its provisions, creditor claims against the estate, state probate laws, the state court system, and tax issues. Owning property in more than one state can result in multiple probate proceedings. This is known as ancillary probate. Generally, real estate is probated in the state in which it is located, and personal property is probated in the state in which you are domiciled (i.e., reside) at the time of your death.

Will provisions can be challenged in court

Although it doesn't happen often, the validity of your will can be challenged, usually by an unhappy beneficiary or a disinherited heir. Some common claims include:

  • You lacked testamentary capacity when you signed the will
  • You were unduly influenced by another individual when you drew up the will
  • The will was forged or was otherwise improperly executed
  • The will was revoked
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Watertown Receives BlueBike Stations!

From WatertownMANews.com
By Charlie Breitrose | September 11th, 2020

Watertown received more than $200,000 in gifts to establish BlueBike rental stations in town. The move was made so that the Town did not have to own the bicycles or be responsible for the upkeep.

The Town of Watertown received a gift of $224,257.06 worth of items to install six BlueBike Stations with 38 bicycles to be rented. The items were donated by MetroFuture Inc., a non-profit charitable organization, said Town Manager Michael Driscoll.

The gift was just part of the funding for the bicycles. The Town’s contribution was $100,000, with $80,000 coming from a MassDOT Workforce Transportation grant and $20,000 paid from the TNC (transportation network company) funds. TNC funds are paid by ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate in Massachusetts.

Watertown is one of several communities where BlueBikes, which is owned by Lyft, is expanding, said Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon. The program is being done in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).

“MAPC will receive the equipment, then give that to us,” Magoon said. “We will accept the gift, which we are doing (at Tuesday’s meeting), and then lease that to Motivate [which is owned by Lyft] to operate the system. The issue is with us not wanting to own the equipment. This is a way around it and make the system works and get the BlueBikes in the community.”

Magoon said there will actually be seven BlueBike dock stations, three on public property and four on private property.

“They are working on agreements for stations that will be established on private property,” Magoon said. “The ones on public property have already been received and installed.”

The Watertown Bluebike stations will be at:
  • Coolidge Square, in front of Coolidge Playground (Mt. Auburn St. at Arlington St.)
  • Nichols Avenue near Arlington St. and the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway
  • Arsenal Street near Arsenal Yards
  • Arsenal Street at Kingsbury Street, on the campus of Arsenal on the Charles
  • Arsenal Street between Gables and Elan residential developments
  • North Beacon Street at North Beacon Court
  • Watertown Square at the bus depot and entrance to Charles River DCR GreenwayCouncilor Angeline Kounelis asked whether $100,000 would be sufficient for the system to run in Watertown, including if one of the stations was not successful and needed to be moved to another location. Magoon said that the money would be enough, and some of the Town’s TNC funds would be set aside for things such as moving stations.

Councilor Caroline Bays asked who is responsible if bikes are damaged or stolen. Also, whether the Town would be liable if there is a problem and someone sues.

Magoon said that Motivate would be responsible for repairs and replacing bikes.

Town Attorney Mark Reich said that the agreement to bring BlueBikes calls for Motivate to hold the insurance for the BlueBikes and would be liable.

“(In the agreement) Motivate agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Town,” Reich said.

Councilor John Gannon was concerned whether people would be reminded to wear helmets when riding a BlueBike. He made a motion to have signs installed saying that riders need to ride helmets.

The Council unanimously approved the amendment for the helmet sign, and to accept the gift of the BlueBikes.
Massachusetts Making Changes to List of Travel Ban

from Boston.com
by Nik DeCosta-Klipa on September 11th

In a series of tweets, the Massachusetts Department Public Health said it is removing Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia from the list of exemptions from the travel rules, meaning that visitors from those states must once again self-quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours — or face a potential $500 fine.
DPH officials also announced that they are adding New Mexico to the list of lower-risk exempt states.

Massachusetts requires states to meet two criteria to be exempt from the rules. First, their average number of daily cases per 100,000 residents must be below six and, second, their positive test rate must be below 5 percent.

Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, as well as Colorado, were added to the list of exemption last month due to decreases in their prevalence and positivity rates (officials also added Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming last week).

However, according to the public COVID-19 data tracking website used by Massachusetts officials, COVID-19 rates in those first three states have rebounded and no longer meet the criteria. As of Friday, Delaware was averaging 11.9 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate of 6.7 percent; Pennsylvania had 5.7 cases per 100,000 and a positive test rate of 6.5 percent; and West Virginia had 9.3 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 5.2 percent.

As of Saturday, the list exemptions will include 11 states: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.

Despite its 1.1 percent positive test rate, Rhode Island — which was removed from the list in early August — remains the sole New England state not exempt from quarantine rules, though there are some exceptions for essential cross-border trips like work, grocery shopping, and medical care. As of Friday, Rhode Island's 8.4 cases per 100,000 remained above the acceptable six-per-100,000 maximum.

Wyoming, which as of Friday is averaging 6.4 cases per 100,000 cases, has waffled on the cusp of threshold. However, state officials reevaluate the list on a once-a-week basis, typically on Wednesday, to make potential changes. And on Wednesday, Wyoming’s case prevalence and positivity levels were both below the limits (so book that trip to Yellowstone while you can).

More seriously, the increasingly changing nature of the list — especially compared to more stagnant quarantine rules like in Maine — does raise potential questions. For example, any Pennsylvania residents who were planning a trip to Massachusetts this weekend would now ostensibly have to scramble for a last-minute COVID-19 test, quarantine upon arrival, or cancel their plans (or, perhaps more likely, ignore the rules).

Asked if Massachusetts was coordinating with states on the edge, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that “there’s conversations going on between the states that are close and us on a pretty regular basis.”

Visitors, as well as returning Massachusetts residents, from the 39 states not on the lower-risk list are also supposed to complete an online form attesting to the rules, unless they qualify for one of several exemptions.

State officials note that the MBTA, MassDOT, and other organizations have used public service announcements and message boards to remind travelers of the rules and to check the state’s webpage on the travel order for updates. When the quarantine order was changed from an advisory in July, the administration noted that “list of lower risk states is subject to change based on public health data, and states may be added or taken off the list at any time.”

 

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Disclaimer - All content contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any financial, accounting, tax, legal or other related decisions. Each person must consider his or her objectives, risk tolerances and level of comfort when making financial decisions and should consult a competent professional advisor prior to making any such decisions. Any opinions expressed through the content in this newsletter are the opinions of the particular author only.
 
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