Letter: Caccaviello Offers Leadership, Continuity

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To the Editor:

As a respite care foster parent for nine years for children who have been traumatized by violence and/or sexual assault; as a crime victim myself; as an elected School Committee member (winning as a write-in) and a former Fair Housing commissioner; I know the work that Paul Caccaviello and the staff of the Berkshire district attorney's office have done and are doing. I know this because I have had first-hand experience with their programs, and I believe they are not to be taken lightly or denigrated.

As Berkshire district attorney, Paul Caccaviello has already made exceptional decisions to sustain and enhance these programs; and, at the same time, create new programs to focus on the changes occurring in Berkshire County. The work of the district attorney must always be fluid in meeting Berkshire County needs; and, Paul Caccaviello understands that and will continue to institute whatever programs are required.

With over 20 years working in all areas of the law, I was also an administrator at a law school with a staff of 41, 80 professors and around 600 students so I am fully aware of the responsibility the management of staff is to ensure that public service and excellence are of utmost importance.

Paul's leadership and his position are way too important to be castigated in the political arena.

Yes, experience does matter. Yes, background does matter. But also, continuity is clearly one of the most important aspects of protecting ongoing cases and victims' rights. And those rights are concerns of victims right now whose cases are being prosecuted by Berkshire District Attorney Caccaviello and his staff.

Kindly join me on Election Day, Nov. 6, to vote for Paul Caccaviello by writing his name in.

Rachel Branch
North Adams, Mass.



Tags: district attorney,   election 2018,   

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Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future

Submitted by Edward Jones

The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.

Here are a few of these questions:

* What will happen to my children?
With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.

* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.

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