Heart in woman hands. Love giving, care, health, protection concept

By Kathleen D. Tetreault

Family members of individuals with intellectual disabilities go to extraordinary lengths to provide their loved ones with proper supports, services, and care.  Establishing guardianship is often a necessary part of protecting the health and safety of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Yet, while many people are generally familiar with the concept of guardianship, few know what guardianship of an individual with an intellectual disability actually entails. Continue reading

Driving CarHave you ever thought it might be nice to make a little extra money to supplement your retirement?

Maybe you need a bit more income just to make ends meet, or maybe you’re doing okay but wouldn’t mind having some room in your budget for nice-to-have treats like a special night out or a weekend away.

Many digital-savvy seniors have found fun and creative ways to earn this kind of additional money as participants in the sharing economy. Continue reading

By Paul T. Czepiga

Have you heard the news that wealthy business owners might soon see a bigger tax hit when they transfer ownership stakes to their children? Take a look at some headlines I’ve seen:

Treasury Department Targets Estate Tax Loophole for Family Businesses

IRS Estate-Tax Proposal Could Hit Wealthy Business Owners Where It Hurts

Recently proposed IRS regulations dealing with the special valuation rules of Internal Revenue Code sections 2701 to 2704 can severely restrict a taxpayer’s ability to achieve minority and lack-of-control valuation discounts with respect to the transfer of interests in many family-owned entities. Continue reading

Young carer walking with the elderly woman in the park
 Note: For introductory information on conservatorship, please read our initial post, What Is a Conservatorship?

While all of us wish that our loved ones might remain indefinitely self-sufficient and be able to live their lives with dignity, many of us will face the difficult situation of a loved one who is no longer able to care for his or herself.

The cause of such incapacity may be an illness or accident. It might be dementia or simply the decline of old age. You may find, one day, that your loved one is inconsistent about physical hygiene, unable to manage household finances, or making unwise decisions. If you see such signs, you may need to carefully consider the option of conservatorship.

stop waiting time for action act now dont waste time standing in a row for a wait list being impatient

By Kathleen Tetreault

The bleak state of our State is that many individuals with special needs are no strangers to “waiting lists” for vital supports and services in the community. For many, the term waiting list has become synonymous with “good luck and goodbye.”

But for those individuals who have fallen into the dark abyss of waiting, the Department of Justice has released a groundbreaking statement that shines a ray of hope.

The United States Department of Justice issued a powerful Statement of Interest in an Ohio case wherein individuals with disabilities sued the State for placing them on long waiting lists and for failing to provide supports in the community. Continue reading

Gold 100th Or One Hundred 3d Number Representing Anniversary Or BirthdayBy Paul T. Czepiga

Passed into law on September 8, 1916, The Revenue Act of 1916 created a tax on the transfer of wealth from an estate to its beneficiaries. It applied to net estates, defined as the total property owned by a decedent less deductions for debts and administration costs.

  • An exemption of $50,000 was allowed for residents.
  • Tax rates were graduated from 1% on the first $50,000 to 10% on the portion of the taxable estate exceeding $5 million.
  • At its passage, the estate tax affected less than 1% of people who died and it raised less than 1% of federal revenue.

Not much has changed in that regard over the last 100 years: today the estate tax makes up one-half of one percent of federal revenues and still affects still only about 1% of people who die. Continue reading


Choice Wooden Letterpress ThemeFinally. A shift is afoot toward person-centered care .

Until recently, there was a Catch 22 when it came to getting care in the community. If you are 65 years of age or older, the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is available. But for younger people with complex care needs, the options in Connecticut have been limited.

The PCA (Personal Care Assistance) Medicaid Waiver is available, for example, but primarily serves individuals with limited needs and certain conditions. Additionally, the program has a cap on the number of slots available, and a long waiting list. Other waiver programs are also limited. Continue reading

The mechanical arm and a butterfly.

You may not be ready for a robot caregiver – believe it or not they exist – but a growing number of technologies are available today to help older adults maintain their health, manage chronic conditions, and live safely and successfully in their own homes.

This is great news!

Because if you’re like most people, you’d rather stay put and never have to call a nursing home “home.” Technology tools also make life a little easier for family caregivers, trying to keep all the balls in the air.

So what can technology do to lighten the load? Continue reading

kt cropBy Kathleen Tetrault

On July 13th, Congress took another critical step toward furthering the rights of individuals with disabilities. 

Members of a committee within the House of Representatives voted to pass the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act—a bill that would allow individuals with disabilities to establish their own special needs trusts (known as first-party special needs trusts).

Responsibility wooden sign with a street backgroundBy Peter J. Smith

You might get the news from an unexpected phone call.  Maybe you knew it would come someday, but were surprised when the day finally arrived.  Or perhaps no one told you, and you learned about it after stumbling upon your deceased parent’s trust.  No matter how it happens, the news is the same: You’ve been appointed a Successor Trustee.

How did you become trustee?

There are primarily two scenarios: Continue reading

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