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

summer fun

If you use a wheelchair, there’s a lot to do in Connecticut, especially during our way-too-short summer. Whether you love the beach or the woods, there are many great venues to sample.

We did some research and selected some special places for you to check out.

Take a Hike

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair-accessible trails in Connecticut. Here are user-reviewed five star-rated trails:

Continue reading

Businesswoman holding tablet pcDo you know what happens to your online accounts and other digital assets after you die? What happens to your Facebook profile, blog, digitally managed bank accounts, and so forth?

What if you were a writer whose latest manuscript is stored in the cloud and accessible only via online access? What if you owned a domain name that could be worth millions on the open market?

Historically, consumers have always had control over what happens to their tangible and intangible property after death, but the question of digital assets (including everything from digital photos and electronic documents to email, music, movies, social media accounts, and virtual currency), is a comparatively recent one.

medicaid claimBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

A new Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Pikula v. Department of Social Services, establishes clear guidelines for determining if a trust should be considered a “supplemental needs trust” or a “general support trust.”

In general, assets held in a supplemental needs trust are considered unavailable in determining Medicaid eligibility for the trust beneficiary. Continue reading

downsizing

“Downsizing” is one of those words that seems simple, but can be wrought with overwhelming and emotional baggage. While it’s easy to embrace the concept – a smaller space, fewer possessions – actually getting rid of stuff is often harder than expected.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise since we spend most of our lives accumulating “stuff.”

Year after year, we buy and collect, receive gifts, and save mementos, and it slowly fills up every drawer, shelf, attic space, closet, and corner of the garage. And then, in the course of a few weeks or months, we’re faced with undoing decades’ worth of acquiring.

It’s not easy. Continue reading

A beautiful male peacock with expanded feathersExciting news!

We are happy to announce that on July 1st, we merge with the Law Offices of Barbara W. Reynolds and Lynda Lee Arnold of New Milford.

This merger adds two seasoned attorneys and additional staff members to further assist you with planning for and protecting your future and your family’s future. It also extends our presence and our ability to serve Connecticut residents in the western part of the state. Continue reading

Members of: