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AdobeStock_295677330-300x206We are living in some pretty surreal times right now. Things are changing so quickly that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the news. Our daily routines have been upended, and our daily conversations with friends and family are all focused on the same topic: the coronavirus.

Few among us have ever lived through a crisis so intense and so global in nature. It’s no wonder that our stress and anxiety levels are through the roof.

But humans are amazingly resilient and adaptable creatures. Even in the midst of all the uncertainty and chaos, people are finding beautiful ways to extend small kindnesses and create joy.

red-phone-300x150According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, American seniors lose almost $3 billion annually to financial scammers. The Federal Trade Commission puts the median amount stolen at between $600 to $1,000 (the lower figure for seniors aged 70 to 79, the higher figure for seniors over 80), but there are many cases where people lose much, much more—hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes their entire life’s savings.

The people who perpetrate these crimes are the worst kind of criminals—people who take advantage of peoples’ vulnerabilities in a most heinous example of “preying on the weak.”

The best way to stay safe from such financial predators is to get up to speed on what kinds of scams are out there, the kinds of language to look for, and how to handle the situation if you are targeted. As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.

AdobeStock_125116470-300x200By Colleen E. Masse

Planning a secure, comfortable, and fulfilling future for a loved one with a disability is a huge responsibility. It’s not a task to be undertaken lightly, or without expert legal assistance. 

A strong plan has two parts. The first is the drafting and executing of core legal documents including power of attorney, a healthcare directive, a Will, and a special needs or supplemental needs trust. Each of these documents serves an important role, but they are just the foundation. 


AdobeStock_207729475-300x200Over the course of our lives, we feel a sense of purpose and pride for a variety of reasons, but most of them have to do with helping others. Whether we are parenting children, caring for aging parents, serving in a professional role, or fulfilling a philanthropic mission, we feel good when we are actively engaged in doing good work out in the world.

As we get older, it can feel like our worlds become a lot smaller. Opportunities to feel productive and useful start to dwindle. Kids move out, parents pass on, and we retire. Piece by piece, whole areas of our life are reshaped in a way that can—if we’re not careful—lead to social isolation and loneliness. 

Older adults who find themselves in this position are often at a much greater risk for a variety of serious mental and physical health issues, including anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. 

egg-300x300Do you know about the new changes that could affect your retirement accounts? Some are positive, others may require you to make some new planning decisions.

Either way, the goal of this new legislation is to improve retirement security for many Americans. And that’s a good thing.

The new law is called the SECURE Act, which stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. The legislation makes some substantial changes to the rules about retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s, that will have very direct effects on account owners and beneficiaries. 

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If a trust is part of your estate plan, you should pay attention to a new Connecticut law that went into effect January 1st.

Chances are you would not be interested in reading the recently adopted Connecticut Uniform Trust Code (UTC), which is over 100 pages long!  But there are provisions in this legislation that we feel you should be aware of.

Some of the changes provide you additional benefits of having a trust, and others may cause you to consider updating the trust you have in place.

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The loss of a pet is heartbreaking. But have you thought about what happens to your pet, when you die?

Your pets depend on you, they are loyal to you. They know they can count on you. You can only imagine their sense of loss when you’re no longer in their lives.

The Humane Society estimates that between 100,000 and 500,000 pets end up in shelters

AppleOrange_webBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

So you’ve been doing your estate planning homework. You’ve learned that perhaps you should have a trust in addition to a Will.

But then you hear that there are different types of trusts!

In this blog post I’ll help you understand the difference between the two main trusts that you may want to consider: the revocable trust and irrevocable trust. Continue reading

AdobeStock_297406059-300x200We’re only a week or so into the New Year, but most of us are already steeling ourselves for the annual guilt trip about abandoned resolutions. It never fails. We start out with the best intentions, but as the world cranks back into gear after the holidays, we find ourselves slipping back into old habits and making old excuses. 

Don’t feel too bad. You’re definitely not alone. 

The trouble with most New Year resolutions is that keeping them requires consistent effort over the long term. It can be exhausting just thinking about it.

AdobeStock_32607232-300x225This is the first in a two-part series about the realities of and remedies for sibling rivalry over family inheritance. The 2nd part in the series “How to Keep the Kids from Fighting Over Their Inheritance” provides tips on how to avoid these kinds of conflicts.

“Mom always liked you best,” Tommy Smothers used to say. Those five words make up one of the most recognizable catch phrases of the inimitable Smothers Brothers. Coined in the early 1960s, it captures — in a humorous way — the rivalry that is an almost ubiquitous part of growing up with siblings.

Most of the time, such rivalries fade over the years, becoming fodder for family ribbing around the holiday table. But when the passing of a parent drives siblings into the unfamiliar territory of dealing with an inheritance, those rivalries can rear their ugly heads in unexpected and sometimes heartbreaking ways.

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