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. 

Dollarphotoclub_88177383-300x300
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.

dog-300x140
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.

AdobeStock_146000120-300x238The holidays are a time for family, but sometimes the chaos of the season overwhelms all our best intentions to create special moments with our loved ones. With so much to do (and so little time to do it), it can feel like the holiday season comes and goes before we’re able to get fully on board. Sometimes, it’s all we can do to get the decorations up and the shopping (barely) done!

But there’s a big difference between merely surviving the holidays and actually enjoying them.

One way to bring the magic back into the season is to develop your own special family traditions. And what better place to start than with your grandchildren. They provide endless inspiration and make excellent accomplices.

AdobeStock_103186414-300x200

Of all the things we do in taking care of our aging parents, dealing with their household stuff might be the most cumbersome. After all, when the end finally comes, it’s up to us to sort, store, sell, toss, donate, and clean everything until the home is empty.

This is no small task, especially in a time of grief. Where to start?

Here are some options for dealing with your parents’ items that won’t be finding a new home with family members. Remember that the more time you have, the more money you can make for the estate. Continue reading

IMG_5548-e1574873456322-286x300 Paul Knierim, the head of our dispute resolution practice area, just returned from Philadelphia where he was awarded the National College of Probate Judges (NCPJ) highest honor – the Treat Award for Excellence. This national award recognizes Paul for his significant contribution to the improvement of the law in the probate field while he served 11 years as Connecticut’s Probate Court Administrator.

While serving as Probate Court Administrator, Paul’s accomplishments were both impressive and numerous. They included:

  • the consolidation of the state’s 117 probate courts to 54 courts
Members of: