undueinfluence-300x200The subject of many a soap opera plot and even some films (like Rian Johnson’s 2019 sleeper hit, Knives Out), undue influence can be a fascinating way to explore family dynamics. But, it’s a little more nuanced than Hollywood makes it out to be – and a little less entertaining in real life.

In this article, we define what is and isn’t considered undue influence, take a look at what happens when someone suspects undue influence, and provide some guidance about how to avoid the drama, inconvenience, and pain that are usually the result of someone contesting a Will.

Defining Undue Influence 

3-generations-284x300Once upon a time, having three generations under one roof was common practice. And, in some parts of the world, it’s still a popular way of life.

Here in the U.S., Pew Research Center estimates that some 64 million Americans—20% of the overall population—live in households that include two adult generations.

And, it’s a trend that appears to be on the rise, and one that was likely influenced by the pandemic.

FishBowls-4839-6997-6991-v1Landing a new job is a daunting task when you’re in your 50s or 60s. The prospect of transitioning to a new company or perhaps rejoining the workforce after some time away can feel like having to reinvent yourself from the ground up.

It doesn’t help that, despite the passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1967, ageism is still very much a part of our professional landscape.

Workplace discrimination against someone on the basis of age can take many forms from being passed over for assignments and promotions to being excluded from key meetings to being denied training experiences. And—yes—it can also show up in the hiring process.

AdobeStock_78991469-300x190All major life transitions require preparation and adaptation. Graduation, moving into your first apartment, landing your first job, getting married, having kids, changing careers, retiring — each of these life events typically comes with a lot of planning.

Becoming a caregiver for an aging parent, however, is an event that takes many people by surprise.

Sometimes, there’s a sudden health crisis like a stroke or a deteriorating chronic condition. Other times, the turning point is a long time coming, but is obscured by denial.

This-way-or-that-300x214By Colleen Masse

Selecting your trustee is one of the most important estate planning choices you’ll ever have to make.

While your executor’s responsibilities are limited to handling the execution of your Will, your trustee’s responsibilities may extend years or even generations into the future. And the choices they make can have far-reaching repercussions that affect all your beneficiaries in small and large ways.

equal-unequal-300x225As if losing a parent wasn’t hard enough, that loss often comes hand in hand with the very real potential for life-changing sibling rivalry over the inheritance. In fact, disagreement over whether an inheritance has been divided fairly is the number one cause of adult sibling rivalry.

At the root of all such conflicts is a lack of clear and consistent communication. When no one is willing to talk frankly about such concerns ahead of time, it’s inevitable that individual players will develop their own expectations about what they “deserve.”

At the same time, the parent—even when well meaning—may also hold opinions or make assumptions that are detrimental to a truly equitable inheritance strategy.

AdobeStock_34525943-300x200What’s the secret to happiness?

Not sure there are any secrets, but there appears to be a formula. By studying happy people, researchers have been able to find common traits and links between them. This is good news for us! It means we can take steps to actively increase our happiness. Who doesn’t want that?!

We can choose to age gracefully and happily by focusing on these six things:

Worried womanIf you want Medicaid in Connecticut to pay for your long-term care, one thing you should NOT do is give away your assets – unless you think you won’t need Medicaid within the next five years.

When you apply for Medicaid for long-term care in either a nursing facility or in your home, you are required to provide financial records for the past five years. This is called the “look back” period. Continue reading

family-dinner-300x200Experts have been telling us for years that regular family dinners are one of the most effective ways for parents and children to reconnect and bond. Families who consistently sit down at the table together also reap many other benefits including healthier, smarter, more resilient kids.

But in many households—despite best intentions—the family dinner seems like an unattainable relic from another era—nice, but not likely to happen.

Maybe it’s time to set the bar a little lower, and focus on resurrecting another bygone tradition: the Sunday dinner.

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