AdobeStock_100981959-300x200By Lara Schneider Bomzer

Governor Malloy has revealed his new budget plan to reduce a deficit close to $1.7 billion.  The plan includes cuts designed to freeze the number of recipients of who may be eligible for the “Category 2” Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elders.  These are recipients who need care at home, but whose asset levels exceed Medicaid eligibility requirements.

Under the Governor’s plan, the current 2,500 slots would be frozen by June 30th.  If anyone were to leave the program after that, then a new person could enroll. Continue reading

AdobeStock_100520783-300x200By Brendan F. Daly

Clients frequently ask me what effect repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on Medicaid. The answer depends on which version you read (the two leading contenders: House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan or Health and Human Secretary Tom Price’s).

Most of the proposals have one element in common: a conversion to Medicaid block grants.

What does this mean?

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AdobeStock_108191911-300x200By Paul T. Czepiga

I just read a lot of detail on the Governor’s proposed budget that he released this week. In the midst of the drastic news about expenditure cut, there was actually some good news.

The Governor is proposing to increase Connecticut’s gift tax and estate tax exemption to be at the same level as the federal government’s.

Currently the Connecticut exemption amount is $2.0 million and the federal exemption is $5.49 million. The increase in

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AdobeStock_13026636-3-300x205As parents, we all want what’s best for our children, but we also realize that they don’t always know what’s best for them.

When considering how your financial assets will be distributed upon your death, assessing your children’s level of financial responsibility is a critical component of making effective choices and creating a solution for a lasting legacy.

The truth is, developing good money management skills can take an entire lifetime.

AdobeStock_72976655-300x200If you decided not to make any resolutions for the New Year, we’d like to encourage you to reconsider:

Make it a point in 2017 to review your estate plan!

Why?

You may think once you’ve had it drafted that, like the old infomercial tagline, you can just “set it, and forget it.”

Wrong!

Even a plan that is only a few years old can be seriously outdated. Continue reading

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By Paul T. Czepiga

Connecticut residents are exposed to both a federal estate tax and a Connecticut estate tax if their net worth at death exceed a certain level.

Unfortunately, the net worth level at which these taxes apply, and how they apply, is different for the federal estate tax and for the Connecticut estate tax. (Watch Paul spell it out in this video.)

Here is a quick walk through of how these taxes work and the tension that is created by having two different thresholds:

The federal estate tax threshold is $5.45 million. This means that Continue reading

AdobeStock_97517221-300x200By Claudia Englisby

Connecticut’s protections against elder abuse have recently become stronger than ever. As an elder advocate, this makes me proud.

In our profession, we hear stories all the time like this one, told to me recently by a client of our firm:

My mother’s caregiver was only too happy to make trips to the local supermarket to pick up groceries anytime Mom was out of something. No milk? No problem. Running low on fruit? I’ll run right out and get some. Continue reading

fun young woman scolding or reprimanding with softnessWe spend our lives doing everything we can to provide for our loved ones. We work hard to make sure they have the material, emotional, and financial resources they need to feel secure and cared for.

We do whatever we can to help them achieve their goals.

But, life can be unpredictable; and you can’t plan for every potential eventuality. Life insurance provides a means by which you can preserve your family members’ well-being and ensure their ability to pursue their dreams.

And yet, many people choose not to purchase life insurance. Go figure! Continue reading

AdobeStock_78299489-300x211By Paul T. Czepiga

Wow.  What a difference a few weeks can make.

Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency has all those political pundits, talking heads, and pollsters re-examining the old shiboleths and trying to be prognosticians.

Well, I won’t try to be a fortune teller, but I will pass on what I just heard.

I recently spent an entire day at the New England Tax Institute. There were speakers from Washington D.C.’s largest law firms and nationally known speakers. These speakers have their fingers more on the nation’s economic and tax pulse than I do and I will cede to them the task of predicting the future. Continue reading

The words Power of Sharing on a white billboard, banner or outdoor sign to encourage you to give, share, donate or volunteer to help provide relief or assistance others in need
It may be true what they say about not being able to “take it with you.”

It’s also true that – with the right planning – your assets can continue to support the organizations and causes you care about.

Charitable bequests help you extend the reach of your legacy through planned giving that defines specific gifts in your Will. But, you need to be diligent about how you structure a bequest if you want to ensure that your money and other gifts are used according to your wishes.

Types of bequests

• A bequest can be general (providing funds to help an organization with its general purposes) or specific (providing funds that are earmarked for a clearly defined use).

• They can be simple – the donation of a designated amount Continue reading

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