MG_4904-300x200In a decision released February 1, 2018, the Connecticut Supreme Court found in favor of the plaintiffs, represented by one of our principals Carmine Perri, who had challenged the Commissioner of Social Services over a determination from the Department of Social Services (DSS) regarding whether or not a preexisting spousal support order rendered by the Probate Court was binding on DSS.

The plaintiffs in the case were a father and his daughter; the daughter was acting in her capacity as conservator for her father and executrix of her father’s wife’s estate. Shortly after her father’s wife was discharged from a medical facility to a skilled nursing facility, the conservator filed an application in the Probate Court seeking an order of spousal support for her father.  The Probate Court approved the application thereby allowing the conservator to transfer the wife’s assets to the husband and ordered the conservator to pay the wife’s income to her father as monthly spousal support.

Less than a month after the Probate Court issued its decree, a Title XIX (Medicaid) application was filed with DSS on the wife’s behalf.  While DSS granted the application, it did not factor the previously existing Probate Court order when calculating how much money could be allocated to the support of the husband; in short, DSS ignored the Probate Court order when arriving at its calculation of spousal support.

AdobeStock_53083975-300x201By E. Jennifer Reale

When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of details that need to be handled, and one that can easily be overlooked is ownership of the funds in a joint bank account.

Most people mistakenly assume that if they have a joint bank account with someone, they have absolute rights to every single penny in the account.

e-learning-300x181By guest blogger Karen Weeks 

Older people who want to live a long, interesting life make it a point to never stop learning. Keeping your mind sharp and participating in a variety of activities is a great boredom buster and gives you a reason to get up each morning.

Are you a senior looking for some ideas to learn new skills? Maybe you want to learn something with a group of friends. Well, one way to learn new things is by getting online. Read on for information on how to acquire some amazing new talents!

AdobeStock_33109325-300x200This is the final installment of our 3-part series on becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In the first part, Being a Healthcare Advocate: How to Get Started, we learned how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. In part two, Being a Healthcare Advocate: 9 Important Tips, we tackled how to manage documentation and record keeping. In this final piece, we address best practices for working effectively with healthcare professionals.

The first time you attend a doctor’s appointment as your parent’s healthcare advocate, you might feel a little awkward. That’s natural. You’re kind of like a third wheel, stepping into what was previously a very private and intimate conversation.

To prepare for this, it’s helpful to establish preferences and expectations with your parent up front. Does your parent want to take the lead and just have you present as an extra set of eyes and ears, or will you be taking a more active role in communicating with the doctor. Talk with your parent in advance so you are both on the same page with your game plan.

Helpful-tips-300x199This is the second installment in our three-part series on becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In the first part, Being Your Parent’s Healthcare Advocate: How to Get Started, we learned how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. In part two, we tackle how to manage documentation and record keeping. In part 3, we explore how to Best Engage with Healthcare Professionals.

As you embark on your journey as a healthcare advocate for a loved one, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got as much information at your fingertips as possible.

Emergency can strike at any time, and you want to be prepared; but even simple routine care can require a high level of organization and knowledge. It’s best if you give yourself time (by starting early) to pull all the information together. Don’t wait until something happens.

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This is the first in a 3-part series about the process and practice of becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In this part one, we talk about how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. 

As Bette Davis once said, “Getting old is not for sissies.”

It’s also not something that anyone should have to do alone, especially when it comes to navigating the exhaustingly complex and sometimes downright intimidating territory of personal healthcare.

colleen-240x300We are pleased to welcome special needs planning attorney Colleen Masse to our team as a valuable and experienced addition to our Special Needs and Disability Planning Department. Colleen was drawn to focus on helping families navigate special needs trusts because of her own passion for special needs advocacy, a passion that grew out of personal family experience and evolved into an impressive and rewarding career.

Colleen began her legal career at Travelers, but after 9/11 took some time off to be a stay-at-home parent to her two sons. Her deep interest in helping children with disabilities and survivors of child abuse inspired her to become an advocacy trainer. In that role, she coordinated seminars for teachers and parents, helping them better understand and address the challenges faced by children with special needs, students and their caregivers and teachers. She also took on related roles:

  • Joined the board of SpEdConnecticut, a lobbying and advocacy group with a similar focus

By Paul T. Czepiga

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Most people are not affected by changes in laws related to estate taxes – you can see below just how small this population is.

What matters most is for EVERYONE to spend more time on other issues, such as deeply considering and planning how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries after your pass.

Dollarphotoclub_88177383-300x300Advocating for Connecticut residents and helping them plan for the future is what we do. And when we feel it’s necessary to bump up our resources to accommodate our residents in the best possible way, we take the steps to do so.

For the New Year, we are pleased to announce lots of exciting news:

As of January 1st, we have a new principal, a new name, a new partner and four new attorneys. And we have opened an office in Madison, a second office in Berlin and expanded our Simsbury office.

brain-300x261Just as keeping physically fit is important as we age, so is keeping mentally fit. More research is being done on how adults can work out their “mental muscles” to keep their minds sharp and possibly put off or avoid the onset Alzheimer’s and dementia.

1. Engage in physical exercise

Surprised that physical exercise tops the list? You shouldn’t be. Exercise is arguably the single most effective way to keep the mind sharp and the memory strong. Any type of physical exercise that gets the heart rate up is good for the brain as well as the body.

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