iStock_000016746886Small-300x300Gifting money is a nice thing to do for a friend or family member, but—as the saying goes—no good deed goes unpunished. If you’re not careful, your gift could turn out to be subject to the federal gift tax of up to 40%.

In part one of this series, we covered the annual and lifetime exclusions as well as lifetime exclusion on the first $11.2 million of your estate. We also talked briefly about the Connecticut state gift tax—the only one in the country—and which kinds of gifts are exempt from the tax.

In this second part of the series, we’re going to look at which kinds of gifts are subject to the gift tax, including gifts to minors.


AdobeStock_86244892-300x237By Lynda Lee Arnold

Do you know about the new Connecticut MOLST form?

Maintaining control over medical care can be challenging in the best circumstances, but we face even more layers of complexity when dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of serious, life-limiting illness or advanced progressive frailty.

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Heart in woman hands. Love giving, care, health, protection concept

Dementia, whether caused by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or some other disease, creates a very particular and emotionally fraught set of challenges for both patients and caregivers. When you’re navigating your way through this heartbreaking landscape of gradual memory loss, impaired reasoning, and personality changes, you need all the support you can get. You may be surprised to learn about one valuable resource that is too often overlooked – hospice.

Our previous post Hospice and Dementia: Not What You Might Assume, explored some specific ways hospice can help. This piece will talk about its benefits and when you should reach out to hospice.

Angels-300x214By Carol Frances, Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri

Hospice care is misunderstood. I want to spread the news to all caregivers of loved ones with dementia, that this support system (provided, in my opinion, by angels) may not be what you assume.

When my mom fell at the dementia unit of a California assisted living facility, her physician ordered hospice care. I was confused why she did this as although my mom was certainly declining – she needed help being fed, which is not uncommon for people with advancing dementia – she wasn’t near dying and could still talk and walk.


AdobeStock_142240831-300x200Becoming a grandparent, like becoming a parent, is a life-changing experience. There’s so much to look forward to—not only the arrival of the new baby, but also the transformation of your child into a parent.

As you may recall, that journey is filled with wonder and joy, but in the whirlwind of joyous preparation (and a thousand questions about everything from car seats and baby swings to college savings plans), some things fall through the cracks.

One important thing that gets overlooked more often than it should is estate planning.

AdobeStock_37660525-300x269Last month the Connecticut Supreme Court handed down a favorable decision in a case argued by attorney Carmine Perri of Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri.

Why this matters

For married couples who intend to apply for Medicaid for one of the spouses, it is now possible to protect as much of the ill spouse’s income as is necessary for the healthy spouse to remain safely in the community , even if it exceeds the Medicaid cap.

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Lindsey Runkel playing sled hockey

Now that we are done rooting for the USA teams to do their best in the Olympic Winter Games, we want to shift focus to the Paralympics Winter Games that are about to begin on March 8th, also in PyeongChang.

Let’s give a shout-out to some amazing athletes in our own state – members of the Gaylord Sports Association.

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.

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