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greeting-300x200The movie opens on a shot of a woman walking through a quaint village of cobbled alleys and charming shops. As she makes her way along the street, she is greeted by passersby and greets them in return.

She pauses to exchange a friendly word with a shopkeep who knows her name, inquires after her mother, and asks if she’d like her usual order. Her path intersects with the postman, who digs into his satchel to pull out her letters. A small boy on a bicycle nearly runs over her toes in his haste to catch up with his friends. He shouts an apology over his shoulder as she calls after him in good-natured exasperation.

It sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

hoardinghouse-300x300Some people joke about hoarders, but those people haven’t lived with the pain, frustration, and very real physical dangers caused by this mental illness.

While hoarding usually presents when a person is still a child, it is a disorder that—like dementia—becomes more prevalent and severe with age. It is an illness that is very difficult to treat, and one that affects not only the hoarder, but everyone around them.

Sadly, like many other mental illnesses, hoarding is often very misunderstood and even maligned. People wrongly assume that hoarding is simply a matter of someone collecting too many things or being too lazy to keep their home tidy.

 

 

When you are putting your estate plan together, one of the advance directives you will want to  create is a Designation of Conservator.  It is probably something you haven’t thought about, or maybe even knew it existed! But it is really important.

What is this Designation of Conservator?  It’s where you decide ahead of time who will manage your affairs – and under what certain circumstances – if you become incapacitated.

So what is a conservator?

A conservator is a person appointed by the probate court to oversee the financial and/or personal affairs of an adult who is determined by the probate court to be incapable of Continue reading

Who Blue cubes. Part of a series.

There are many ways a trustee of a special needs trust could cause harm to a beneficiary, however unintentionally. This is why many people choose to have a disability planning attorney take on this critical role.

Here are 10 things to consider when deciding who should administer a special needs trust:

1. SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid… sound confusing? It can feel like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Does the prospective trustee understand the differences between these public benefit programs and the rules that govern them? A trustee with limited understanding could unwittingly jeopardize a beneficiary’s eligibility.

Continue reading

tax-169849-m

Do you have to pay tax on all gifts that you give?  For the majority of Americans, the answer is a resounding NO!

So, we all know that the federal government imposes a gift tax, but did you know that only Connecticut imposes a gift tax? Luckily, if you understand how the federal government’s gift tax works, you will understand the Connecticut gift tax, but just in case you don’t, the following is a brief overview.

What is a gift? 

A gift occurs whenever you transfer something to another person or certain trusts for less than the item’s fair market value. Continue reading

AdobeStock_82245763-copy-300x200By Ruth Fortune

When you create a revocable trust, also known as a living trust, one major benefit is probate avoidance, meaning assets in your revocable trust can be distributed to your beneficiaries without going through probate.

But, this begs a question we are often asked:

iStock_000010559825SmallWho would ever want to pay a gift tax if they did not have to?

The answer: Your children!

Let’s take a closer look at this and let me give you some background.

The IRS has a gift tax. If you are a very generous person who makes lots of big gifts, you may have to pay a tax while you are alive, for the privilege of making that gift. But there are two protections against the tax.

  1. As of the 2021, the IRS has a $11.70 million lifetime federal exemption from any taxable gifts.
  2. There is also an annual exemption from taxable gifts of $15,000, per person and per gift recipient.

How do these interplay? Continue reading

AdobeStock_116263415-300x200On Thursday, January 21, Governor Ned Lamont gave an update on how the state is faring in the battle against COVID-19.

While the numbers are less than desirable, there is some hope on the horizon as the state continues to roll out vaccinations. As of January 21, there had been 226,930 first doses administered and 31,337 second doses administered.

Phase 1b

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.

handcaregiver-300x200There is a compassionate and hard-working army of heroes working in our midst, and they are not being fairly compensated for the critical work that they do.

We’re talking about home care workers.

These people—mainly women, many of whom are immigrants—fill a vital role in helping care for our aging loved ones, and yet many of them cannot even earn a living wage based on our current systems.

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