AdobeStock_46432121-300x290Spring is nearly here, and with it the urge to do some spring cleaning. To make your seasonal chores more enjoyable, you might want to consider spicing things up with one of the two latest trends in decluttering and setting things to rights: The KonMari MethodTM or Swedish death cleaning.

Get Joyful and Tidied Up with Marie Kondo

In case you haven’t read her book or caught her Netflix show or read one of her gazillion interviews, let me first introduce you to Marie Kondo, the diminutive organizing enchantress from Japan who is leading the charge on the global tidying movement.

AdobeStock_41168140-300x225By Esther Corcoran

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of growing older, as many people seem to think. It is a disease that impairs memory and intellectual abilities to the point where their daily life is being affected. When people notice things in their daily life changing, there are 10 early signs to be aware of and to keep into consideration before seeking medical help. 

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Memory loss is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially forgetting recently learned information. Other instances include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

blooming-rose-1446185-m-300x210We’ve all heard about the importance of reviewing and possibly updating important legal documents after major life events like getting married, getting divorced, and having a child. But many people overlook the importance of reviewing their own documents and estate plans after the death of a spouse.

In addition to having to cope with the grief, a surviving spouse is often heavily involved in administering or overseeing his or her mate’s estate. Often, this means that the surviving spouse’s own legal matters are, at least temporarily, put on the back burner.

It is crucial, however, that the surviving spouse’s estate planning be handled in as timely a manner as possible.

AdobeStock_44015480-300x271Many people mistakenly assume that Social Security is a fairly cut-and-dry proposition. You turn 62 – you get your long-awaited Social Security benefits. Right?

Well, it is not that straight-forward.

It is actually a very complex system that is best navigated under the guidance of a professional who knows something about the more than 8,000 different ways to claim Social Security.

AdobeStock_133177217-300x169How do you know whether or not you’ll need to go through probate?

The process of properly handling inherited property can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the relevant laws and legal procedures.

While there are unique elements to each case, there are some basic guidelines that are universally applicable.

The role of probate in CT and when it applies

Probate is the process for settling an estate under court supervision. It’s designed to serve as a protection against fraud by freezing the estate’s assets until a judge can confirm that everything is in order with the Will, beneficiaries, and creditors. Continue reading

Picture1If this happened to you…

“Honey, I’m stuck on 91 and Triple A says the car needs a new alternator. Don’t we have an extended warranty?”

… Which one of the following scenarios would best describe you?

a)      Your spouse quickly locates the paperwork and heads over to pick you up. On the way home you stop by the dealer and drop off the warranty. The alternator is covered.

b)      Your spouse picks you up and the two of you ransack the house looking for the warranty. After several hours, you find it in the bottom of a closet in a recycle bag full of unsorted mail.

c)      Your spouse picks you up and the two of you ransack the house looking for the warranty. It’s nowhere to be found. Unfortunately you bought the car in another state and the dealer went out of business. Looks like you’ll have to pay for the alternator. Continue reading

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The worst estate planning mistake you can make is failing to have a plan.

The second worst mistake is assuming that if you have a plan, you’re done.

The truth is that regularly reviewing and updating your estate plan is an absolutely critical part of responsible estate planning. Defining your wishes about what happens to your money and property after you die is not, unfortunately, a set-it-and-forget-it task. Life changes can render various parts of your Will and other estate planning documents out of date, and that can lead to some serious consequences.

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There are few things more daunting than having to talk with your parents about their finances. And if you’re the parent with adult children, we imagine the conversation may be just as awkward for you. Although this blog post is written for the adult children, we recommend you continue reading nonetheless.

Talking about money is awkward enough, but broaching the subject of stepping in to manage your parents’ money adds a whole new layer of complexity to the conversation. If our clients over these 20 years are any indication, it is very likely, however, that your parents will eventually need your support  and begin to lose the capacity to manage their financial affairs effectively.

240_F_165554826_xYrYqGfnlw7NiLoI42t8C88r6SOn57hsBy Robert Fitzgerald

Modern law offers a variety of ways for individuals to manage, distribute, and protect their property, whether it be for their own benefit or for that of a loved one.  A well-known, and yet seemingly complex, mechanism for doing so is a Trust.  But what does this mean for you, the beneficiary? 

Do you think you are a beneficiary of a trust but have never been contacted by the trustee?  

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