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AdobeStock_86658626-300x190Few crises are more stressful than those related to health and long-term care. It is hard enough to navigate these complex issues during the best of times. In a world full of uncertainty, they become even more stressful and urgent.

As we all wrestle with the day-to-day reality of COVID-19, the already daunting task of figuring out how to sustainably support necessary home care, medical services, nursing home costs, and other critical expenses quickly becomes overwhelming.

And the situation is exponentially worse if you’ve waited until you’re in crisis to address the important questions of how to pay for critical services, protect your assets, and ensure your comfort, security, and quality of life.

Helpful tipsSo your duty as executor has kicked in. And the word “probate” keeps popping up.

Not sure what probate is? You’re not alone.

Most people don’t know much about the probate process in Connecticut unless they’ve had firsthand experience with it, for example, when a family member dies and his or her estate needs to be administered.

The probate court oversees an orderly transfer of title of the decedent’s (deceased person’s) assets from the decedent’s name to his or her beneficiaries. It also makes sure that all the assets are accounted for and all the bills are paid. Continue reading

men-sticking-tongues-at-each-other-300x211Sibling relationships can be fraught even in the best of times. Under the stress and strain of dealing with the needs of aging parents, they can deteriorate swiftly and dramatically. It’s a common issue faced by families from all walks of life. But it can be easier to manage if you know that to expect.

It’s important to make the distinction between knowing what to expect and having expectations.

Most people, if they are honest, have an idea of how they’d like their sibling group to handle the various financial, emotional, and day-to-day needs as parents get older. But reality doesn’t always line up with those expectations. With the added pressure and anxiety of having to make important decisions and sacrifices, adult siblings often fall into old childhood patterns, triggering each other in unhealthy ways. Emotions run high. The concept of what’s “fair” gets distorted.

Brendan-mug-shot-e1595015692932-281x300By Brendan Daly

As an elder law attorney, I’ve been advocating for my senior clients for twenty years, but I recently discovered that my 78-year-old dad still has a few things to teach me.

It was a lesson I maybe should have seen coming.

love-letter-1245973-mIn your estate plan, you leave behind financial wealth and possessions, but the most valuable items you can pass on are those that cannot be measured. That’s why you should consider writing an ethical Will.

What is an ethical Will?

An ethical Will is a great way to reinforce, to those people dearest to you, your values, insights and beliefs. It is a profoundly meaningful piece of writing that captures a part of you, perhaps your very essence, that won’t be found in any formal estate plan.

An ethical Will is not a legal document; you don’t need an elder law attorney to help you draft one. In fact it’s about as official as an envelope you might use to scribble your grocery list. It’s simply your opportunity to leave a spiritual legacy to your family.

You could think of it as a love letter to those you hold close. Continue reading

family-tree-252x300While shows like TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? and PBS’ Finding Your Roots have definitely contributed to the popularity of researching our ancestry, people have always been curious about their family heritage. It’s human nature to want to know where we come from and who we come from.

As it turns out, exploring genealogy makes an excellent hobby, especially for older adults. It’s something that’s accessible to anyone with an internet connection. It can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. And it offers many other social and emotional benefits:

Sense of Purpose

home-sign-300x200“Promise me you won’t ever put me in a nursing home.” Our parents would make us sign in blood if they could.

Fear of losing their independence and way of life is a tremendous concern among Connecticut seniors. And, in today’s COVID-19 environment – knowing how the virus can easily spread throughout a nursing home and to its vulnerable population – staying at home is a preferable option for many.

But if you’re like so many Connecticut residents, you may not know that there is Medicaid coverage for receiving care at home – that Medicaid benefits are not just for nursing home residents. This is great news!

life-support-plus-300x193Under the most ideal of circumstances, discussions about end-of-life care decisions are difficult, uncomfortable and often thought of as a talk better suited for a later time. But as unsettling as it is, if now is not the time to have a plan in place about your health care wishes, then when is?

No one ever wants to think about the possibility of being incapacitated or in a terminal state.  But if that were to happen, would your loved ones know what your wishes are?  Would they know where you stand on being kept alive artificially?

Having your health care and end-of-life wishes documented and in place are important for not only your peace of mind but also for your loved ones who may be tasked with seeing your wishes are met.

Earth-in-grass-300x200The COVID-19 pandemic may be putting our human lives on pause, but it hasn’t slowed nature down at all. In fact, in many instances around the world, the slowing of human activity has led to what many see as an opportunity for the Earth to rest and heal.

What a beautiful thing to ponder.

The slowing of industry in places like India and China has reduced pollution to its lowest levels in years. Many cities in India are being treated to views of the majestic Himalayas for the first time in three decades. Even Los Angeles has seen a striking drop in its trademark smog.

work-from-home-300x200If you are one of the millions of people suddenly working remotely from home as a result of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, you may still be trying to find your “WFH (work from home) groove.” While working from home has a certain appeal (casual Friday every day, canine office mates, no commute), it also creates quite a few challenges (a blurring of the line between home and work, lack of routine or structure, inability to focus).

Luckily for people who are new to remote working, there are entire networks of people who have been working from home for years. (Remote or “dispersed” teams were actually a growing trend long before the pandemic struck and changed the work landscape overnight.) These WFH veterans have plenty of advice to offer.

As our own team adjusts to the WFH lifestyle, we thought it might be helpful to share some of our favorite tips for becoming a WFH master.

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