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 Life changes can render various parts of your Will and other estate planning documents out of date, and that can lead to some serious consequences.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?  

shutterstock_65729302Some words in your Last Will and Testament may seem like a foreign language to you, but they could have significant impact on your beneficiaries. Per stirpes, a Latin phrase that means “by the roots,” is used in many Wills to define how your estate is divided upon your death.

But what does it mean?

A more common phrase, per capita, may help you understand the meaning of per stirpes. Per capita means “by the head.” Here’s a situation to illustrate the difference between per capita and per stirpes.

Say you’re a widow. The value of your estate at the time of your death is $1 million. You have two children, Jennifer and Ryan. Jennifer has two children, and Ryan has one. Continue reading

AdobeStock_44262084-300x200How do you feel when you’ve had a poor night’s sleep?

I imagine it’s the same for us all. Everything is affected – our mood, our energy, our decision-making. Our entire day!

So it’s no surprise that science has discovered that disrupted sleep does considerable damage to the brain, which suffers from unbalanced thinking and an inability to regulate emotional responses.

By E. Jennifer Reale

AdobeStock_208851607-300x212Contesting a Will or other transfers on the grounds that the person signing the Will lacked the capacity to do so, is both difficult and emotional. But it’s something that comes up quite frequently in my practice.

In Connecticut there are two different standards to determine capacity:

 

By Carmine Perri

When we help clients develop their estate plans, one of the advance directives we encourage them to create is a Designation of Conservator. 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

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