Articles Posted in Estate Planning

Give - Man in Word Holding GiftThis is the time of year for giving and receiving. As your mailbox fills up with solicitations from nonprofits – everyone from the Salvation Army to the World Wildlife Fund – how do you know which ones are worthy? And even more important, how can you tell which ones you should steer clear of?

One of the criteria most people are concerned about when choosing a charity is how efficient they are.

  • Does the charity spend all of its revenue on fundraising, or
  • Does a good portion of the contributions received directly support service programs?
  • A rule of thumb is that 60% or more of your contributions should directly support programs.

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Powertodecide-300x200It’s understandable that you might assume “estate” planning is only for people of means. The word “estate”—which conjures visions of Jane Austen-like scenery featuring sprawling mansions, rolling hills, and houses full of staff—is right in the name.

But the truth is, estate planning is a smart idea for pretty much everyone and anyone.

The thing is, estate planning isn’t just about money. It’s about having the power to make your own choices about how you want things handled and how you want to look after the people you love.

undueinfluence-300x200The subject of many a soap opera plot and even some films (like Rian Johnson’s 2019 sleeper hit, Knives Out), undue influence can be a fascinating way to explore family dynamics. But, it’s a little more nuanced than Hollywood makes it out to be – and a little less entertaining in real life.

In this article, we define what is and isn’t considered undue influence, take a look at what happens when someone suspects undue influence, and provide some guidance about how to avoid the drama, inconvenience, and pain that are usually the result of someone contesting a Will.

Defining Undue Influence 

3-generations-284x300Once upon a time, having three generations under one roof was common practice. And, in some parts of the world, it’s still a popular way of life.

Here in the U.S., Pew Research Center estimates that some 64 million Americans—20% of the overall population—live in households that include two adult generations.

And, it’s a trend that appears to be on the rise, and one that was likely influenced by the pandemic.

This-way-or-that-300x214By Colleen Masse

Selecting your trustee is one of the most important estate planning choices you’ll ever have to make.

While your executor’s responsibilities are limited to handling the execution of your Will, your trustee’s responsibilities may extend years or even generations into the future. And the choices they make can have far-reaching repercussions that affect all your beneficiaries in small and large ways.

equal-unequal-300x225As if losing a parent wasn’t hard enough, that loss often comes hand in hand with the very real potential for life-changing sibling rivalry over the inheritance. In fact, disagreement over whether an inheritance has been divided fairly is the number one cause of adult sibling rivalry.

At the root of all such conflicts is a lack of clear and consistent communication. When no one is willing to talk frankly about such concerns ahead of time, it’s inevitable that individual players will develop their own expectations about what they “deserve.”

At the same time, the parent—even when well meaning—may also hold opinions or make assumptions that are detrimental to a truly equitable inheritance strategy.

Worried womanIf you want Medicaid in Connecticut to pay for your long-term care, one thing you should NOT do is give away your assets – unless you think you won’t need Medicaid within the next five years.

When you apply for Medicaid for long-term care in either a nursing facility or in your home, you are required to provide financial records for the past five years. This is called the “look back” period. Continue reading

problemsolution-300x200What would happen to your business if you were unexpectedly incapacitated? How long could your company survive if you weren’t there to make the decisions that keep the operation moving? What kinds of calamity might come about even in a short period of time if certain contracts weren’t signed, deals weren’t negotiated, or personnel weren’t hired?

As a business owner, a lot depends on you.

You are responsible not only for the health and profitability of your company, but also the health and wellbeing of the people—family, employees, etc.—who depend on your company for their livelihood, income, and security.

out-of-state-property-300x188
During a time of grief and sadness, the thought of having to go through probate can understandably bring on additional anxiety and confusion.

And, if your loved one owned out-of-state property, you may now be tasked with dealing with an additional layer of cumbersome paperwork and probate proceedings.

So you may wondering…

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