Articles Posted in Estate Planning

By Paul Czepiga

AdobeStock_182906497-300x193We wrote not too long ago about some Connecticut estate tax changes that occurred due to legislation passed in October 2017. That legislation tied the Connecticut gift and estate tax exemption to the federal exemption amount.

The federal exemption amount was, at the time that Connecticut tied it self to it, $5.49 million. Unexpectedly in December 2017, just two months after Connecticut’s change, as part of President Trump’s tax overhaul, the federal exemption amount suddenly increased to $11.18 million.

iStock_000016746886Small-300x300Gifting money is a nice thing to do for a friend or family member, but—as the saying goes—no good deed goes unpunished. If you’re not careful, your gift could turn out to be subject to the federal gift tax of up to 40%.

In part one of this series, we covered the annual and lifetime exclusions as well as lifetime exclusion on the first $11.2 million of your estate. We also talked briefly about the Connecticut state gift tax—the only one in the country—and which kinds of gifts are exempt from the tax.

In this second part of the series, we’re going to look at which kinds of gifts are subject to the gift tax, including gifts to minors.


AdobeStock_86244892-300x237By Lynda Lee Arnold

Do you know about the new Connecticut MOLST form?

Maintaining control over medical care can be challenging in the best circumstances, but we face even more layers of complexity when dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of serious, life-limiting illness or advanced progressive frailty.


AdobeStock_142240831-300x200Becoming a grandparent, like becoming a parent, is a life-changing experience. There’s so much to look forward to—not only the arrival of the new baby, but also the transformation of your child into a parent.

As you may recall, that journey is filled with wonder and joy, but in the whirlwind of joyous preparation (and a thousand questions about everything from car seats and baby swings to college savings plans), some things fall through the cracks.

One important thing that gets overlooked more often than it should is estate planning.

AdobeStock_53083975-300x201By E. Jennifer Reale

When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of details that need to be handled, and one that can easily be overlooked is ownership of the funds in a joint bank account.

Most people mistakenly assume that if they have a joint bank account with someone, they have absolute rights to every single penny in the account.

AdobeStock_142240831-300x200It may seem odd to ask young parents to think about estate planning, but starting a family is actually the perfect reason to address some really important questions. After all, becoming a parent isn’t just about choosing names and picking out nursery colors. It’s about being wholly responsible for someone else—a child—for life.

While it’s difficult to even contemplate the unthinkable, it’s imperative that new parents plan for every possibility to ensure that their children are protected, cared for, and financially secure.

Since it may be a while since you traveled this road, here is an overview of the estate planning details young parents should address.

SocialSecurityWhat happens to your husband’s or wife’s Social Security benefits if he or she dies? Are you entitled to them as the surviving spouse?

In general, yes.

If your spouse who has passed had paid into Social Security long enough, you may be eligible to collect his or her benefits. These are known as Survivors Benefits.

AdobeStock_113836857-300x200It’s so confusing! HIPAA, Health Care Directives, Powers of Attorney. How does one differ from the others?

A HIPAA Authorization, a Health Care Directive, and a Health Care Power of Attorney can easily be confused because all three have to do with your permission about your medical care and medical information.

Plus, both health care directives (aka living wills) and health care powers of attorney are known as “advance directives,” which only adds to the confusion.

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The point of having an estate plan is to define your wishes about what happens to your money and property after you die. But an outdated estate plan can ruin those plans – in ways you may not be aware of.

What can happen if you don’t review and update your estate plan?

Here are the top three consequences of dying with an outdated estate plan and examples of how they can happen.

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