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Articles Posted in Estate Planning

By Colleen Masse

AdobeStock_46432121-300x290We’re all home for the foreseeable future and many of us find we have a little extra time for projects. My sister is cleaning out her closets, my friend is painting her living room, my son is taking online guitar lessons.

If you have the urge to get something accomplished while quarantined, I have a challenge for you: review your estate plan.

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Assigning and updating beneficiary designations for your retirement plans, life insurance policies, and annuities are tasks that notoriously get ignored. While the process itself is usually pretty straightforward — putting someone’s name on a form — the consequences of your choice can be fairly substantial. Don’t wait any longer!

Who to choose as beneficiaries

You can name any of the usual suspects as a beneficiary — your spouse, children, or other relatives. You can also name friends, trusts, charities, and even various institutions like colleges, universities, libraries, and so forth.

157H (1)By Carmine Perri

Because of my practice area, probate and elder law litigation, I oftentimes find myself in either the courtroom or the hallway with a client fielding this all too common question:

“What could we have done to avoid all of this?”

You probably have an estate plan which means you have certainly taken a step in the right direction to protect your assets and ensure that they get distributed as you wish.

But you may be able to do more. Continue reading

egg-300x300Do you know about the new changes that could affect your retirement accounts? Some are positive, others may require you to make some new planning decisions.

Either way, the goal of this new legislation is to improve retirement security for many Americans. And that’s a good thing.

The new law is called the SECURE Act, which stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. The legislation makes some substantial changes to the rules about retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s, that will have very direct effects on account owners and beneficiaries. 

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If a trust is part of your estate plan, you should pay attention to a new Connecticut law that went into effect January 1st.

Chances are you would not be interested in reading the recently adopted Connecticut Uniform Trust Code (UTC), which is over 100 pages long!  But there are provisions in this legislation that we feel you should be aware of.

Some of the changes provide you additional benefits of having a trust, and others may cause you to consider updating the trust you have in place.

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The loss of a pet is heartbreaking. But have you thought about what happens to your pet, when you die?

Your pets depend on you, they are loyal to you. They know they can count on you. You can only imagine their sense of loss when you’re no longer in their lives.

The Humane Society estimates that between 100,000 and 500,000 pets end up in shelters

AppleOrange_webBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

So you’ve been doing your estate planning homework. You’ve learned that perhaps you should have a trust in addition to a Will.

But then you hear that there are different types of trusts!

In this blog post I’ll help you understand the difference between the two main trusts that you may want to consider: the revocable trust and irrevocable trust. Continue reading

AdobeStock_297406059-300x200We’re only a week or so into the New Year, but most of us are already steeling ourselves for the annual guilt trip about abandoned resolutions. It never fails. We start out with the best intentions, but as the world cranks back into gear after the holidays, we find ourselves slipping back into old habits and making old excuses. 

Don’t feel too bad. You’re definitely not alone. 

The trouble with most New Year resolutions is that keeping them requires consistent effort over the long term. It can be exhausting just thinking about it.

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By Paul T. Czepiga

Connecticut residents are exposed to both a federal estate tax and a Connecticut estate tax if their net worth at death exceed a certain level.

Unfortunately, the net worth level at which these taxes apply, and how they apply, is different for the federal estate tax and for the Connecticut estate tax. (Watch Paul spell it out in this video.)

Here is a quick walk through of how these taxes work and the tension that is created by having two different thresholds:

The federal estate tax threshold is $11.18 million (it is indexed for inflation and will likely increase each year). This means that Continue reading

AdobeStock_32607232-300x225This is the first in a two-part series about the realities of and remedies for sibling rivalry over family inheritance. The 2nd part in the series “How to Keep the Kids from Fighting Over Their Inheritance” provides tips on how to avoid these kinds of conflicts.

“Mom always liked you best,” Tommy Smothers used to say. Those five words make up one of the most recognizable catch phrases of the inimitable Smothers Brothers. Coined in the early 1960s, it captures — in a humorous way — the rivalry that is an almost ubiquitous part of growing up with siblings.

Most of the time, such rivalries fade over the years, becoming fodder for family ribbing around the holiday table. But when the passing of a parent drives siblings into the unfamiliar territory of dealing with an inheritance, those rivalries can rear their ugly heads in unexpected and sometimes heartbreaking ways.

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