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Articles Posted in Estate Planning

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.

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.

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.

hammer-to-fall-673264-mImagine this…

After your death, your daughter is having serious financial struggles and the money you’ve bequeathed to her would pull her out of financial misery. It would help her to pay your funeral and other outstanding expenses.

But, because by law your estate must pass through probate, it will take several months before your daughter can receive the money you have  left her.

In the meantime, a disgruntled step-son from a prior marriage decides to pursue a Will contest, claiming that the Will is not valid and that he deserves some money, too. He knows the amount of the estate because the probate process is a matter of public record.

You can imagine how the rest of the story goes and how, although you had an estate plan and the best intentions Continue reading

AdobeStock_170542423-300x200By Jeffrey S. Rivard

Exciting news for estate planning practitioners and their clients!

Recently, on the very last day of its legislative session, Connecticut’s General Assembly enacted HB 7104 “An Act Concerning Adoption of the Connecticut Uniform Trust Code” (the “Act”).

fun young woman scolding or reprimanding with softnessWe spend our lives doing everything we can to provide for our loved ones. We work hard to make sure they have the material, emotional, and financial resources they need to feel secure and cared for.

We do whatever we can to help them achieve their goals.

But, life can be unpredictable; and you can’t plan for every potential eventuality. Life insurance provides a means by which you can preserve your family members’ well-being and ensure their ability to pursue their dreams.

And yet, many people choose not to purchase life insurance. Go figure! Continue reading

AdobeStock_82245763-copy-300x200So you’ve decided a living trust is appropriate for you. You’ve met with your attorney, made all the decisions about how you want any money in the trust to be spent, you’ve signed the document and placed it in a safe place.

But you’re not done.

Funding your revocable living trust is just as important as setting up your trust in the first place.

iStock_000013872578SmallSo someone, in his or her estate plan, has asked you to be their trustee. What does this mean? What are the responsibilities of a trustee?

A large part of the word “Trustee” is TRUST. If someone trusted you enough to choose you as the trustee of his or her property, it’s quite an honor. It’s also a big responsibility. What does a trustee do?

Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever been asked to administer a trust and you’re not sure what’s involved. If it’s a simple trust, your job could be finished in about six months, once the trust assets have been distributed to the beneficiaries. Continue reading

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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.

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