Articles Posted in Estate Planning

 

 

When you are putting your estate plan together, one of the advance directives you will want to  create is a Designation of Conservator.  It is probably something you haven’t thought about, or maybe even knew it existed! But it is really important.

What is this Designation of Conservator?  It’s where 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

Who Blue cubes. Part of a series.

There are many ways a trustee of a special needs trust could cause harm to a beneficiary, however unintentionally. This is why many people choose to have a disability planning attorney take on this critical role.

Here are 10 things to consider when deciding who should administer a special needs trust:

1. SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid… sound confusing? It can feel like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Does the prospective trustee understand the differences between these public benefit programs and the rules that govern them? A trustee with limited understanding could unwittingly jeopardize a beneficiary’s eligibility.

Continue reading

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Do you have to pay tax on all gifts that you give?  For the majority of Americans, the answer is a resounding NO!

So, we all know that the federal government imposes a gift tax, but did you know that only Connecticut imposes a gift tax? Luckily, if you understand how the federal government’s gift tax works, you will understand the Connecticut gift tax, but just in case you don’t, the following is a brief overview.

What is a gift? 

A gift occurs whenever you transfer something to another person or certain trusts for less than the item’s fair market value. Continue reading

iStock_000010559825SmallWho would ever want to pay a gift tax if they did not have to?

The answer: Your children!

Let’s take a closer look at this and let me give you some background.

The IRS has a gift tax. If you are a very generous person who makes lots of big gifts, you may have to pay a tax while you are alive, for the privilege of making that gift. But there are two protections against the tax.

  1. As of the 2021, the IRS has a $11.70 million lifetime federal exemption from any taxable gifts.
  2. There is also an annual exemption from taxable gifts of $15,000, per person and per gift recipient.

How do these interplay? Continue reading

AdobeStock_13026636-3-300x205As parents, we all want what’s best for our children, but we also realize that they don’t always know what’s best for them.

When considering how your financial assets will be distributed upon your death, assessing your children’s level of financial responsibility is a critical component of making effective choices and creating a solution for a lasting legacy.

The truth is, developing good money management skills can take an entire lifetime.

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Yes, 2020 was a year unlike any other. So many challenges. So much negativity. But if we slow down and really think about it, hopefully we can identify some good things learned.

Hopefully, we can place a renewed focus on what’s truly important.

Preparing for your future is one of those things. Making things easier for your loved ones, is another. Take some time in the coming weeks to make sure your estate plan is done and that it’s current. Make it a point to get it done!

Why?

You may think once you’ve had it drafted that, like the old infomercial tagline, you can just “set it, and forget it.”

Wrong!

Even a plan that is only a few years old can be seriously outdated. Continue reading

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If you haven’t yet given thought to what will happen to your vacation home (or other real estate) once you’re gone, please read this!

Mere ownership of real property can trigger not-so-pleasant things such as creditor claims, unnecessary probate, additional tax, and most importantly – ugly family disputes.

Whether it’s a cabin in the woods, a chalet on the mountain, or a cottage by the sea, a family vacation home is the getaway that brings everyone together – a place to make memories.

Powers of attorney are a wonderful tool in the hands of a trustworthy person. But because it comes with a tremendous responsibility, it can also be a dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong person. 

Learn all you can before choosing your power of attorney. We have had too many cases where the wrong choice resulted in exploitation or abuse by a family member or friend.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a document where you authorize someone, often called an agent, to act on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so. Examples include paying your bills, managing your investments. Continue reading

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