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By Lara Schneider-Bomzer

This is the time of year when children are getting ready to head off to college or moving out on their own and into the workforce.

Don’t let out of sight be out of mind!

With this rite of passage comes new challenges and responsibilities.  And one of them, you may be surprised, should be to prepare estate planning documents.

While many of you may have a Power of Attorney, an Appointment of a Health Care Representative and a Last Will and Testament as part of your estate plan, how many of your children and/or grandchildren have one as well? Continue reading

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By Carol Frances

As both a mother and a daughter, my roles have always been clear. As part of the sandwich generation, caring for and guiding my precious children and my aging parents have been part of my life for years. I never doubted the value of my roles – I whole-heartedly loved being able to provide guidance, support and comfort. And as much as I can hope to know, I believe I made a positive difference in their lives.

So why would I be surprised how shutdown I became when, in a span of 6 weeks, my mom passed away and my last child flew the nest?

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

AdobeStock_140349446-300x200By E. Jennifer Reale and Robert Fitzgerald

When appointed as a conservator for a loved one, most people focus on the care they have to provide. They are busy driving the conserved person to medical appointments, taking care of shopping, cooking, and cleaning.

But when you are a conservator in Connecticut, you also have certain statutory duties that you must be aware of. What many people do not realize is that after you are appointed as a conservator, you are effectively an agent of the Probate Court.

AdobeStock_92025128-300x300By Jeff Rivard

Nobody plans on being isolated and vulnerable.  But unfortunately all too many elders in Connecticut face that phenomenon every day.  The sad circumstances of 95-year-old Stan Lee, the legendary creator of Spider Man, Iron Man, and hundreds of other beloved comic book heroes and villains, can serve an illustration of the kind of issues faced by many of our older clients.

Mr. Lee had a long, prolific career as a writer, editor, film producer, and publisher.  He also served for many years as the editor-in-chief and publisher of Marvel Comics.  Thanks to his professional success, Mr. Lee’s wealth is currently estimated at approximately $50 million.

Dollarphotoclub_88177383-300x300Taxpayers will be able to file federal income taxes starting next filing season on a new postcard-sized Form 1040. The IRS officially released the draft 2018 Form 1040 on June 29th.

Draft Form 1040

According to the IRS, the new base Form 1040 will be finalized this summer. The IRS plans to work with the tax community to finalize the form. “This early release is part of our standard process to invite stakeholder input into draft forms before finalizing them,” the IRS spokesperson told Wolters Kluwer.

By Attorney Carmine Perri

Close up of eviction noticeGoing to a nursing home is hard enough, imagine being evicted? Good news. There are laws in place to prevent that from happening.

Within a nursing home, just like any other place you call home, you are entitled to certain rights. These rights include not being able to be evicted for any reason beyond the six listed in the United States’ Code:

  1. The discharge is necessary for the resident’s welfare and his or her needs cannot be met in the facility.
  2. The resident’s health has improved and no longer needs the facility’s services.
  3. The resident is endangering the safety of others.
  4. The resident is endangering the health of others.
  5. The resident has failed to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility.
  6. The facility ceases to operate.

Continue reading

iStock_000023479361SmallEveryone yearns for time to relax and refresh during the summer months – especially sun-starved New Englanders. But if you’re a family caregiver, a ‘carefree’ vacation may be hard to come by.

–      If you leave town, who will take your place?

–      If you bring your loved one with you, will your vacation venue be equipped for their special needs?

There’s a lot to think about. But with good planning, you can take a breather from caregiving and give yourself a well-deserved break.

Here are some helpful suggestions: Continue reading

AdobeStock_34525943-300x200What’s the secret to happiness?

Not sure there are any secrets, but there appears to be a formula. By studying happy people, researchers have been able to find common traits and links between them. This is good news for us! It means we can take steps to actively increase our happiness. Who doesn’t want that?!

We can choose to age gracefully and happily by focusing on these six things:

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.

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