This-way-or-that-300x214By Colleen Masse

Selecting your trustee is one of the most important estate planning choices you’ll ever have to make.

While your executor’s responsibilities are limited to handling the execution of your Will, your trustee’s responsibilities may extend years or even generations into the future. And the choices they make can have far-reaching repercussions that affect all your beneficiaries in small and large ways.

equal-unequal-300x225As if losing a parent wasn’t hard enough, that loss often comes hand in hand with the very real potential for life-changing sibling rivalry over the inheritance. In fact, disagreement over whether an inheritance has been divided fairly is the number one cause of adult sibling rivalry.

At the root of all such conflicts is a lack of clear and consistent communication. When no one is willing to talk frankly about such concerns ahead of time, it’s inevitable that individual players will develop their own expectations about what they “deserve.”

At the same time, the parent—even when well meaning—may also hold opinions or make assumptions that are detrimental to a truly equitable inheritance strategy.

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:

Worried womanIf you want Medicaid in Connecticut to pay for your long-term care, one thing you should NOT do is give away your assets – unless you think you won’t need Medicaid within the next five years.

When you apply for Medicaid for long-term care in either a nursing facility or in your home, you are required to provide financial records for the past five years. This is called the “look back” period. Continue reading

family-dinner-300x200Experts have been telling us for years that regular family dinners are one of the most effective ways for parents and children to reconnect and bond. Families who consistently sit down at the table together also reap many other benefits including healthier, smarter, more resilient kids.

But in many households—despite best intentions—the family dinner seems like an unattainable relic from another era—nice, but not likely to happen.

Maybe it’s time to set the bar a little lower, and focus on resurrecting another bygone tradition: the Sunday dinner.

problemsolution-300x200What would happen to your business if you were unexpectedly incapacitated? How long could your company survive if you weren’t there to make the decisions that keep the operation moving? What kinds of calamity might come about even in a short period of time if certain contracts weren’t signed, deals weren’t negotiated, or personnel weren’t hired?

As a business owner, a lot depends on you.

You are responsible not only for the health and profitability of your company, but also the health and wellbeing of the people—family, employees, etc.—who depend on your company for their livelihood, income, and security.

out-of-state-property-300x188
During a time of grief and sadness, the thought of having to go through probate can understandably bring on additional anxiety and confusion.

And, if your loved one owned out-of-state property, you may now be tasked with dealing with an additional layer of cumbersome paperwork and probate proceedings.

So you may wondering…

Medicare-300x169While Medicare does not pay for long-term care, it will cover up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). There are, however, some fairly stringent and somewhat confusing qualifications patients must meet before Medicare will extend this benefit. Unfortunately, because there is some nuance to the rules, many patients find themselves having to pay for SNF care they assumed would be covered.

To help you navigate the ins and outs of Medicare’s SNF benefit, we put together a quick cheat sheet that explains the basics and a few of the details that are not always so obvious.

The Basic Requirements: Hospital Stays, Observation, and Skilled Care

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

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