AdobeStock_129036669-300x200This is the second installment of a two-part series about the realities of and remedies for sibling rivalry over family inheritance. For more about what causes and complicates sibling rivalry, read Inheritance: The #1 Cause of Adult Sibling Rivalry.

In part one of this series, we learned just how prevalent and problematic sibling rivalry can be when it comes to dealing with issues of inheritance. Luckily, the secrets to avoiding these kinds of conflicts can be universally applied.

The Ameriprise research that indicated 70% of sibling conflicts arise over these kinds of issues also showed that — happily — 61% of siblings will attempt to talk through the issues. Unfortunately, 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.

“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_79789853-300x199While the American Healthcare Act or ACA (also known as Obamacare) has so far escaped the repeal-and-replace hatchet, the debate over how to restructure healthcare in this country is far from over.

One of the most controversial elements of that debate is Medicaid. Despite the broad news coverage on this topic, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about what Medicaid is, who uses it, and how it’s spent.

Not just for the unemployed and the poor

AdobeStock_67245954-300x200By Carol Frances

It was a mystery. Every evening around 5 o’clock, my mom would change. She’d become resistant, paranoid and sometimes belligerent. She would even hallucinate – claiming to have watched me from the window as I marched in a parade!

A few hours later, and certainly the next day, she would be back to her happy, easy-going self.

AdobeStock_19241426-300x200Our need for sleep changes throughout our lifetimes, but maybe not as much as we once thought. Contrary to popular belief, adults 65 and older do not require less sleep than they did at 35 or 50. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults of all ages.

Unfortunately, many adults over 65 do sleep less than the 7-9 recommended hours, which can be detrimental to overall health. Here’s what to know about sleep and how to improve sleeping habits.

What happens when you don’t sleep enough

AdobeStock_142240831-300x200Multiple generations living under one roof may seem like a concept from a time gone by or a practice from another part of the world, but it is actually a growing trend here in the states.

Before WWII, approximately 25% of Americans shared their homes with three or more generations. After the war, the percentage of multigenerational households began to decline and bottomed out at a meager 12% in 1980.

Today, however, the numbers of families choosing to combine households across two or more generations is on the rise. Continue reading

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Of all the things we do in taking care of our aging parents, dealing with their household stuff might be the most cumbersome. After all, when the end finally comes, it’s up to us to sort, store, sell, toss, donate, and clean everything until the home is empty.

This is no small task, especially in a time of grief. Where to start?

Here are some options for dealing with your parents’ items that won’t be finding a new home with family members. Remember that the more time you have, the more money you can make for the estate. Continue reading

AdobeStock_69821783-300x206By Paul T. Czepiga

Let’s set the stage. You are a professional service provider and are concerned about professional liability exposure. Or you are engaged in a business that is high risk and you are worried about being sued.

So your lawyer said put all your assets in your spouse’s name.

Well, that generally works. But the solution creates its own problem, which is shown by the following example of a married couple. Continue reading

AdobeStock_57691850-300x287By Paul T. Czepiga

You have just gone through a long and insightful process to get your affairs in order. You met with your financial advisor, accountant, insurance agent, and attorney. Part of this process included creating a living trust in your estate planning documents. The trust could be for a minor child until age 40 or maybe even for their lifetime, or a trust for your spouse. You named a trustee, more than one actually, because you needed an alternate trustee in case the first one you named in the document couldn’t or didn’t want to serve, either initially or later on.

But what if it turns out the trustee you named ends up not being the best choice?

If you are still alive and the trust document allows for amendment, you can change the trustee. But what if change might be warranted, but the document does not allow you to change it or you have died and can’t change it? Continue reading

AdobeStock_133177217-300x169The process of properly handling inherited property can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the relevant laws and legal procedures. For instance, how do you know whether or not you’ll need to go through probate?

While there are unique elements to each case, there are some basic guidelines that are universally applicable.

The role of probate in CT and when it applies

Probate is the process for settling an estate under court supervision. It’s designed to serve as a protection against fraud by freezing the estate’s assets until a judge can confirm that everything is in order with the Will, beneficiaries, and creditors. Continue reading

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