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.

With summer upon us, it’s time to take full advantage of all the beautiful and unique places and spaces Connecticut has to offer. We are lucky to have a truly outstanding array of destinations to choose from, here in the Nutmeg State. People come from all around to enjoy the charm of Mystic Seaport, photograph our iconic lighthouses, and live it up at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun.

While each of these high-profile locations offers a wonderful experience, some of our most delightful treasures are less well-known spots that are a little off the beaten path. Here are ten of our favorite “insider” destinations:

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Havenbook-rarae

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

AdobeStock_47549916-193x300By Lynda Lee Arnold

Are you thinking of moving close to your child’s home? Close…as in an in-law apartment or addition?

Many people in their later years decide to downsize and give money to an adult child for building an addition onto the child’s home.

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By E. Jennifer Reale

Words cannot describe how hard it is to see a loved one suffer from an alcohol or drug problem.  Families go to great lengths to get loved ones the help they desperately need, but despite numerous attempts, treatment is often refused.

While it is certainly not easy to commit someone to a rehabilitation facility against the person’s wishes, under Connecticut law, it is a possibility.

AdobeStock_187262416-300x200We may not have flying cars or robot butlers yet, but technology is constantly edging us closer and closer to the world of the future that used to exist only in cartoons like The Jetsons. While many of the latest technology products are marketed primarily as nice-to-have devices that offer entertainment or convenience, there is a whole other application for these items. Wearables and text-to-speech programs and voice-activated devices can be very helpful, but they can be life-changing to someone who is disabled or elderly.

For people with mobility issues, impaired vision, speech disorders, and other challenges, assistive technologies can make all kinds of tasks easier. The ever-growing range of “smart home” devices is an area of particular interest. These primarily voice-activated products offer a novel solution for busy people who feel the need to multitask, but for others they can be a powerful new tool for handling the day-to-day tasks needed to remain independent.

So-called “smart home” technology  refers to devices that connect to, monitor, and control physical objects such as thermostats, blinds, security cameras, lighting, music, computers, and so forth. These smart devices are used to manage a broad range of elements including a home’s environment and energy use, ambiance or atmosphere (lighting, music, etc.), entertainment, and security.

AdobeStock_157195763-300x200What was the last book you read?

According to the most recent American Time Use Survey, leisure reading in the United States has hit an all-time low. Since 2003, the overall percent of people aged 15 and older reading for pleasure on any given day has dropped from 28 to 19 percent. And the decline in reading among people ages 65+ isn’t any less dramatic. 

It’s easy to blame the proliferation of digital devices for the decline of reading among younger generations, but how about among more mature audiences? Have we replaced reading books with watching television (as a long-term study from the Netherlands suggests), or does the reason have less to do with other media types and more to do with either a lack of time or maybe compromised eyesight?

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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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Since our primary goal for clients with special needs is to help them build a life within the greater community, we are always looking for additional resources to help us accomplish this goal. We are pleased to introduce you to Aimee McBride, the most recent addition to our team.

Aimee, care manager for Connecticut Community Care, is now part of our special needs planning department. She will work closely with our special needs trust beneficiaries and will perform assessments and develop care plans with the objective of keeping our beneficiaries in their preferred environment.  She will also help to ensure they are receiving all the state and federal benefits that they are entitled to as well as getting access to appropriate home care services.

“We are excited to expand the firm’s advocacy for our families,” says Attorney Colleen Masse, head of our special needs planning department.  “With so many programs and services available, it can be overwhelming for individuals to navigate alone.  Adding Aimee to our team expands our ability to help maximize our clients’ independence and quality of life. “

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