Blog Posts in 2012

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What will happen to the Estate Tax in 2013?

With less than 2 days to go until the Fiscal Cliff, many folks are still wondering and asking what is going to happen to the Federal estate tax. The latest news seems to suggest that as expected the ...
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3 Common Gifting Mistakes

Tis the season to be gifting...or so many of the headlines would suggest these days. Gifting can be a very effective estate planning tool, and for some, it accomplishes their more personal objective ...
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Year-End Gifting in Connecticut for 2012

Many folks have been asking me about the gifting that they can do throughout December to take advantage of the current gift tax exemption being at $5.12 million. It is important to understand that ...
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Do I need a Trust?

One of the most common questions I get from people regarding estate planning in Connecticut is whether or not they should have a Trust. Most of the time they are referring to a Revocable Living Trust ...
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"I just had a Baby. Do I need a Will?"

Recently, I came across an FAQ for young parents and this question came up. The answer is a resounding yes, because if you don't have a Will and something happens to you, you have no say in who ...
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Estate Planning For Married Couples in an Uncertain Tax Environment

The "Fiscal Cliff" refers in part to the huge tax increases that are set to occur on January 1, 2013 if Congress does not take action to avoid this by then end of the year. This article in ...
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Tax Planning Opportunities to Review Before 2013

The current $5,120,000 Federal estate tax exemption goes back to $1,000,000 with a top marginal estate tax rate of 55% on January 1, 2013 if lawmakers don't take action. This is big news because ...
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IRA Trust - protect your retirement plan benefits for your children

Many of you already have a Living Trust. Some of you may not because you were told that you didn't need one because the bulk of your assets were in an IRA or 401(k), or some other qualified plan. ...
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Connecticut Probate - should I avoid it?

Ah, the question that everyone wants the answer to, but there are so many conflicting opinions. Almost every professional I speak with has an opinion on probate. Here is mine - you may want to avoid ...
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Connecticut Wills - How many witnesses do I need?

A Will must be executed properly in the State of Connecticut in order to help ensure that it is valid. There are certain formalities that must be taken into account in order to properly execute a ...
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Protect Your Family - Don't Procrastinate!

I went to a seminar this week on Family Governance. This is a really important concept in developing a comprehensive plan for yourself and your family both during your lifetime and afterwards. The ...
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Do it Yourself Site's Most Misleading Claim: Our documents have been accepted by Courts...in all 50 States

This week I have to get something off of my chest. Lawyers who mislead people can get in trouble for doing so, because we are held to a high professional standard by our local governing organizations. ...
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Estate Planning for New Families

Did you recently have a child, or do you know someone who recently had a child? If so, then it is time for you/them to review their estate plans. One of the most common responses I get from folks when ...
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Kids living at home? Own a business? Have Rental Property? Beware estate tax.

In 2013, the federal estate tax exemption will go back to $1 million per person if lawmakers don't take action. This is very important for many folks, because if you even have a modest amount of ...
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2 Simple Tips to Help Keep the IRS Away

As many of you know, my motto is to keep it simple (or as simple as it can be). This week's post will be a little different because I am not going to write about probate or general estate planning ...
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Should my financial advisor be involved with my estate planning?

With all the different professionals out there who are involved in helping folks plan for and around life events, there can be some confusion around who is needed for what. Many of the clients who ...
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Why you shouldn't prepare your will with a so-called legal document preparation service

Every now and then a younger family comes into the office with a will that they did online. They want to know if the Will they prepared with a self-help service accomplishes their objectives. Often ...
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Summer Homes and Connecticut Probate

So it is summer time and many folks are spending more and more time in the family vacation home. Family is really important to many of us, and we get to spend more time together during the summer. I ...
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Connecticut Probate & Executor Responsibility

Were you named the executor of someone's will? If so, then you should know that you will be (upon appointment by the CT Probate Court) a fiduciary. A fiduciary is a person who serves in a position ...
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Connecticut Special Needs Planning Primer

The following Q&A is for general informational purposes only. Special needs planning is a complicated area of the law and this blog does not serve as specific advice to anyone. Before engaging in ...
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Probate, the Connecticut Estate Tax Return, and You

Connecticut probate and taxation are separate, but you can expect to have to complete a Connecticut Estate Tax Return even if you don't have a "taxable estate." The non-taxable estate ...
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Can Creditors Go After the Beneficiaries of the CT Probate Estate?

The general answer to this question is that yes, creditors can attempt to recover their claims from the beneficiaries of the estate if they did not recover from the estate during Connecticut probate. ...
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Is Probate in Connecticut Really That Bad?

Typical Probate Conversation Amongs Friends "Is probate that bad?" "I have heard that it is terrible." "We had to go through it and it wasn't that bad." "When my ...
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Connecticut Probate: Why does it take so long? Part 4 - Probate Court Oversight

This week's installment is a continuation of our look at Connecticut Probate. Another reason for the long duration of CT probate is the fact that many decisions that would normally be made ...
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Connecticut Probate: Why does it take so long? Part 3 - Notifications

This week's post is a continuation of our series on Connecticut probate. In particular, we are examining some of the reasons for why CT probate can be so time-consuming. Most people do not realize ...
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