March 10, 2011, Seminar. Is it time to review your estate plan? Maron Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut, 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Is It Time To Review Your Estate Plan?

Please  join us at the Maron Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut, on  March 10, 2011.

Call 203-744-1929 for reservations.  For more contact information, go to the end of this post.

We will be discussing whether clients should be reviewing and changing their estate plans in light of changes Congress recently made in the U.S. estate law and in light of all the other changes that may have occurred in your life and the lives of your beneficiaries and fiduciaries (Executors, Trustees and Guardians) since the last time your plan was reviewed.

For a summary of the topics we plan to cover, including a short explanation of the new U.S. estate tax rules, see the videos (Part One and Part Two) below.

For a good Wall Street Journal summary of the new U.S. estate and gift tax provisions, click here:  WSJ Article.

You can find a short written summary of the seminar topics in the text after the videos.

Estate Planning Seminar Summary Video Part One:

Estate Planning Seminar Summary Video Part Two:

Federal Estate Tax Changes: As 2010 came to an end, the U.S. Congress enacted another set of temporary estate tax changes which will apply in 2011 and 2012 with retroactive application to 2010.  Under the new set of temporary rules, the U.S. estate tax exemption is increased to $5,000,000 and the top estate tax bracket is 35%.  In 2013, however, the U.S. estate tax exemption is scheduled to be $1,000,000.  The top U.S. estate tax bracket in 2013 is scheduled to be 55%.  Under the new rules, for the first time, one spouse may give his or her unused $5,000,000 estate tax exemption to a surviving spouse.  In effect, this means married couples may take advantage of each spouse’s $5,000,000 exemption (for a total exemption of $10,000,000) without including complicated tax provisions in their Wills.

Connecticut Estate Tax: The Connecticut estate tax “exemption” is currently $3,500,000.  Because the U.S. estate tax exemption is larger than the Connecticut estate tax exemption, married clients who have wills with marital deduction formula provisions that are pegged to the U.S. estate tax exemption may incur an unnecessary Connecticut estate tax of approximately $122,000.

As we have stressed in previous seminars, the application of many types of estate tax formula provisions in Wills after exemptions have been increased could result in the disinheritance of the surviving spouse unless there has been careful planning.

In addition, many types of estate tax formula provisions in Wills may be difficult to interpret after exemptions have been increased.  This could increase the risk of litigation between beneficiaries.

For many, it may be time to use Wills that are much simpler than the complicated estate-tax-formula Wills of the past.  The temporary nature of the estate tax changes and the estate tax rules of Connecticut and other states, however, make the analysis less simple.

Our March seminar will help you determine whether you should review your estate plan to take into account the tax changes that have already been made and the changes that will be coming.

Other Reasons to Review: The other reasons for review continue to apply.

Have the circumstances of your Executor, Trustee or Guardian changed significantly?

Has the life of a beneficiary changed significantly? If a beneficiary becomes disabled, dies or is divorcing, perhaps you should change the estate plan as it relates to that beneficiary. A beneficiary’s good fortune may also be a good reason to make changes.

Have your assets changed significantly? If your assets have grown, you may now need tax planning. If your estate has decreased in size, the tax planning you did many years ago may no longer be appropriate.

If your health is failing, or if that possibility is now more real to you, you may wish to consider different approaches for dealing with incapacity.

If a substantial part of your estate consists of IRAs and similar retirement accounts (including life insurance), it may be time for you to consider specific planning strategies for such accounts.

We will cover the most common approaches for dealing with these issues and more.


The seminar will be on March 10, 2011, at the Maron Hotel, 42 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, Connecticut from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The doors will open at 6:30.  Refreshments will be served.

These seminars are always well attended and space is limited.  If you wish to attend, or if others you know are interested in attending, to reserve space call us (203-744-1929) or send an e-mail message to me (Richard Land at or Kasey Galner (at or Lynn D’Ostilio (at containing your name, number attending, telephone number and e-mail address.

Posted on 1/29/2011 by Richard S. Land, Member, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC

We frequently post articles relating to estate planning, estate settlement and elder law issues to this blog. We also post notices about our client seminars here. When we do, we send out notices to clients and friends of the firm. If you would like to get our notices, please join our mailing list by clicking below.

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One Comment on “March 10, 2011, Seminar. Is it time to review your estate plan? Maron Hotel, Danbury, Connecticut, 7:00 to 9:00 PM”

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