Archive for the ‘Planning for Disability and Incapacity’ category

Seminar: How Resilient is Your Estate Plan? Will Your Plan Work as Things Change?

October 8, 2019

Estate Planning Seminar!

October 17, 2019

We invite you to a free seminar on October 17, 2019, at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury, Connecticut (21 Lake Avenue Ext).

Topic: How Resilient is Your Estate Plan?

The presentation will start at 6:30 PM.

To register, call 203-744-1929 (please provide your email address) or email us at dvv@danburylaw.com.  You also can register here: Seminar Registration.

Informative and fun. Come learn and have a great time.

We intend to cover changes of all kinds (not just law and taxes) that will most affect your estate plan.

Reconnect with all the attorneys in our estate planning and probate practice group.

Topics include:

  • Probate Courts
  • Issues related to Change of Residence
  • Coping with the Surge of Conservatorship Proceedings
  • How Estate Planning Changes with Each Stage of Life
  • Changes in Law that Could Affect Your Estate Plan.

The presentation will start at 6:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

To register, click below or call us at 203-744-1929 or email us at
dvv@danburylaw.com.

REGISTER HERE


The Presenters and Their Topics:

Richard L. Emerson

Topic: Insights from a Former Probate Judge

The Probate Courts have been affected by important changes. Attorney Richard L. Emerson will inform us about the workings of the Probate Courts as only a former Probate Court Judge can.

Attorney Richard L. Emerson served as the Probate Judge in Redding, Connecticut, for over thirty years. His legal practice concentrates on estate administration, probate, estate planning, trust and estate disputes and general corporate representation. He also has mediated contested probate matters and has appeared as an expert witness for other attorneys.

James J. Flaherty, Jr.

Topic: Thinking About Moving Out of Connecticut? Consider
This.

We often hear about people moving out of Connecticut. Is this merely a case of “the grass is always greener…”? James J. Flaherty, Jr., will discuss issues related to a change of residence. Whether you stay or go, if you are wondering about leaving, this is information you need.

Attorney James J. Flaherty, Jr., practices from the firm’s Southbury office and is a member of the estate planning and probate group. Jim’s practice focuses on assisting high net worth individuals, including closely held business owners, in the creation of wealth succession plans. In addition to estate planning, Jim works with individuals on Medicaid (Title 19) and asset protection planning.

Alyson R. Marcucio

Topic: Coping with the Surge in Conservatorship
Proceedings

The increasing number of conservatorship proceedings creates additional demands on our Probate Courts. Alyson R. Marcucio will discuss planning steps to work around crowded court dockets and long wait times.

Attorney Alyson Marcucio is a member of the firm’s estate planning and probate group, with an emphasis on elder law and
planning for those who have chronic disabilities. Alyson’s practice includes long term care, incapacity and special needs planning, eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits, and conservatorship proceedings.

 

Elizabeth J. Hartery

Topic: Estate Planning for Each of Life’s Stages

Life is often thought of as having twelve stages. Estate planning starts with the sixth stage and ends with the twelfth: late adolescence; early adulthood; midlife; mature adulthood; late adulthood; and death and dying. Liz Hartery will discuss how the planning focus changes as we pass through each stage.

Attorney Elizabeth J. Hartery is an associate in the firm’s estate planning and probate group, assisting with estate planning, estate settlement, probate matters, and elder law issues.

 

Richard S. Land

Master of Ceremonies

Attorney Richard S. Land heads up the firm’s estate planning and probate group, helping individuals from all walks of life to manage and dispose of their assets in an orderly fashion through lifetime transfers and through transfers at death by wills and trusts.

Richard has authored and produced dozens of educational videos on estate planning and trust and estates topics, authored several computer generated estate planning document assembly systems and authored an online estate plan review program.

No Admission Charge

Our seminars are always strictly educational and well attended.  Space is limited so please let us know if you plan to attend.

Light snacks, desserts and beverages will be offered.

To register, click on this link: Seminar Registration.

Please join us at the Ethan Allen Hotel (21 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT) on October 17, 2019.

We look forward to seeing you.

Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC
Attorneys at Law
44 Old Ridgebury Road
Suite 320
Danbury, CT 06810
203-744-1929

 

Seminar Video: Basic Estate Planning and Elder Law in a Nutshell

January 19, 2019

We recently posted to YouTube the video of our annual fall estate planning seminar (held on October 25, 2018). Here is a playlist containing all three segments: Basic Estate Planning and Elder Law in a Nutshell.

Basic Estate Planning and Elder Law in a Nutshell

In Video 1 (Estate Planning for Beginners), Elizabeth J. Hartery covers the basics of Wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, conservatorships and health care directives including living wills. Approximately 30 minutes.

In Video 2 (How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes), Richard S. Land covers the reasons why an estate planning review might be necessary including new legislation. Approximately 35 minutes.

In Video 3 (Elder Law in a Nutshell), Alyson Marcucio covers the practice of elder law as part of the continuum of planning for the welfare of the family.  In the case of elder law, this means counselling and representing seniors and the disabled as well as their representatives (such as conservators, trustees and agents under a power of attorney) and family members regarding a range of issues including health and personal care, legal capacity, public benefits, special needs, insurance, housing options and more.  Approximately 24 minutes.

We hope these presentations are helpful.

Posted by Richard S. Land on January 19, 2019.

Chipman Mazzucco Emerson
Attorneys at Law

Estate Planning for Beginners; Elder Law in a Nutshell; How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes

September 30, 2018

FREE Estate Planning Seminar!

October 25, 2018

We invite you to a free seminar on October 25, 2018, at the Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury, Connecticut (21 Lake Avenue Ext).

Topics: Estate Planning for Beginners and Elder Law in a Nutshell

Including: How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes (including Trump Tax Changes)

The presentation will start at 6:30 PM. For more information, click here:  Seminar October 25.

To register, call 203-744-1929 (please provide your email address) or email us at dvv@danburylaw.com.  You also can register here: Seminar Registration.

The presenters and their topics:

Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes

As everything around you changes, you may not recognize the impact the changes have on your estate plan.

Laws change; your health and financial condition change; the health and financial condition of your beneficiaries change; maybe your beneficiary designations change as your assets change; and the fates of the people you are depending on to act as your Executors, Trustees, agents under a power of attorney and health care representatives change.

Attorney Richard S. Land will discuss how to make certain that such changes will not interfere with, or totally disrupt, your estate plan.

Elder Law in a Nutshell

Alyson's Favorite Photo

What is Elder Law and how can an Elder Law attorney help you through the complex issues associated with aging?

The special needs of the elderly are not unique to the elderly, however. Persons of all ages may suffer from chronic conditions resulting in special needs requiring specialized legal help.

Attorney Alyson Marcucio will cover legal issues and solutions related to the special needs of the elderly and all others with special needs.

Estate Planning for Beginners: Features of Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney

 

What is the difference between a will and a revocable trust? What are the powers in a Power of Attorney? Do I even need an estate plan?

Attorney Elizabeth J. Hartery will answer those questions and many others in her presentation, which will explain the basic features of wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney, living wills and more.

 

No Admission Charge

Our seminars are always strictly educational and well attended.  Space is limited so please let us know if you plan to attend.

Light snacks, desserts and beverages will be offered.

To register, click on this link: Seminar Registration.

Please join us at the Ethan Allen Hotel (21 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT) on October 25, 2018.

We look forward to seeing you.

Chipman Mazzucco
Attorneys at Law
44 Old Ridgebury Road
Suite 320
Danbury, CT 06810
203-744-1929

 

Video of October 5, 2017, Seminar Posted to YouTube

November 26, 2017

On November 19, 2017, we posted to YouTube the video of our annual fall estate planning seminar (held on October 5, 2017).

senior couple in parkIn Part I (How to Make Certain Your Estate Plan Works as Everything Else Changes), Richard S. Land covers the reasons why an estate planning review might be necessary. Approximately 40 minutes.

In Part II (Senior Autonomy: A Guide to Families as Roles are Reversed), Alyson Marcucio covers planning to maximize autonomy throughout the elder care continuum: health and ability issues (powers of attorney, living trusts, conservatorships, living wills and other health care directives); home care and alternatives (independent living, assisted living, retirement communities, nursing homes); the cost of care and how to plan for it; and public benefits to help pay for care. Approximately 40 minutes.

Both Part I and Part II include planning strategies for the prevention of financial elder abuse including properly structured estate planning powers of attorney, living trusts and related documents.

Although the turnout was great (as usual), many of you could not attend. Here is your chance to find out what you missed. Click on the images below to go to the presentations.

We hope these videos are helpful.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Chipman Mazzucco
Attorneys at Law
Matrix Corporate Center
39 Old Ridgebury Road
Suite D-2
Danbury, CT 06810
203-744-1929

Basic Estate Planning Video Updated for 2017

December 18, 2016

richard
Richard S. Land, Attorney

To help you face your estate planning challenges, we have updated our Basic Estate Planning video presentation for 2017.  You can take a look at the video here (Basic Estate Planning Updated for 2017) or below.

Here is a very brief summary of what the videos cover:

Parts 1 and 2:  No matter where you live (or die), your estate plan can be destroyed if you don’t know the difference between probate property and non-probate property.  We cover this distinction in Part 1.  We also cover what a trust is and how a trust can help accomplish certain estate planning goals:  protecting assets from the beneficiary’s creditors and risks; asset management for a beneficiary who needs management help; estate tax reduction; and more.  We acknowledge that the unfortunate Connecticut estate tax exists (and many other states do not have an estate tax) but, in most cases, we can help with effective workarounds.  Part 2 covers Connecticut and federal estate taxes (also New York estate taxes) including how life insurance death benefits are taxed for estate tax purposes.

Parts 3 and 4:  Your Will can include provisions that reduce or eliminate estate taxes.  Parts 3 and 4 describe such Wills.  Danger:  Existing Wills with old estate tax provisions can have the unintended effect of disinheriting a spouse.  We cover how to deal with such a risk.  We also cover new rules allowing one spouse to give his or her federal estate tax exemption to the surviving spouse.  The surviving spouse’s federal estate tax exemption could be almost $11,000,000.  In addition, we cover Will provisions that can protect assets from a beneficiary’s long term care costs.

Parts 5 and 6:  Not all trusts that are designed to save estate taxes are the same.  Part 5 compares the different types of trusts.  As Part 5 ends, we begin a discussion of common estate planning mistakes and Part 6 continues the discussion.

Parts 7 and 8:  These parts cover estate tax and income tax planning for retirement accounts such as 401(k) accounts and IRAs.

Part 9 to Part 13:  These parts include a complete discussion of revocable living trusts with a comprehensive comparison between a plan that uses a revocable trust and a plan that relies on a Will without making use of a revocable living trust.  Part 13 ends with a description of how Connecticut probate court fees are calculated.

Part 14:  This part covers the basic gift tax rules and techniques.

Part 15:  This is the final part and covers gifts of life insurance policies with brief mention of other advanced gift techniques.

We hope our updated basic estate planning videos help you.  If you have questions about any of the estate planning concepts mentioned in the video, please call.

185775_1745456110853_1072275011_31952001_6630745_n[1]Posted by Richard S. Land, Attorney, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC, Attorneys at Law, Danbury, CT, 06810, 203-744-1929 x29, rsl@danburylaw.com.

 

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)

June 27, 2016

There is welcome news for people with disabilities and their families.

In December 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law.  Since 2014, the ABLE Act, which sailed through Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support, has been signed into law in a record 47 states, including in Connecticut and New York.

As those with disabilities and their families know all too well, qualifying for means-based public benefits programs requires the recipient to be poor – one can have no more than $2,000 in assets ($1,600 in CT).  While public programs such as SSI and Medicaid provide vital services, they cannot nearly provide for all of the needs of a disabled person.  Living with disabilities is expensive, and many families fret about how to meet the supplemental needs of their disabled loved ones.

The ABLE Act will provide a new tool for supplementing income of a disabled person receiving public benefits, without jeopardizing eligibility for those public benefits.  Similar to the 529 Education Savings Plans, where families can set aside money for higher education, the new ABLE 529A plan enables the creation of tax-free savings vehicles for qualified individuals with disabilities.

Basic facts are presented below in a question and answer format.

  1. How much can be contributed annually to an individual ABLE account? Total annual contributions to an individual’s account by the beneficiary, family or friends may not exceed $14,000, or the current annual gift exclusion amount.  Contributions must be made in cash.
  2. How can a person qualify to be a beneficiary under an ABLE account?  An individual who has a documented and diagnosed significant disability, or is blind, PRIOR to turning 26 is eligible providing (1) he or she currently receives SSI or SSDI; or (2) the beneficiary can certify, under penalty of perjury, that he or she meets the qualification standards (stated above in this paragraph), and has a signed physician’s diagnosis that can be provided to the ABLE program or the IRS upon request.  While the disability must have been diagnosed before age 26, an ABLE account may be opened at any age, including for those above age 26.
  3. How much money can be put into an ABLE account?  Although the amount that may be contributed to an ABLE account is equal to the limit for State higher education related 529 accounts (currently $300,000 in CT and $375,000 in NY), SSI benefits will be suspended once the account reaches $100,000.  Should the account go below $100,000 at a later date, SSI benefits will be reinstated.  Medicaid benefits, on the other hand, continue and remain in effect even after the $100,000 mark is reached.
  4. What sorts of qualified expenses can the ABLE account pay for?  Broadly, qualified expenses are any expenses related to the Beneficiary as a result of living with a disability.  Such expenses may include education, transportation, housing (but distributions for housing may reduce SSI payments), employment support and/or training, assistive technology, personal support services, health and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for oversight and monitoring, and funeral and burial expenses.
  5. Who will be taxed on the money in the ABLE account?  Assets in the ABLE account grow tax-free, just as they do in 529 accounts.  No gift tax is due for contributions, because the total annual contribution may not exceed the gift tax exclusion amount.   As long as the payouts are used for qualified expenses (see 4 above), the payouts are tax free.  These are the basic rules that apply if contributions are kept within annual and overall limits.
  6. Who will administer the ABLE accounts?  In most states, the accounts will either be administered by the State Treasurer or by the State 529 Plan Administrator.  Connecticut has not yet set up an ABLE account mechanism, and it is rumored that it may join a consortium of other states to run its program.
  7. Who owns the ABLE account?  The designated beneficiary owns the ABLE account.  The account must be set up and controlled by the designated beneficiary, legal guardian or through a Power of Appointment.
  8. Can a person benefit from more than one ABLE account?  No, a person may only have one ABLE account for his or her benefit.
  9. Where can I set up an ABLE account? An ABLE account can be set up in any State that runs a 529A program and authorizes out-of-state persons to set up a an account.  On June 1, 2016, Ohio became the first state in the nation to launch its own ABLE account.  Eligible individuals nationwide (including Connecticut and New York residents) may set up an online account through the Ohio program at http://www.stableaccount.com.  Once ABLE programs become available in multiple states, as is widely expected, one will be able to shop around for a program that offers competitive terms.
  10. Once an ABLE account is established, may I roll it over it into another ABLE account?  Yes.  Although a beneficiary may have only one account, transfers can be made by establishing a new qualifying ABLE account, and rolling over the assets, free of penalty, to it.  Similarly, assets may be transferred from an ABLE account to that of another qualifying relative.

All in all, this is good news.

Is there a downside?  Yes, the ABLE Act contains a payback provision.  Any funds remaining in the 529A account at the death of the beneficiary must be used to repay the State for any Medicaid assistance received by the beneficiary after the account was created.  Medicaid expenses, however, are paid only after other qualified expenses, such as funeral expenses, are paid.

With an estimated 5.6 million people eligible to become beneficiaries of an ABLE account, these accounts are a welcome addition to help plan for the needs of a disabled person.   Once ABLE accounts become widely available, they will add an attractive option to families or individuals who seek to supplement the lives of a disabled person without sacrificing needs-based government benefits.  With lower costs, fewer administrative burdens, as well as favorable tax-free growth within the account, the ABLE account offers a good alternative or additional option to a Special Needs Trust.

Please note that the federal government and state regulations are still evolving and there will be ongoing modifications to the information provided above.

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Posted on June 27, 2016
by Mary Dale Lancaster
Chipman Mazzucco

 

 


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