Posted tagged ‘conservator’

Let’s Talk About Estate Planning (Ounce of Prevention Episode 2)

May 17, 2020

On March 5, 2020, Attorney Timothy Herring, the head of Chipman Mazzucco Emerson’s litigation practice area, launched the Ounce of Prevention podcast. The first episode is entitled What Does a Litigator Actually Do?  Listen to the first episode here: Episode One: What Does a Litigator Actually Do?

Liz Hartery

On March 31, 2020, Attorney Liz Hartery, of Chipman Mazzucco Emerson’s estate planning and probate group, appeared as a guest on Tim’s second episode entitled Let’s Talk About Your Estate Planning.  Listen to Liz’s comments on estate planning here: Episode Two: Let’s Talk About Your Estate Plan.

Estate plans are so much more than just a Will. Tim and Liz have a light-hearted discussion covering a number of estate planning options and techniques including living trusts, living wills, how to deal with difficult family issues, and what people need to know about pet trusts.

Subscribe to the Ounce of Prevention podcast. In each episode, Tim will focus on a specific legal issue and how it could impact your everyday life.

The goal of the podcast is to educate and inspire our listeners to harness the law to make life just a little bit easier.

For more information about topics mentioned in the podcast, contact Tim Herring at 203-744-1929 x19 or Visit our website at to learn more.

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Richard Land

Posted by Richard S. Land, Attorney, Chipman Mazzucco  Emerson LLC, Attorneys at Law, Danbury, CT, 06810, 203-744-1929 x29,

Thank You, From All of Us

May 16, 2020

The Chipman Mazzucco Emerson attorneys and staff would like to thank all of the Health Care Providers and First Responders who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Frontline Estate Plan Package

Just as you are helping all of us, we would like to help you. A link at the end of the video will bring you to information about our special Frontline Estate Planning Package offered at a well-deserved savings for health care providers and first responders. We sincerely hope that you will forward this within your organizations or to anyone close to you on the frontlines.

Posted by Alyson R. Marcucio, Attorney, Chipman Mazzucco  Emerson LLC, Attorneys at Law, Danbury, CT, 06810, 203-744-1929 x40,

Planning Question and Answer Sessions. Please Take This Survey!

May 15, 2012

When Do You Want an Estate Planning Q&A Session?  Please take this survey.

 May 15, 2012.

We recently published a Basic Estate Planning video on YouTube and DVD.  We hope that you will have a chance to see it if you have not already done so.

You can see the YouTube version here:  Basic Estate Planning Screencast on YouTube

We are scheduling group meetings so that interested parties can ask questions related to the subjects in the video.  There will be no charge or obligation. 

Location: Chipman Mazzucco, Attorneys, Matrix Corporate Center, 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Suite D-2, Danbury, Ct. o6810.

We ask you to click on the link below to complete this survey so that we know what will be convenient for you.  It will take only one minute.

Survey Link

Thank you for participating in the survey.  It will be a great help to us in our efforts to help you.
Posted on 5/15/2012 by Richard S. Land, Member, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC.

Notice: To comply with U.S. Treasury Department rules and regulations, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction, tax strategy or other activity.

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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Elder Law—Basics of Planning for Incapacity

January 5, 2010

Caution: The following applies to residents of Connecticut and reflects the law as it exists on January 1, 2010. The law relating to long term care frequently changes. Before any planning decisions are made and implemented, it is important to consult with a professional who keeps current on changes in the law and policies of the agencies that administer long term care programs.

Delegating Authority to Caregivers

If you become incapable without the necessary documents in place, the court will have to become involved and appoint someone to act on your behalf. Three documents can minimize the need for court involvement when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.

1. Durable Power of Attorney

The durable power of attorney is a document in which you designate one or more people to act as your agent (to pay your bills, manage your finances, etc.) if you become incapacitated. It is important to note that even if you already have a durable power of attorney in place, banks and financial institutions may be hesitant to accept old documents. Therefore, you should re-execute your power of attorney every couple of years to ensure it will be effective when you need it.

2. Health Care Instructions (“Living Will”)

Your Health Care Instructions (frequently called an Advance Directive or “Living Will”) is a document in which you designate someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. It can include instructions about life support, end of life decisions, and organ donation.

3. Designation of Conservator

If, for any reason, the previous two documents are deemed invalid, the court will look at your Designation of Conservator to see whom you have chosen to be the agent of your property and your person when you are incapacitated.

Planning for Long Term Care Costs

Most U.S. residents will need home care or nursing home care (or both) during the course of life. Many people, however, are unaware of the actual cost of long term care services. For instance, the average monthly cost for nursing home care today is $9,959 ($119,508 annually). The actual costs of more desirable nursing homes will be quite a bit more. Without proper planning, you may find yourself in a difficult situation when you or your spouse need long term care.

1. Medicare (Not a Solution)

A common misconception is that Medicare will cover the cost of long term care. While Medicare will cover some nursing home care (up to 100 days only) and home care for acute needs, it will not cover you indefinitely. After 100 days in a nursing home or after your acute needs are met through home care, you will have to find another way to pay for your long term care needs.

2. Medicaid (Provider When Assets Exhausted)

Another common misconception is that when you need long term care you can qualify for Medicaid (sometimes referred to as Title XIX) relatively easily. However, it is not easy to become eligible for Medicaid. The Department of Social Services (“DSS”) has strict asset and income guidelines that an applicant must meet before qualifying for benefits.

For example, a single individual applying for Medicaid home care benefits can have a maximum of $1,600 in assets (DSS excludes certain assets such as the value of the home) and a monthly income of $2,022 and still be eligible. If both spouses are applying for Medicaid home care benefits, they can each keep $1,600 in assets ($3,200 total plus the home) and a combined monthly income of $4,044. If the actual income exceeds the income limits, trust arrangements can be made to assure eligibility while protecting the interests of the state.

If an unmarried individual needs long term care in a facility, the monthly income maximum drops to $69 (with certain exceptions). For married couples, if only one spouse is applying for benefits, the other spouse (the “community spouse”) may be able to keep additional assets of up to $109,560 plus the home and a monthly income of at least $1,821.25 and as much as $2,739 (adjustments may be obtained through the Fair Hearing process).  If the actual income exceeds the income limits, excess income will be applied to the cost of nursing home care.

DSS not only looks at your assets as of the date of your application, but it also looks at any transfers you have made for less than fair market value within the last five years. This includes transfers to a trust (with some exceptions), the purchase of certain annuities, and gifts to your children. Any such transfer will result in a period of disqualification (a “penalty”) from Medicaid eligibility, based on the value of the property you transferred. The penalty period does not begin to run until you have met the asset and income requirements, at which time you will be required to cover the cost of care until the penalty period ends.

Anyone who may need Medicaid to cover long term care services within the next five years should be aware of these transfer rules before making any gifts. Certain transfers, if well-planned, can be made without causing a penalty.

Keep in mind, if you or your spouse may need Medicaid to cover your long term care needs you should re-examine your Wills and any beneficiary designations you may have on life insurance policies or other accounts. Once you have qualified for Medicaid, any assets you receive (through inheritance or otherwise) could disqualify you.

3. Long Term Care Insurance

Many people think that long term care insurance is unnecessary or not worth the expense. However, long term care insurance, while not suitable for everyone, can be extremely beneficial. People with middle-incomes, who might otherwise spend down their assets to apply for Medicaid, may find long term care insurance is a worthwhile alternative.

Connecticut has created the Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care whereby private insurance companies sell state-approved insurance policies that cover long term care costs (both home care and nursing home care). A key feature of this program is the built-in Medicaid asset protection that applies if you ever need state assistance. The Medicaid asset protection allows you to qualify for Medicaid benefits without meeting the usual asset limitations (stated above). DSS allows you to keep one extra dollar of assets for every dollar that your policy has paid for your long term care. This can protect a large portion of your assets that you would have otherwise spent down to become eligible.

Posted on 1/4/2010 by Kasey S. Galner, Associate, Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC.

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