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Greenwich Connecticut Estate Planning Law Blog

Plan carefully before discussing your estate plan with family

Your estate plan is something that helps to protect your family members when you pass away. You probably spent considerable time getting everything set how you wanted it, but there might be some questions from your family members about what the plan entails.

Taking the time to discuss your estate plan with your family members benefits you greatly, and it also provides them with the opportunity to get clarifications on anything they aren't sure about. While this discussion might not be easy, it is very important. Handle this process properly so that everyone walks away with a clear understanding of what should happen.

Use this guide to pick your powers of attorney

If the day ever comes when you aren't capable of making decisions for yourself, who do you want to make those decisions for you?

That's a big question. You're choosing who to give your powers of attorney to for medical and financial matters if they're ever needed (while simultaneously hoping that they aren't.) Whoever you pick, you need to be able to rely on that person to both know your values and be willing to adhere to them. In addition, the ideal power of attorney will:

  • Be trustworthy: You are trusting this person with control over your entire life. Make sure his or her moral character aligns with your own.
  • Be close: It won't do you much good if you take suddenly ill, and the person with your power of attorney is halfway across the world.
  • Be strong-willed: You want someone who can advocate for you and assert your wishes, even if they're unpopular with your other loved ones.
  • Be intelligent: Since this person may be medical decisions for you, you want someone who can competently weigh out the risks and benefits of a given procedure.
  • Be willing: Some people just aren't ready to make life-or-death decisions for anybody. You never want to assume someone is up to the responsibility without asking.
  • Be available: This can be a time-consuming task. You don't want to pick someone who is already overwhelmed with their own life.

Trust protectors can work with special assets in probate

Wills and trusts can be complicated legal matters, and they often come out of complicated emotional thinking related to the legacy that someone wants to leave behind when they die. The issues can be more intricate when people are leaving large assets of various types to inheritors, and smart estate planners make sure their interests are protected.

Trust protectors are individuals who can have a role in managing expectations for trusts and reducing the need to contest them in probate court. Although the name may conjure the image of an armored knight, trust protectors don't necessarily deal with the legal protection of a trust or its assets. Instead, they are there to perform duties not covered by other roles.

Conservators have a very important responsibility

A conservator has a very important legal responsibility in Connecticut. In many ways, there are no more serious obligations, as a conservator agrees to take responsibility for someone who may not even understand what responsibility. Much like parents need to maintain the safety and well-being of their children, conservators often have to do the same with adults who cannot manage their own affairs.

The Constitution State has a set of guidelines to help conservators do their jobs and understand what probate courts expect from them. These obligations include arranging living space as well as other facets of quality of life. A conservator must understand the specifics of a conserved person and his or her condition in order to be as efficient and useful as possible.

Guardians cover a parent's traditional responsibilities

Parenting is the first, and perhaps, most important part of a child's life. Parents set the standard for children's behavior, instilling ethics and values that last throughout a person's lifetime. It is best for individuals and society as a whole that children have good role models close at hand to support them materially and emotionally.

When biological or adoptive parents are not available for a child, a family member or other concerned adult connected to the child may apply for guardianship under Connecticut law. This title carries the duty and obligation of care for the person below the age of 21 under the guardian's care.

Considerations for choosing a power of attorney

There are several important elements to consider when constructing an estate plan. Not only should a proper estate plan include certain documents, but you should also be sure to designate the proper people to carry out your wishes.

In particular, you should create your powers of attorney carefully. To accomplish this, consider these factors.

Estate plans should be made early and reviewed often

Estate planning can be a big undertaking, but it's an important one. It may seem like an afterthought compared to the stressful buzz of life. However, it can be a wonderful reward for family and other beneficiaries if people take the time and effort to make a plan and check it regularly.

The first step is, in many ways, thinking about the last step. What do you want to happen to your estate when you're no longer around? Is your goal to preserve wealth for children or be sure that specific assets stay in the family? These thoughts will help create the strategy and goals for your estate planning.

Moving to Connecticut may help with estate planning

There are a lot of reasons that people may move as they age. Sometimes, another climate seems like a good move, and sometimes, it makes sense to be closer to family and friends. Connecticut and some other states, however, have a few added benefits.

People are often looking into asset protection as they end up with more assets to protect and more ideas on what to do with them. Some states, including Connecticut, have new laws that allow people to create trusts with themselves as a beneficiary, so the assets are protected from creditors and estate taxes.

Workshop helps grandparents become guardians

"What's the matter with these kids today?" If you remember that phrase from popular culture, you may be asking that question more and more each day as society caters to younger people. But there is help if you have to know what matters to kids, and you may be part of a large group of caring individuals looking to tend to their families.

Grandparents and extended family have always played an important role in the upbringing of children. Although large families seemed to shrink in the modern age, many grandparents and other family elders are picking up the slack in children's needs. This can happen after a parent has died or become unable to manage the necessary duties.

New marriages often require new estate plans

As they age, people often say the world used to be simpler. Sometimes, it is a simple matter of perspective, but it is plainly true in some cases. For example, old age by modern measures was rare in previous centuries, and divorce was nearly unheard of when religious orders had more power in society.

Divorce is becoming less common after a spike at the turn of the 21st century, but people above the age of 55 are seeing the ends of more marriages in court. What's more, people in this age group are more likely than not to remarry, which can complicate intricate and important estate plans.

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