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estate planning Archives

People may delay estate plans due to family concerns

Connecticut residents with substantial amounts of wealth are often concerned about how to navigate sensitive family relationships when making an estate plan. In many cases, the more complex details of estate planning reflect family concerns rather than difficulty dealing with the funds themselves. This was reflected in one survey conducted by Key Private Bank of its clients with at least $2 million in assets for investment.

How digital assets have affected estate planning

The law has always had to evolve to keep up with the times, and estate planning is no exception to that. In fact, estate planning has had to adapt to the recent rise of digital assets, particularly cryptocurrencies, and to change from a relatively straightforward process to one that that is trying to cope with the intricacies that come with a new type of assets.

Overcoming potential problems in an estate plan

There could be hidden problems in the estate plans created by Connecticut residents. In most cases, the most common hidden problem is the person who creates the plan. This is because that person may not name the appropriate people to fill roles related to executing the plan.

Art collections and estate planning

It's not uncommon for Connecticut art collectors to fail to make adequate estate plan provisions for their collections. In some cases, neglect may simply happen because of procrastination. This can lead to significant taxes on the collection at the owner's death, or it can result in family conflict. If a collection is not divided fairly among heirs, the family might end up in litigation.

Estate planning after remarriage

After the divorce or death of a spouse, it isn't unusual for people in Connecticut to remarry. While finding love again is often a source of great joy, it also brings some legal concerns. If one or both spouses have children from a previous relationship, estate planning is critical. When parents of adult or minor children get married again, they should immediately update their wills and estate planning documents, including those that govern insurance policies, retirement accounts and investment plans. In addition, end-of-life planning documents such as living wills, powers of attorney and advanced directives should also be updated to reflect the estate planner's wishes.

The characteristics that make wills and trusts different

Connecticut residents could choose to use a will or a trust as part of their estate plan. While either document can be effective in meeting a person's estate planning needs, there are many differences between the two. For example, a will needs to be filed with the court having jurisdiction and is only effective after a person dies. Furthermore, assets that are transferred through a will need to go through the probate process.

Changing an estate plan after divorce

One step people in Connecticut who get a divorce should not neglect is making changes to their estate plans. In addition to changing his or her will so an ex-spouse no longer inherits his or her assets, a person might also want to make sure that his or her ex no longer has a role, such as executor, in the estate plan. Any family members of the ex-spouse might also be removed from the plan.

Important information about special needs trusts

Parents of special needs children have a wide range of reasons for wanting to set up a trust even though their assets fall well below the exemption limit for the estate tax. These reasons include guardianship and the questionable availability of public resources. Complications can also arise when it comes to the income cap for recipients of Medicaid and Security Supplemental Income. Thankfully, there is a special type of trust for this situation: the Special Needs Trust (SNT).

How parents can help their children with estate planning

Some parents and their adult children in Connecticut may encounter some friction over estate planning. Many baby boomers feel that their children need to create estate plans. However, these children may feel too overwhelmed by debt and other issues to address this. For some families, the solution is for the parents to pay for the estate plan. In such situations, most adult children will follow through on the process.

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