Chipman, Mazzucco, Land & Pennarola, LLC

estate planning Archives

Estate planning tools guard against the uncertainties of life

Financial experts say that even young Connecticut residents who enjoy robust good health should put at least a basic estate plan into place. Life is unpredictable, and unforeseen events like automobile accidents or serious illnesses can claim lives or leave individuals incapacitated and unable to manage their financial affairs or make important health care decisions. Those who wish to prepare for such unfortunate situations may be wise to draft a last will and testament, a durable power of attorney and a medical directive.

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin died without a will

Many Connecticut fans of legendary soul performer Aretha Franklin may be surprised to learn that she died without a will, despite her valuable music catalog and substantial estate. The 76-year-old singer passed away in August after a lengthy struggle with pancreatic cancer. Despite comments from her attorney that he had encouraged her to set up a trust and other key estate planning documents, she refrained from doing so throughout her life. She was unmarried and has four adult children, one with special needs, and the process of passing on her estate could be much more complex as a result.

Estate planning concerns for parents

Parents in Connecticut may think about estate planning in a new light after the birth of their children. While many younger couples know objectively about the importance of an estate plan to lower taxes, avoid probate costs and reduce trauma to their loved ones, making a plan may not seem urgent. When a child enters the equation, however, planning for the future can become increasingly essential.

Cryptocurrency and other digital assets in estate planning

Connecticut is one of more than 40 states to have laws on the books that permit executors to manage digital assets in the same way they do traditional assets. The rise of digital assets in recent years, including cryptocurrency, has introduced some additional complexities to estate planning.

Picking the right surrogates for an estate plan

Estate plans in Connecticut can be extremely lengthy and complicated, and it's not uncommon for some plans to have unforeseen calamities just waiting to happen. One of the main sources of problems is surrogates, aka the people assigned to make big decisions for the families. These surrogates can have a big impact on family relationships and overall financial security. Unfortunately, they don't always make choices that are in the best interests of the family.

Dealing with a family business in estate planning

Entrepreneurs in Connecticut and around the country generally want their spouses or children to inherit their businesses after they pass away, but turning over successful commercial ventures to individuals who may lack the skills necessary to run them can sometimes have disastrous results. Business owners with spouses or children who have shown little or no interest in following in their footsteps may be wise to delegate control of their commercial ventures to key employees or professionals. Doing this improves the chances of the business surviving and ensures that heirs are rewarded financially.

About charitable trusts

Connecticut residents with favorite charities may consider including charitable trusts in their estate plans. Charitable trusts are efficient philanthropic tools that can provide favorable tax incentives for donors. While charitable trusts adhere to the same tenets as other types of trusts and are regulated by the same concepts, they are very distinctive in certain ways that individuals should be mindful of.

Trust choices change with rising interest rates

Trusts are an important part of an estate planning strategy for many in Connecticut and across the country. They can offer lifetime tax benefits as well as a way to pass more structured gifts to a person's beneficiaries. However, the types of trusts that people choose to create may shift due to the rise in interest rates. While interest rates have been historically low for the past 10 years, they are currently rising, a trend that is expected to continue to dominate.

Special needs trust

An integral part of estate planning is the establishment and management of trusts. In addition to their tax benefits, trusts can help provide for their beneficiaries, ensuring financial security for the foreseeable future. For instance, a donor in Connecticut could fund a trust, and the trustee could transfer these funds to the beneficiary in accordance with the donor's wishes.

Avoid these errors when estate planning

Since planning for an estate can be difficult, it's no wonder that so many Connecticut residents aren't prepared for the future. In a recent survey administered by Wells Fargo, the number of Americans lacking important documents was high. Approximately 40 percent of Americans don't have the necessary estate plan documents in place to address potentially serious financial or health challenges.

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