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170 Mason Street, Greenwich, CT 06830

Greenwich CT probate lawyerThere are a variety of situations in which adults may not be able to fully care for themselves. In some cases, an elderly or disabled adult may be looking to create a legal arrangement in which someone they trust will be able to provide them with the care they need and help them manage their finances. In others, a person’s loved ones may wish to give themselves the legal authority to make decisions on the person’s behalf. While these types of arrangements are usually referred to as guardianships, the state of Connecticut uses the term “conservatorship,” and different types of conservatorship may be appropriate depending on a person’s circumstances.

Conservatorship in Connecticut

A probate court may appoint a person as the conservator of someone who is incapable of caring for themself or managing their own financial affairs. A conservator of the person will supervise the person’s health and personal needs, ensuring that they receive the proper food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. A conservator of the estate will supervise a person’s finances, including managing their property and assets and determining how any income or benefits earned by the person will be used. A person may serve as both types of conservator, or one person may be appointed as the conservator of the person, while another person, organization, or financial institution may be appointed as the conservator of the estate. However, a nursing home or hospital cannot serve as a person’s conservator.

A conservatorship may be either voluntary or involuntary. Any interested party may file a petition to establish an involuntary conservatorship that alleges that a person does not have the capability to manage their personal needs or finances. In these cases, a hearing will be held to determine if conservatorship is appropriate, and the court may consider medical evidence related to examinations performed by a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

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Metro New York area Estate Planning attorney

Many people equate estate planning with creating a last will and testament. While a will can certainly be a useful estate planning tool, several other estate planning instruments may also benefit you and your loved ones. Trusts are commonly used to transfer assets without needing to go through the probate process. Trusts are especially beneficial for individuals with minor children or wish to leave an inheritance to someone with a disability. Utilizing trusts in your estate plan can also help you protect assets from creditors and minimize estate taxes.

How a Revocable Living Trust May Benefit You and Your Family

There is a trust for almost every estate planning objective a person can have. However, most trusts fall into two main categories: revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. A revocable living trust is a trust that you establish during your lifetime and use to transfer assets to heirs upon your death. You maintain control over the property in the trust until you pass away. At this point, your successor trustee takes control of the assets and manages the distribution of those assets. Living trusts are revocable or adjustable. Assets transferred through a living trust do not have to pass through probate, meaning that the assets are transferred to beneficiaries more quickly than assets transferred through a will. 

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Metro New York POA Lawyers

It can be an uncomfortable subject to consider, but life is finite. Eventually, everyone passes away. Often, an individual’s death is preceded by an incapacitating illness or injury. If you ever become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, who would you want to speak on your behalf? A power of attorney is an important estate planning instrument that authorizes someone to speak on your behalf regarding medical or financial concerns. Establishing power of attorney is a crucial component of a comprehensive estate plan.  

Power of Attorney for Property and Healthcare

If you are disabled and unable to communicate, you need someone to manage medical and financial decisions for you. A power of attorney assigns decision-making authority to a person called an agent. The agent is someone that you trust to make the same types of decisions that you would make if you were able to do so. A financial power of attorney or general power of attorney assigns financial decision-making authority. The scope of the agent’s financial responsibilities may be broad or limited. The agent is required to make decisions that follow the parameters established by the power of attorney document.

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Metro New York estate planning attorney

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted people’s lives throughout the United States and across the world. From employment concerns, to childcare, to legal matters, almost every facet of our lives has been affected. Finding a way to work around COVID-related restrictions has taken a good deal of ingenuity and flexibility. Many people are being asked to adapt to new ways of handling business and legal matters. Fortunately, Connecticut has made estate planning, real estate, and other legal procedures slightly easier to accomplish by allowing remote notarizations.

Notarizations May Be Conducted Virtually

Having a document notarized ensures that the document is not fraudulent or falsified. Traditionally, having a document notarized involves going to a notary, or an individual with special permission to act as a witness, confirming your identity, and then signing the document in front of him or her. However, stay-at-home orders and social distancing needs have made it difficult to have things notarized in the traditional capacity. Fortunately, Connecticut is allowing documents to be notarized virtually depending on the type of legal matter.

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Greenwich, CT will, trust, and probate attorney

You may be surprised to learn that about 6 out of 10 U.S. adults do not have a will. There are a multitude of benefits associated with creating a last will and testament, but many Americans procrastinate creating a will, trust, or other estate planning documents until it is too late. Understandably, it can be uncomfortable to consider what will happen to your assets when you pass away. However, dying without an estate plan, called dying intestate, places a huge burden on your loved ones and takes away the ability to make your own decisions about how your property is passed down to heirs. If you are ready to start creating an estate plan, you may wonder, “What is the difference between a will and a trust?” Both of these estate planning tools carry certain advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to make an informed decision about the type of estate planning documents you use.

Last Will and Testament

When most people think of estate planning, they usually think of the term "last will and testament." Creating a will allows you to decide how your assets are distributed to heirs and eliminates the responsibility put on family members. A will also allows you to assign guardianship of minor children if something should happen to you and your children’s other parent. Without a will or other estate planning document, your property will be allocated according to state law. A last will and testament takes effect when the testator, or person who created the will, passes away. Unlike trusts, property passing under the terms of a will requires probate. Probate is the legal process during which:

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