I'm on the Health & Wellness Council for the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce, and the Council is launching its "180 Think" wellness campaign in February. As part of that campaign, I will be hosting a discussion titled "Elder Care Issues" at the new Keenan Law office.
Caring for elderly family members is an enormous strain on many adult children and consequently impacts caregivers' health in a negative way. We will discuss the various issues for caregivers to consider in order to help the family be better prepared.
I'm thrilled to announce that we have moved the law firm from a large office complex near downtown Glastonbury to the charming village center of South Glastonbury, less than 5 miles south of our old site.
The new address is 787 Main Street, South Glastonbury, CT 06073. All of our other contact infomation, including the phone number, remains the same.
Our single-floor, newly-renovated building is in a quiet spot, set well back from Main Street. We are the only occupants of the building and parking is a cinch. In fact, clients with mobility challenges will be happy to find that they can pull right up to the front door of the office and be inside after just a few steps (although I am still happy to make house calls for homebound clients!).
This is also a home-based office. My wife and I have spent the last four months converting our old, beat-up garage into the new home for Keenan Law. The building is detached far from the house and 100% devoted to the law practice. Yet clients will still enjoy a warm and comfortable environment as we discuss their legal concerns.
If you're an existing client then please give us a call. We'd love to show off our new home with a 30-second tour and then catch up on any new developments on your end. And new clients are always welcome (of course)! Just give us a call at (860) 657-2683.
Click here to see a photo album of the building's evolution from "nasty garage" to "cute little law office".
The law practice was a proud Silver Sponsor of the Firecracker 5K Road Race last weekend here in Glastonbury, CT. It was the first time that all three of my boys ran in a road race together (first-ever race for the 8 year-old), so Daddy was proud! Here's a post-race shot of us with the Keenan Law banner...
I also had the pleasure of directing the Kids' 1/4-mile Fun Run before the big 5K. Geez, and I thought keeping track of developments in Medicaid eligibility rules was difficult!...
CT bill HB 5324 is related to Medicaid eligibility. It would increase the minimum amount that a community spouse can keep from $23,449 to $50,000. This is a pretty big deal in the world of Connecticut Medicaid and it apparently has a chance to pass.
So, please take the time to contact your state represnetatives and senators and ask them to support the bill. Click here to find your legislators.
This is something that I have observed with my own clients over the past 16+ years, but this is the first study that has backed it up with statistics: daughters of the elderly tend to provide the hands-on basic care. I'm sure there are all sorts of theories to explain this, none of which I am qualified to blog about.
My wife and I have three sons and no daughters, so I guess we're in serious trouble.
Click here for the full MetLife study results.
Today's take-home lesson: In Connecticut, the only genuine benefit of a revocable living trust is probate avoidance.
To be fair, I will also mention that there is a privacy benefit as well; living trusts generally do not become public record, in contrast to wills. However, in my own 16+ years of law practice there have been very few clients who have cared deeply about about the privacy issue.
In any case, it's important to keep in mind that nearly all of the living trust benefits your neighbor has told you about is not true. More specifically, they do not lower your probate court fees, and any estate tax liabilty you have can be addressed just as easily in wills or by other means.
That's correct. The probate court fee assessed on your estate is based on the size of your estate, which includes probate AND non-probate assets. Contrary to common sense, it is not based on how many of your assets go through the probate process.
Additionally, wonderful things like credit shelter trusts, general support trusts for young or problematic beneficiaries (or young AND problematic beneficiaries!), special needs trusts, spendthrift trusts, etc. can all be incorporated into your wills; you don't necessarily need revocable living trusts to include these in your overall estate plan.
Please note that the concept of avoiding probate is nothing to scoff at! The probate process can be (but isn't always) a lengthy process and an administrative headache. Particularly if you have real estate located somewhere outside of Connecticut.
However, you should keep in mind that you probably have some assets that are already designed to avoid probate upon your death, regardless of whether you have a living trust or not, such as beneficiary-driven assets (e.g. life insurance, annuities and qualified retirement accounts) and joint assets.
So...before you sign up for a revocable living trust, which is typically double the cost of a simple will package, make sure your attorney walks you through your "probate exposure".
The all-important disclaimer: This blog does not offer legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog.