FALSE FACTS FRIDAY, ISSUE 7: “I CAN ONLY HELP SOMEONE IF I DONATE MY ORGANS FOR TRANSPLANT.”

By: Joan Reed Wilson, Esq. The last part of the Connecticut Advance Healthcare Directive form includes a section that begins “I hereby make this anatomical gift…” The section includes several boxes to check to make a choice about which organs the person wants to donate and for what reasons. One of the boxes references another Connecticut statute, 19a-289j. When I explain to clients that by checking this box, they are agreeing to allow their organs to be donated for research purposes, many immediately say, “oh no, I only want my organs used for transplant so they can help someone.” So

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False Facts Friday, Issue 5: I Have to Use the Lawyer Who Drafted My Parent’s Will to Probate the Estate

“I Have to Use the Lawyer Who Drafted My Parent’s Will to Probate the Estate.” By: Joan Reed Wilson, Esq. In the past week, we have received calls from two different clients whom we had helped in the past. Each of them called because they were in the process of probating their parents estates and both were quite frustrated and wanted our advice. They each said that they had hired the attorney who had drafted the parent’s Will and were not happy with the services. When I asked them why they did not contact us in the first place, they

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False Facts Friday Issue 3: “My dearly-departed spouse and I owned everything jointly, so there is no need for me to file any papers with the Probate Court.”

Most people want to avoid “probate.” Sometimes when a couple hears that if they own all of their assets jointly they will avoid probate, they understand that to mean nothing has to be done when their spouse passes away. This is not true. In Connecticut, when someone passes away, it is necessary to file an Estate Tax Return. This is true if the person owned assets in his or her own name, or owned all of his or her assets jointly with their spouse or someone else. Now before you start cursing Connecticut (a state I happen to love), let’s

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False Facts Friday Issue 2: “As a parent, I can access my college-aged child’s medical information in an emergency.”

For many parents, December is the time when their empty nests fill up with college-aged children returning home for their holiday break. It is a time of joy, reconnecting and lots of laundry. Hopefully your student’s time away from home was filled with learning and growing in good health. The last thing parents want to think about is that their child might have to be hospitalized while away at school, but it is important to be prepared.   Worse than having your college-aged child hospitalized is hearing from the hospital staff that you cannot receive any information on your child’s

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Am I the Only Lawyer Without a Will?

It is about that time of year that most of our New Year Resolutions have gone by the wayside. I am not big on resolutions, but admit to having a few. Some were business oriented, including a promise to myself to update our law firm blog more frequently with interesting and informative articles. Others were more personal. So as I write tonight, I have decided to get back to those resolutions and kill two birds with one stone. To do so, I need to make a confession. Well, two confessions. The first is that this is the first article I

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The Real Diddy About Jack and Diane (By Joan Reed Wilson, with special thanks to John Cougar Mellencamp)

Who remembers Jack and Diane? Those two crazy kids in love in John Cougar’s (before he admitted that his real last name was Mellencamp) 1980’s song, enjoying the carefree life of teenagers. Do you know what happened to Jack and Diane? Here’s the real ditty about Jack and Diane (lawyers always have to be the bearer of the bad news). After a couple summers hanging behind the Tasty Freeze, Jack and Diane grew apart, broke up, got married to other people, had kids of their own, started careers, got divorced and found each other again thirty years later. They’re not

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August is “Make a Will” Month

August is national “Make A Will Month”. This is the perfect time to take a moment and review where your assets will be going after you are gone. No one likes to think of the end of life but without a solid plan, our loved ones can suffer the consequences. Making a will is easy; however, there are serious pitfalls if you attempt to do it yourself or use a cookie cutter software product.Unfortunately, by the time anyone realizes the mistake, it is usually too late for you to make the correction. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you

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Estate Planning for Thirtysomethings

As a parent of a seven-year-old and five-year-old, I know that parents of minor children are juggling a lot these days: careers, homes, mortgages, children. Too often the daily activities of life cause many parents to neglect or postpone planning for their own estate. When the topic crosses their mind, they can easily push it aside with self-assurances that they are too young, too healthy or cannot afford the expense. Some may even subconsciously erase any thoughts of estate planning because thinking about it would force them to deal with feelings and attitudes that people often prefer to ignore. Whether

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