This is the first post in a series on preparing an estate plan in Hartford and elsewhere in Connecticut. We are writing on this topic due to the fact that, unfortunately, far too many people pass without having made appropriate arrangements. As we discussed in our series on what happens when one dies without a will, this can have negative consequences for the surviving loved ones. The goal of our coming posts is to provide information which will help people understand their options when it comes to estate planning. It is also our goal to provide information which will assist in the selection of an attorney. If you require assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
We will be addressing several topics over our coming articles. The issues which we will analyze include:
- Whether one’s assets will pass through probate or the “small estate” process
- The need for a last will and testament
- The need for a living trust
- The need for a power of attorney in regards to financial and health related decisions
We have decided to write on these topics for several reasons. First, it is important to understand that not all matters go through the formal probate process. When a deceased had assets of less than $40,000, and did not own real property (meaning real estate), then their case is eligible for the “small estate” process. This will save the heirs both time and money. Second, understanding what a final will can, and cannot, do is an important part of estate planning. Third, a living trust can provide a testator with flexibility as to how their affairs will be handled. Finally, an estate plan should also consider the fact that there are times when one is alive but unable to make their own decisions. Someone in such a situation can benefit from a power of attorney or Conservatorship.
One point we cannot stress enough is that one should contact an estate planning lawyer regardless of their age or health. It is understandable that people do not wish to think about their eventual mortality. The truth of the matter, however, is that accidents do happen, illnesses do set in, and one never truly knows what is to come. Contact our office today to speak with a Hartford attorney. We also service the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Bristol, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, East Hartford, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.