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May Thoughts from Attorney Young

Over the past year, many attorneys took steps to modify their offices to follow CDC social distancing guidelines. Although we are keeping some of the changes made, we are removing others.   For example, we built a large partition between two staff work spaces which was unsightly and interfered with efficient communication.  This we just removed.  However, another modification was the installation of a large plexiglass / lexan shield over our conference room table, and this will remain for a while.  (Although that modification didn’t do much good since we basically haven’t used that room for client meetings for some time.  Much of our work over the last year was done using Zoom or similar video conferencing tools.)  We purchased an air cleaner and under certain circumstances may continue to use that for some time.  Did you buy any things in the last year that you now wonder about?  Upon hearing that some were showing up in emergency rooms with oxygen levels so low that many treatment options could not be used, in somewhat of a panic I bought a (rather expensive) blood oxygen measuring device, which I drew a little comfort from at times, but in hindsight see it as an over reaction, given what I paid for it.  There are a few other purchases I now wonder about.  But little harm done in the big picture, I suppose.

For those who are trustees of irrevocable trusts, the adoption of the Uniform Trust Code in Connecticut last year means you may be under new duties to share certain information with beneficiaries that previously did not have to be shared.  If you are not familiar with these new obligations please contact us or another experienced estate planning attorney to review the new duties.  For those who have trusts which are to receive any distributions from IRAs, or other retirement plans, the SECURE Act changed some important rules, and if you have not already done so, please review the language of your trust and beneficiary designation forms with us or an experienced estate planning attorney, to avoid unintended consequences.  It is important for trustees to obtain advice from an attorney to protect themselves, and the trust beneficiaries, from problems that may arise from unfamiliarity with duties and obligations of a trustee.

Recently I was looking for some replacement parts I bought last year for a couple of watering hoses the ends of which needed to be replaced, and I scoured the house trying to find them, looking in likely places three times.  On the third trip to likely hiding places for the parts, I saw the parts I’d been looking for sitting in plain sight.  I realized I must have seen them the prior two times I looked in that location, but it didn’t register… I saw them, but didn’t see them.   It made me think a bit about whether this happens in other endeavors, and to think that this phenomena almost certainly occurs when I am listening to someone, or reading.  Hearing but not hearing.  Made me think a bit about trying to be a better listener, including in meetings with clients.

We hope you find the attached articles of interest.  Please remember they are for general informational purposes only, and are not intended as, and must not be taken as, legal advice.

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