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Estate Planning

Our Trusts and Estates Group assists clients with the preservation and disposition of personal and business assets, including closely held stock and other business interests; residential, agricultural, and commercial real estate; qualified and nonqualified retirement plan benefits; stock options; and inherited property. We also advise clients on intergenerational family-owned business planning and on a wide range of charitable giving techniques.

We advise individuals with regard to entrepreneurial interests and complex taxation matters involving the imposition of income, estate, gift, succession, excise, and generation-skipping taxes. We help clients make informed choices with respect to a variety of personal and technical issues that include these areas:

  • transferring assets during lifetime or upon death
  • using trusts, partnerships, and other devices to hold, preserve, and dispose of assets
  • charitable giving of vehicles and philanthropic planning
  • reducing or eliminating estate and gift taxes
  • planning for liquidity to meet personal needs, tax liabilities, and other obligations through the use of life insurance policies, buy-sell agreements, and other arrangements
  • analyzing life insurance needs and products
  • selecting guardians, executors, and trustees
  • providing for family members, including those with special needs
  • establishing multigenerational plans
  • planning for the long-range use of qualified retirement plans
  • insulating assets from claims of future creditors
  • planning for business succession
  • preserving and protecting family residences and open land

We have published an Estate Planning Handbook that provides general information on estate planning. We also publish a periodic bulletin entitled Planning Pointers.

To receive the Estate Planning Handbook or to be added to our Planning Pointers mailing list, please call Linda J. McDowell at (860) 275-8313 or toll-free at (800) 826-3579.

    • News
      • November 1, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives 34 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Three National Rankings in U.S. News – Best Lawyers Survey

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      • October 21, 2013

        Super Lawyers® Names 61 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2013 List

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • November 7, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives 32 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Four National Rankings in U.S.News - Best Lawyers Survey

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      • October 24, 2012

        Robinson & Cole’s Women’s Initiative Honored Partner Linda J. McDowell with Inaugural Ladder Award at its Women’s Retreat

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      • October 23, 2012

        Antiques Roadshow Comes to The Hill-Stead Museum for an Individual Clients Event

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      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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      • September 14, 2012

        Ten Robinson & Cole Attorneys Selected as “Lawyers of the Year”

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • March 7, 2012

        Jeanmarie B. Shea Elected Secretary of The Mark Twain House & Museum Board of Trustees

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      • December 5, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Participate in the Connecticut Society of CPAs’ Annual Tax Conference

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      • December 2, 2011

        Jeanmarie Shea Selected for Two Leadership Positions in the Community

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      • September 12, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • July 15, 2011

        Candace Cunningham Authors Content for American Bar Association Web Site

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      • July 6, 2011

        Attorney Presents on Estates and Probate Court

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      • June 17, 2011

        Linda McDowell Elected President of Estate & Business Planning Council of Hartford

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      • May 18, 2011

        Jeanmarie Shea Receives Award From Yale Club of Hartford

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      • October 5, 2010

        McDowell Appointed to Board of Trustees of Statewide Organization

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      • September 17, 2010

        Robinson & Cole LLP Receives Most Connecticut First-Tier Rankings in Inaugural U.S.News - Best Lawyers Survey

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      • June 10, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Interviewed in Giving Advice: A Resource for Professional Advisors

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      • November 18, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Appointed to Committee of Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

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    • Publications + Presentations
    • Planning Pointers - New Federal Estate and Gift Tax Laws (04/30/2013)

      Planning Pointers - To Give Or Not To Give - That Is The 2012 Question (10/01/2012)

      Planning Pointers - Federal Estate Tax: The Portability Option (06/04/2012)

      Planning Pointers - Planning for Your Digital Assets upon Your Incapacity and Death (04/30/2012)

      "To Love, Honor, and Share Tax Deductions…?" presented at Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants' (CSCPA) Tax360º Conference in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, co-presented by Virginia E. McGarrity, Felicia S. Hoeniger and Kelley Galica Peck (11/9/2011)

      "Administering a Decedent's Estate in 2011," at Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting, presented by Kelley Galica Peck (6/23/2011)

      "A Practical Guide to Preparing Gift Tax Returns," at New England Graduate Studies Accounting Conference, St. Joseph College, presented by Kelley Galica Peck (6/16/2011)

      Planning Pointers - Connecticut Reduces Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions (05/09/2011)

      "Probate Court Jurisdiction," at a day-long session sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association's Estates & Probate Section, presented by Kelley Galica Peck (5/6/2011)

      Planning Pointers - The Estate and Gift Tax Window of Opportunity Has Reopened for Two Years (01/07/2011)

      Planning Pointers - Gifting in 2010 (11/10/2010)

      Planning Pointers - Converting Traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (06/28/2010)

      Estate Tax Update - January 2010 (01/15/2010)

      "Connecticut Probate Court System," at Swift's Inn, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (5/4/2009)

      "Make Sure Your Estate Plan Is in Order," at Hartford Hospital, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (10/17/2007)

      "Estate Planning and Charitable Giving Techniques," at McLean, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (1/9/2007)

      Planning Pointers - Claims Against a Decedent's Estate (07/13/2006)

      "Tax Planning for Married Couples and Civil Union Partners under the New Connecticut Estate Tax," published in Connecticut Bar Association Estates and Probate Newsletter, authored by Margaret M. Murphy, Linda J. McDowell and Jeanmarie B. Shea (7/2006)

      e-News (12/01/2005)

      e-News (11/01/2005)

      "The New Connecticut Estate Tax," presented by Jeanmarie B. Shea, CLE presentation at joint meeting of the Estates and Probate and Tax Law Sections of the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) (10/17/2005)

      Planning Pointers - Choosing a Trustee (04/08/2005)

      Planning Pointers - Intestate Succession (01/10/2005)

      "Section 645 Election to Treat a Qualified Revocable Trust as Part of an Estate," at CBA seminar, presented by Jeanmarie B. Shea (11/12/2004)

      "Talking about Death Enhances Life – What Legal Arrangements Should Be Made," at Hartford Hospital, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (10/26/2004)

      Planning Pointers - Records Location Checklist (10/06/2004)

      Planning Pointers - The Estate Settlement Process (07/06/2004)

      Planning Pointers - Charitable Giving (04/04/2004)

      "Duties of an Executor," at Renbrook School, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (4/1/2004)

      e-News (01/01/2004)

      e-News (10/03/2003)

      "Beware the Related Party Rules When Funding a Pecuniary Bequest," authored by Linda J. McDowell and Jeanmarie B. Shea (8/2003)

      Planning Pointers - Qualified Disclaimers (07/03/2003)

      e-News (05/30/2003)

      Planning Pointers - Non-taxable Gifts (04/03/2003)

      e-News (01/02/2003)

      "New Rules on Retirement Plan Distributions," published in Connecticut Bar Association Estates and Probate Newsletter, authored by Linda J. McDowell (1/2003)

      "Connecticut Post-Mortem Planning - Strategies and Issues," at Professional Education Systems Institute Seminar, presented by Linda J. McDowell (10/02/02)

      Planning Pointers - Health Care Decisions (10/01/2002)

      Planning Pointers - Powers of Attorney (07/01/2002)

      Planning Pointers - 529 Plans (04/01/2002)

      "Estate Planning After 2001 Federal Tax Legislation," at open meeting of the Estates and Probate Section of the CBA, presented by Linda J. McDowell (2/4/2002)

      "What's New in Estate Planning?" at the 2001 University of Connecticut Income Tax School Seminar, presented by Linda J. McDowell (11/7/2001)

      "Issues in Joint Representation by the Estate and Trust Lawyer," at Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) Annual Meeting, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (2001)

      "Qualified Plans Funded with Employer's Stock," at CBA seminar, presented by Linda J. McDowell (11/16/1999)

      "Estate Planning and Charitable Giving," at Kingswood-Oxford School Alumni Association Meeting, presented by Jeanmarie B. Shea (10/1999)
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      "Qualified Plans Holding Employer's Securities," published in Connecticut Bar Association Estates and Probate Newsletter, authored by Linda J. McDowell (9/1999)

      "Qualifying Annuity or Similar Payments for the Marital Deduction using QDOT Rules," published in Connecticut Bar Association Estates and Probate Newsletter, authored by Judith M. Keppelman and Matthew J. Guanci (2/1999)

      "Marital Deduction Decisions - Planning and Drafting Considerations," at CBA seminar, presented by Judith M. Keppelman (1999)

      "Connecticut Transfer Taxes: Succession, Estate, and Gift Taxes," at Lorman Education Services Seminar, co-presented by Linda J. McDowell and Jeanmarie B. Shea (6/3/1998)

      "Trusts and Estates Income Tax Issues," at the 1997 University of Connecticut Income Tax School Seminar, presented by Linda J. McDowell (11/18/1997)

      "The Attorney Serving as Fiduciary: Today's Issues and Tomorrow's Prospects," at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel's New England Regional Meeting, presented by Judith M. Keppelman, presenter and moderator (1997)

      "The Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax: Selected Planning Opportunities and Drafting Techniques," at CBA Annual Meeting, presented by Jeanmarie B. Shea (6/3/1996)
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      "Federal Estate Taxes Paid From A Marital Trust," authored by Linda J. McDowell (4/1996)

      "Estate Administration Expenses: Where to Claim Them as Deductions," authored by Linda J. McDowell (6/1995)

      "Drafting Revocable Agreements: Opportunities to Consider and Problems to Avoid," at CBA seminar, presented by Jeanmarie B. Shea (5/6/1993)

      "Environmental Issues—How Should the Executor Respond?" at CBA seminar, presented by Linda J. McDowell (5/15/1992)

      "The Trustee's Dilemma: Whether to Consider a Beneficiary's Independent Resources," published in Connecticut Probate Law Journal, authored by Linda J. McDowell (1991)
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      "Find Out If Your Estate Plan Is Keeping Up with the Times," presented by Kelley Galica Peck, Panelist (11/13 and 11/16/2012)

      "Practical Aspects of a Trust and Estate Practice," at University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut, presented by Judith M. Keppelman

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