Putting one’s home into a trust is an increasingly popular strategy for aging homeowners and their families who want to ensure that the parents’ home is transferred to their survivors with a minimum of fuss and the fewest possible tax liabilities. It’s an excellent way both to preserve the value of what is often one’s chief asset for one’s heirs and to avoid the complexities and potential risks that can come with a traditional inheritance scenario. Unlike a will, the contents of which are part of the public record, the terms of a trust are private. And unlike a will, a trust is not subject to the review and possible challenge to the extent to which wills that are going probate are exposed. Nor will the heirs have to bear the burden of probate fees which can eat up to 7 percent of the home’s value – or wait for the process to end to gain ownership of the property. Continue reading “Estate Planning – Creating a Trust for the Family Home [Part 1 of 3]”
Science has taught us that children are like sponges – they soak up the most information when they are young. Linguistic experts always note that children who grew up hearing phonemes of other languages have an easier time learning the language when they are older. The same is true when it comes to learning about finances. The bottom line is: children pick up habits when they are young and it shapes who they are as adults.
Now, I am not advocating for you to sit your three-year old down to help you balance your checkbook – although, I would be impressed if they could do it! However, there are other ways to teach your children valuable lessons on saving, such as:
You are registered for the Litchfield Hills Road Race. You’ve trained for the 7 + mile race, ready to conquer the infamous Gallows Lane, a steep quarter-mile long hill at the 6-mile mark that threatens to sap your strength.
You go to pick up your number and your free T-shirt. The crowds are beginning to gather on the green – the tailgaters are staking out their territory and you see it…the big bin of sneakers, most of which have seen a mile or two.
I have spent my long banking career at a few (some people say “a number”) of banks here in Connecticut. At each stop I have had the pleasure of working with small and medium sized businesses who work every day to promote their products and provide jobs for thousands of people in our state. Each of those businesses also realize that the communities that they are in are very important to the success of their business. It is those people in the community who buy their products, educate their employees and their employees’ children, and provide a secure environment in which to live.
Every bank has a tag line, a motto, a mission – some even have fancy jingles – you know the ones that run through your brain at 2am and won’t leave? At Litchfield Bancorp we are pretty down to earth – no fancy jingles here keeping you up at night. Our culture and our team, we are just normal people – we are your neighbors. We do the same things you do – from Chairman of the Board to our top notch tellers – yes, we are just like you.
Back to tag lines, ours is “Every Customer Counts”. This may sound cliché, but for 165 years, this saying has been the driving force behind everything that we do.
Here’s what I mean….
I’ve been in this industry a long time – no need to dwell on the actual years invested but suffice it to say I’ve seen quite a few changes during my banking journey. I joined Litchfield Bancorp in 1994 when my predecessor Mark Macomber brought me on as Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender. At that time, our bank was at a tipping point – a financial tipping point. Like any business in that situation, it was sink or swim time. Mark decided to swim, I agreed to follow – and that required change at the bank.