Estate Planning

Simply put, estate planning is the process during which clients manage wealth, protect their assets, and/or determine how they wish their affairs to be handled should they become incapacitated or pass away. Among the issues considered in estate planning are all potential health and life care matters, ongoing asset management, final asset disposition, and, in the case of minor children, guardianship. As a result, an estate-planning attorney should have significant working knowledge of the legal, financial, and medical aspects of estate planning.

For example, by combining a properly executed Last Will and Testament with the appropriate trust instrument(s), if needed, an attorney experienced in estate planning can effectively enable clients to:

  • maximize and/or protect their assets to meet both short- and long-term financial goals, including long-term care planning
  • preserve their assets for future beneficiaries
  • manage their assets to ensure appropriate care should they become incapacitated
  • and assign their assets as desired for disbursement after death.

Additional legal instructions included in Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Directives are used to further define individual’s wishes for their future.

Here at the Law Offices of Sharon L. Pope, our attorneys are experienced estate planners whose considerable skill in all aspects of the estate-planning process have enabled countless clients to look forward with confidence.

Estate Planning Articles

This is the first article in a two part series about how to help a loved one who is having difficulty managing his or her affairs.

Connecticut Home Care Programs
Connecticut`s two home-care programs offer different levels of care and different requirements for eligibility.

The Power of a Power of Attorney
Part two in a series about how to provide legal, financial, and personal protection for those with a significant disability.

Veterans and Surviving Spouses: Aid and Attendance Pension
This article explains how the Veteran`s Aid and Attendance Pension works, including how to calculate the likely amount for which you could qualify. However, it’s important to remember that there are many different kinds of Veteran`s benefits and this is only one.

Medicaid Programs & Eligibility
Medicaid, or Title XIX of the Social Security Act, finances long-term care. It is a program based on financial need — a safety net for many people who are disabled or elderly and in need of long-term care, either in a convalescent facility or in a home-care setting. Financed with both state and federal money, Medicaid is administered in Connecticut by the Department of Social Services.

Veteran`s Burial Benefits
All veterans of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are honorably discharged from the service are entitled to the veteran’s burial benefit. Certain National Guard and reserve members may also qualify. Depending upon the veteran’s circumstances and personal wishes, there are a number of burial choices available such as burial in a national cemetery, burial in a private cemetery, and cremation. Eligible spouses and dependent children of veterans are entitled to be buried at a national cemetery but not at a private cemetery. Certain burial expenses are absorbed by the family and not the federal government. As part of the planning process, we encourage veterans to review the information below, convey their wishes to their loved ones, and gather the necessary paperwork.

Estate Planning Documents

Pooled Trusts Screening Tool
This document can be used as a screening tool for Pooled Trust eligibility. You may click on the document and print it for your personal use. Pooled Trusts are a type of special needs trust. Money in a pooled trust is not counted for Medicaid or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). These trusts are especially helpful for our seniors, age 65 or better, who seek home care benefits through the Medicaid Waiver.
This is a document that you may download. >DOWNLOAD

Client Questionnaire for Married or Single
Please download and fill out this Client Questionnaire and bring it to your first consultation. This is for both Married and Single clients.
This is a document that you may download. >DOWNLOAD

Veteran`s Aid and Attendance Pension
This article discusses how the Aid and Attendance Pension works for Veterans and Surviving Spouses.
This is a document that you may download. >DOWNLOAD

Estate Planning News

Do you still buy green bananas?

Do you have your Estate Plan in order? Which legal documents do you need? Do you need an attorney to help you with an Estate Plan? All of these questions will be addressed during the presentation followed by a question and answer session.

September 21, 2011 at 11:00 am

Avery Heights Assisted Living

705 New Britain Avenue

Hartford, Connecticut

Local Attorney Attends Special Needs Meeting in Charleston
Attorney Sharon L. Pope was among the 100 attendees of the 4th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, which took place March 19-20th in Charleston, SC. Special needs planning is one of the fastest-growing areas of estate planning. Attorneys in the field focus on helping individuals with special needs and their families plan for a more secure future. The attorneys must combine compassion with skilled estate planning and a knowledge of the public benefit programs on which many individuals with special needs must rely. The Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP), of which [attorney name] is a member, was established in 2006 to provide attorneys in this growing field of law with access to a collegial community and practice tools to assist them in fulfilling their clients` needs. ASNP`s 4th Annual Meeting featured presentations by nationally recognized leaders in special needs planning and related disciplines who shared insights on the latest developments and legal strategies in the field. Session topics included “Deconstructing that Special Needs Trust”, “SSI and SSDI Annual Updates”, “Special Needs Planning with Military or Veterans Benefits”, “Special Education Advocacy and Litigation” and “The Practical Applications of Qualified Settlement Funds.” To learn more about ASNP, visit and its companion consumer site, SpecialNeedsAnswers, at

Attorney Sharon L. Pope attended the bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill 370: An Act Concerning Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage for Married Couples
Attorney Sharon L. Pope attended the bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill 370: An Act Concerning Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage for Married Couples.

Attorney Pope named Board Member of the Month by BIACT
Sharon Pope joined the BIAC Board of Directors in 2005. A gifted attorney and founding partner of her own firm, the Law Offices of Sharon Pope , Sharon is an integral part of the BIAC team. An organizational powerhouse, Sharon always jumps right in and lends a hand. Whether planning special events, sponsoring our annual picnic or sharing her expertise in the areas of elder and disability law with BIAC staff, Sharon’s contributions to BIAC are immeasurable, while truly adhering to our mission. Thank you Sharon!

Estate Planning Websites

Brain Injury Association of Connecticut
BIAC is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with brain injury, their families, and caregivers while increasing the community’s understanding of brain injury and its prevention.

Spina Bifida Association of Connecticut
The mission of Spina Bifida Association of Connecticut is to promote the prevention of Spina Bifida and to enhance the lives of all affected.

Academy of Special Needs Planners
The goal of the Academy of Special Needs Planners is to provide attorneys in this field with all the practice aids they need to successfully fulfill their clients` needs.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others who work with older clients and their families.

State of Connecticut Probate Court
The state probate courts are also known as “family courts” because, in addition to overseeing decedents` estates and trusts, they handle a wide range of sensitive issues affecting children, the elderly, the mentally retarded, and the mentally ill.

Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
P&A is an independent State agency created to safeguard and advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities in Connecticut.

State of Connecticut Department of Veteran Afffairs
It is the responsibility of the Office of Advocacy and Assistance to provide assistance to veterans, their eligible spouses and eligible dependents in obtaining veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws.