Vincent empowers clients by providing asset protection through developing their personal estate planning and business models. He advises them in efficiently acquiring, managing and distributing their assets in the most tax-efficient ways. His practice encompasses matters dealing with wealth acquisition, preservation and transfer using wills, trusts, and sophisticated estate planning techniques; asset protection methods; business formation and succession planning; elder law; probate administration; fiduciary representation; and real estate transactions, including IRC Section 1031 tax deferred exchanges. He represents individuals, couples and family-owned businesses and fiduciaries. Prior to establishing a legal practice, Vincent was involved in real estate and mortgage brokerage.
Vincent is a frequent lecturer in a variety of venues across Connecticut, presenting on topics including: Don't Die With Your Assets, The Tax Tsunami, The Sandwich Generation, and The Red Flag Seminar - Things You Need to Know About Your Wealth That Lawyers Don't Always Discuss as well as Estate Planning and Same-Sex Marriage issues. He has also been interviewed on television and the radio about Same-Sex Marriage issues pertaining to estate planning, pet trusts and advanced estate planning matters. Additionally, Vincent has published articles on pet trusts and advanced estate planning techniques involving tax loopholes.
He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law's post-juris doctor, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program in Estate Planning and Elder Law.
Additionally, Vincent is active in numerous community organizations including the American Heart Association Advisory Club, the Estate and Business Planning Council of Hartford where he is a member of its Program's Committee and the Amity Club. He is also a former member of the West Haven Rotary Club.
How do the New Laws on Firearms Affect How You Hold and Transfer Them to Heirs?
By:Vincent A. Liberti Jr., 04/18/2014
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, Connecticut enacted new firearms laws, Public Act 13-03 and its amending act, Public Act 13-22. These laws impact how we may possess, purchase, transfer, hold, register and inherit firearms.
As of April 4, 2013, these new laws expand the definition of assault weapons by enacting a more restrictive classification. Firearms under this new classification now are prohibited from being sold in Connecticut. Anyone who had actual or lawful possession of such firearms may continue to possess them, but must have applied for a Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) certificate of possession for each firearm by January 1, 2014. The law also bans the sale, transfer and possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than ten (10) rounds, which are considered large-capacity magazines (LCM). Such magazines lawfully owned prior to enactment may be permissibly owned thereafter, however, before January 1, 2014, they must have been registered with the DESPP. Any person who moves into the state in lawful possession of an assault weapon shall, within ninety (90) days, render it permanently inoperable, sell it to a licensed gun dealer, or remove it from the state.
PA 13-3 prohibits non-dealers from selling or transferring a firearm other than a pistol or revolver to other non-dealers, unless DESPP authorizes the transaction or specified background check requirements are met. Such firearms include any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun or other weapon from which a shot may be discharged. In addition, police may seize a person's firearms without warrant or a court order, when they have probable cause that an individual may be either mentally unstable or intends to use the firearm to commit a crime.
First, the basics: The following chart lists requirements for ownership of firearms.
ESTATE PLANNING IMPLICATIONS
How does the new law pertain to transferring firearms to trusts or to heirs via a last will and testament? Existing law now prohibits anyone with a registered assault weapon from: (a) selling or transferring the firearm in Connecticut to anyone except a licensed gun dealer; or (b) otherwise transferring the firearm except by: (i) bequest (through a Will) or intestate succession (without a Will); or (ii) prior arrangement by DESPP or a local police department in case the owner wishes to relinquish or destroy the firearm. Any individual who inherits title to a properly registered assault weapon must, within ninety (90) days of obtaining title: 1) apply to the department of public safety for a certificate of possession; 2) render the firearm inoperable; 3) sell the firearm to a licensed gun dealer; or 4) remove the firearm from the state. In this regard, firearm owners should now inform their intended heirs to obtain a certificate of possession immediately after inheriting the assault weapon. In addition, the prospective heir should take steps now to obtain the proper permit or eligibility certificate.
The bill also allows the trustee of a trust that includes a registered assault weapon, upon the death of the testator or settlor, to transfer the firearm to a trust or, from a trust to a beneficiary eligible to possess the firearm (one with a valid permit or certificate). But the legislature only addresses assault weapons already included in a trust prior to the enactment of the new law. It is silent as to transferring assault weapons to a trust post-enactment and pre-death. Whether the legislative intent was to prohibit pre-death transfers of assault weapons to trusts or a mere oversight, the prudent course of action now is not to transfer assault weapons classified under the new statutes to trusts prior to death. The amending act also makes it clear that assault weapons manufactured prior to September 13, 1994 (pre-ban assault weapons) are not subject to PA 13-03. Therefore the law permits transfers of these pre-ban assault weapons to a revocable trust.
Nothing precludes one, however, from transferring firearms other than assault weapons to a revocable trust. The issue, therefore, becomes whether one wishes to have such firearms listed on a public probate document inventorying them when the owner dies and subjecting them to the probate process, or to transfer them to a revocable trust, which is a private document not subject to public view, and not subject to probate scrutiny. Transferring non-assault firearms pursuant to statutory requirements to family members holding a valid carry permit or certificate, is another viable option. In addition, there is no prohibition on the transfer of magazines, of any capacity (including LCM magazines), into a revocable trust.
Importantly, and especially for estate planning purposes, the law exempts antique firearms, as defined in existing law, from all the provisions pertaining to firearms sales and transfers. With some qualifications, antique firearm means any firearm that was manufactured in or before 1898 and any replica of such firearm.
If one's estate plan may involve having any firearm held in trust, the consideration of who should be the trustee takes on a new dimension. The trustee or perhaps a special co-trustee appointed and empowered solely to hold and manage the firearms of the trust, must have the proper permits to possess and carry the firearm(s) involved.
One thing is clear: the classification of your firearms and consideration of their disposition are new variables to carefully consider when creating and reviewing your estate plan.Avoiding Probate
By Vincent Liberti Jr., 02/01/2014
Creating a trust and transferring assets to it during your life avoids many concerns of the probate process. Although the value of assets held in a revocable trust are includable in one's gross taxable estate, they are not probate assets subject to the probate process. If assets outside of trust that pass through probate are valued less than forty thousand ($40,000) dollars (in Connecticut), the probate process involves a very short period of time, much less cost to settle, limited disclosure of assets owned and even reduced (or avoided) claims from creditors. Having most, or all, assets held in trust for your benefit avoids conservatorship actions and potential abuse from agents appointed in a power of attorney. Trusts protect beneficiaries who do not have the acumen to properly manage and spend inherited assets by holding and distributing trust assets, instead of gifting them outright, which would subject the assets to divorce claims, bankruptcy proceedings, creditor claims or spendthrift tendencies. Even after death, your trusts benefit only your heirs whom you choose as beneficiaries, thus sheltering your wealth from their over-reaching spouses or the negative elements with whom they associate. One may even provide for multiple generations and, if properly drafted, allow heirs who develop special needs to avail themselves of public assistance without first exhausting trust funds.
The three main negative aspects of the probate process are time, expense and notoriety. A typical, non-contested probate administration takes about one year to complete. Contested estates, or estates involving litigation, have much longer administration periods resulting in more expense, delayed settlement and eventual distribution of assets to heirs. The administration process exposes the estate to court reporting of assets, tax filings, accountings of all items of income and expense during the administration process and creditor claims. An interested party also may contest the Will or the appointment of the named executor in the Will. Legal fees, appraisal fees, executor fees and litigation fees may all deplete the estate. Lastly, the probate process is subject to Freedom of Information claims, making most matters open to public review. Trusts are private agreements not subject to public scrutiny. Although the fiduciary may still incur appraisal fees, the trust administration is outside of the probate administration. In many jurisdictions creditors may only seek redress from the non-trust probate assets.
What if you are ever unable to manage your finances? In such cases, the next appointed trustee (typically after you as maker of the trust) becomes the trustee empowered and instructed by the trust to manage and distribute assets according to the trust terms. You are typically the primary, or sole, beneficiary. The trustee will thus use trust funds to benefit you during the your incapacity and until your death. The trustee pays for all expenses of last illness, housing or continuing care facility expenses and your other needs. Since assets are held in trust and managed by the trustee, abuses are avoided by appointed agents or an attorney-in-fact (the person given the power to act under the power of attorney - also called the agent) in power of attorney documents. It also avoids the need for a conservatorship proceeding in probate
News & Events
Vincent Liberti Jr. Facilitates National Seminar: For Richer or For Poorer: Dodging Pitfalls with Non-Traditional Estate Planning Clients
Vincent Liberti, Jr. will be a faculty member, writer and presenter for the For Richer or For Poorer: Dodging Pitfalls with Non-Traditional Estate Planning Clients live national webinar sponsored by Lorman Educational Services. The seminar will take place Wednesday, September 10, 2014 from 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST.
The seminar is tailored for advisers representing same-sex spouses and non-married same-sex couples (including lawyers, accountants, financial planners and other advisers) and will cover the many changing laws and areas of concern for non-traditional clients relating to estate planning, including recent legal changes regarding the recognition of same-sex spouses, competing state and federal laws, and the changing guidelines regarding benefits. In particular, participants will learn information about the prevailing legal status of same-sex marriages across the nation, issues regarding tax treatment federally and with state nuances, issues with gift taxes, social security benefits, marital legal obligations, terminating the relationship, transfer tax issues, Medicaid planning and more.
New York State Estate Tax exemption jumps to $2 million for year 2014.
It is scheduled to increase to $5.25 million in a four-year phase-in, and then adjust for inflation. However, beware: If one's estate value exceeds the exemption amount by more than 5%, the ENTIRE estate is taxed. When in past years Connecticut taxed residents were like this it was dubbed THE CLIFF.
The maximum estate tax rate is 16%.
In addition, the value of any transfer made within three (3) years of death by New York residents now will be added back into such resIdent's taxable estate.
There are other tax and estate matters that must be reviewed given changes in New York and federal tax changes.
For additional information please contact Vincent Liberti, Jr.Vincent Liberti, Jr. to Present on Real Estate for Probate Lawyers
Halloran & Sage attorney Vincent Liberti, Jr. will be a presenter on behalf of the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) Estates and Probate Section. This seminar will cover various real estate concerns including planning issues and estate administration pertaining directly to estate and probate practitioner casework. The presentation will take place at the CT CBA Law Center on Friday, April 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Participants are eligible for Continuing Legal Education Credit for this course. Details for registration are available on the CBA Event Website.Vincent Liberti presents Long Term Care Seminar
Vincent Liberti, Jr. presented to Milford Hospital staff and long-term care administrators of the Milford community a seminar entitled Advance Directives: Living Wills, Health Care Representatives and Conservators.Four Firm Attorneys Presenting at 2012 CBA Annual Meeting
Halloran & Sage is proud to announce that four of the Firm's attorneys will be presenters at the Connecticut Bar Association's (CBA) 2012 Annual Meeting on Monday, June 11, 2012 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Vincent Liberti, Jr. will speak at the Conservatorships in the Wake of Gross v. Rell seminar from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The seminar will discuss avoiding conservatorships where possible and techniques for dealing with them when unavoidable.
Ann Catino, an Environmental Law Section past chair, will be a speaker at the seminar titled: DEEP Changes in Environmental Protection in Connecticut. This seminar will take place at 10:50 a.m. and will cover the sea change of environmental and energy regulation and enforcement in Connecticut since the DEP's expansion into the energy field.
Allen Gary Palmer is a speaker in the Alimony Reform in Connecticut-Has the Time Come? seminar, to be held at 3:45 p.m. Mr. Palmer and the panel will cover (1) the historical purposes of alimony, (2) the present purposes of alimony as well as the current national trends, (3) the proposed bill that is/has been in the Connecticut legislature, and (4) a discussion/debate as to the pros and cons of reform in Connecticut.
Also at 3:45 p.m., Leslie Grodd will speak at the Uraveling the Mysteries of Tax Allocation Provisions seminar. The panel will explain the fundamentals of the tax allocation provisions for pass-through entities and review alternative approaches for achieving specific economic results.Vincent Liberti, Jr. to Hold Seminars at CT Mental Health & the Law Event
Vincent Liberti, Jr. will present a seminar at the Connecticut Mental Health & the Law 2012 event on Friday, September 14.
Vincent will conduct an afternoon seminar on the topic of confidentiality that will include issues such as: disclosure of information; reporting requirements; HIPAA and Connecticut Law; and fraud and abuse. He will provide the event's concluding seminar, Planning By & On Behalf of a Person With Mental Illness. The seminar will cover power of attorney, representative payee, special needs trusts and government benefits.
The day-long event is organized by HEALTH EDucation Network, LLC, which hosts continuing education seminars across the country. Connecticut Mental Health & the Law 2012 is designed to benefit professionals in the addiction services and behavioral healthcare fields.Upcoming Estate Planning and Probate Seminars Announced
Halloran & Sage Attorney Vincent Liberti, Jr. LL.M. will offer the following seminars in the next few weeks:
Estate Planning Seminar
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Columbia Congregational Church
Contact: Vincent Liberti, 860-241-4048
Alzheimers: the Silent Epidemic Seminar
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Savin Rock Conference Center
West Haven, CT
(Reserved Seating Only: 860-876-8066)
Discussion will cover:
legal documents needed in case of incapacity/dementia such as:
medical and financial powers,
need to review Wills,
and Medicad issues as they pertain
to a spouse/family member with dementia/Alzheimer issues.Estate Planning and Probate Resource: Tax Information Available to Seniors
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services recently updated an informational publication clarifying Connecticut tax laws applicable to senior citizens. The publication, Informational Publication 2100(18), includes information on Connecticut income tax, sales and use taxes, gift, estate, real estate conveyance and local property taxes. Also included in the publication is a list of goods and services that senior citizens typically purchase that are exempt from sales and use tax and the publication explains property tax credits available to senior citizens. The publication modifies and supersedes Informational Publication 2010(26).
The Halloran & Sage Estate Planning and Probate Department is available to answer any specific questions related to this publication or any tax, estate planning or probate concern.
Thank you for going above and beyond the ordinary efforts in handling all of my affairs the last few years. I really appreciate it! I have the absolute trust and faith in your judgment.
Vincent Liberti has a calm assuredness that overcomes the negative attorney stereotype and we feel confident, comfortable and well represented by him. Vincent has a knack for putting us at ease as he handles our legal situations, which he does with knowledge, skill, finesse and competent legal prowess.
-Dr. & Mrs. Bayuk
I have been represented by Attorney Vincent Liberti for nearly five years, during which time, he has successfully represented me in many legal matters. In each and every instance, I have been impressed by his responsiveness and professionalism in dealing with often complicated legal issues. Attorney Liberti is an able practitioner who skillfully and thoroughly conceptualizes potential issues and plans effective strategies which yield positive results. He has always gone the extra mile to completely familiarize himself with the pertinent aspects of my cases and thereby provided a comprehensive approach to my legal representation. I enthusiastically recommend him as a competent and accomplished attorney who consistently delivers high quality services of tremendous value.
-Dr. R.M. Anastasio
Thanks for all your help Vincent, you did a great job!