February 1 – STORRS / VERNON – For 57 years, the extensive network of lawyers in Kahan, Kerensky and Capossela has been helping residents to get the most out of difficult situations.
The company often serves as a single point of contact for an individual’s legal needs.
“We are a full-service law firm with individual attorneys who focus on specific areas of activity,” said Steve Sutton, KKC partner and lawyer for the estate planning department. The law firm is headquartered at 45 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon with an additional office at 22 Professional Park Road in Storrs.
Sutton has been with KKC for approximately 23 years, providing estate planning, legacy law, and estate administration services.
“I’m not going to do a property lockup for you, but I have two partners who do,” Sutton said, explaining that it is common for his clients to have multiple lawyers for different needs.
KKC’s estate planning department makes up a large part of the overall practice, according to Sutton.
“We have an estate planning department that can compete with other downtown firms because of our size and breadth,” he said.
This type of work involves drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and estate tax planning.
“I serve everything from simple will to $ 100 million customers,” said Sutton.
And often estate administration is linked to estate administration, which Sutton says is viewed as the “post-death” side of estate planning, which means that someone’s estate is settled after someone dies.
Sutton also focuses on older law, which includes special needs planning.
Sutton helps seniors plan and resolve issues related to long-term care planning.
This can mean helping people receive Medicaid and other government program benefits while also helping them raise additional assets for themselves and their loved ones.
“We try to protect the family from long-term care costs. If someone has been sick or has been in a nursing home, then how do we protect the family’s assets to not only cover those care costs but to earn a safe spouse that is left behind in a meetinghouse can still have assets to live their lives and potentially transfer assets to other generations, “he explained.
As a result of the pandemic, Sutton said demand for estate planning services and administration has increased while the older right has decreased.
“This pandemic that we are in was a trigger for people to come in and make their own wills, trusts and estate plans. The second part of that, unfortunately, is also people dying. Estate management has increased as a result of unexpected deaths.” he explained.
He went on to say another difference that comes with COVID is the suddenness of events.
“There are many families out there who have been surprised or shocked by the unexpected loss of a loved one as a result of this pandemic,” he said.
Not only is KKC sensitive to the situation of all customers, it has also offered people various options on how to obtain legal services in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic.
“Everyone was scared early on and I think now people have got over it,” said Sutton.
Sutton says educating his clientele about the pandemic and offering them alternative options to meet and sign documents has helped people feel more comfortable.
According to Sutton, there are three separate conference rooms in the KKC office in Vernon that have exterior or main hall access. Acrylic panels run the length of the conference room table and each can be 6 feet apart.
“Customers have been feeling very comfortable for the most part. It’s about explaining what options they have and what they want to pursue,” Sutton said, noting that he encourages video and phone consultations to reduce office traffic.
Sutton says that all document signing has so far been seen in person, but lawyers have had to get creative.
“I was standing in someone’s front yard in their bushes and looking out the window of their living room,” Sutton said, recalling a story when he had to get his team together to see a couple sign documents and take an oath in their house dropped.
In addition, KKC offers drive-through document signatures for customers who are uncomfortable in an office environment.
“It’s about customizing and making customers feel comfortable and letting them know we are still here to get things done,” said Sutton.
Follow Lisa Massicotte on Twitter – @LMassicotteTC.
Kahan, Kerensky & Capossela
Address: 45 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon; 22 Professional Park Road, Storrs Information: 860-646-1974 or visit www.kkc-law.com
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