At the Prue Law Group, one of the most common reasons why clients come in is to discuss Title XIX (19) application. Unlike divorces,
personal injury cases, and estate planning, many people know little to nothing about what Title 19 is or what an application entails. For your convenience, we’ve listed some of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients about Title 19.

What is Title 19 (Medicaid)?

The Social Security Act of 1935 was created in order to promise provisions for various people in need. Title XIX of this Social Security Act
(also known as Medicaid) is a medical assistance program administered by individual states in compliance with federal regulations. Title 19 covers the cost of convalescent home care and long-term medical needs when an individual is no longer able to. Variations of the program are also available to keep people in their home while providing the care and assistance necessary.

Senior couple paying a visit at accountant

When Should I Begin the Application Process?

The Prue Law Group has over thirty-five years of experience in elder law and Title 19 applications. Based on our experience, we can say with quite a bit of certainty that, when it comes to Title 19 application, we suggest you begin the process at least 3 months before you plan on submitting the application. This amount of time allows you to compile the information and documents that you will need in order to apply for Title 19, and you will reduce the chance that your application is denied.

She's always there when things don't look too good

Is Applying Difficult?

Yes, it is very difficult to apply for Title 19. The guidelines for Title 19 are extensive, and the regulations are numerous. From our 35 plus years of experience in Connecticut, The State of Connecticut is extremely vigilant, and one small error can lead to denial of your application. Take our word for it, you don’t want to compound one problem by creating another. Always seek professional legal assistance for Title 19. It will save you time, not only during the application process, but it will also help ascertain the necessary care for you or your loved ones sooner!

Large stack of files, paperwork. Close-up. Desk, office. Nobody.

Do I Risk Losing All of My Hard-Earned Assets?

With proper planning before you file the application, it is often possible to save a large portion of your hard-earned assets. Several months before an application is submitted, you should develop a “spend down” plan. Such a plan is designed to take maximum advantage of the regulations to handle your assets wisely.

Happy senior man and young woman in living room

Can I Stay Home and Still Receive Assistance?

In the State of Connecticut, the answer is yes! The State of Connecticut provides for persons to stay at home while still qualifying for various forms of state and federal assistance programs.

Financial plan for retirement

If I Seek Legal Assistance, What Will the Cost Be?

Nothing. Your legal fees and other costs are essentially “free” because you are required to “spend down” assets to meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Your legal costs are allowed as part of the spend down!

Seeking professional legal guidance for Title 19 applications will cost you nothing. Not seeking legal guidance could cost you both money and time!

Do you still have questions or concerns about Title 19 and the application process? Feel free to call 1 (860) 423-9231 to speak with one of The Prue Law Group, P.C.’s legal professionals, or email info@pruelawgroup.com for further advice and assistance!

Accident Information Checklist

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, then you know just how frantic and nerve-wracking the event can be. Oftentimes, people panic even after minor collisions. When panic sets in, we often forget the important things that need to be taken care of.

Always be sure to get the following information, and perform these tasks, before anyone leaves the site of an accident.


  1. If anyone is injured, they need to go to a hospital or walk-in clinic as soon as possible and should follow up with a primary care physician.
  2. Call the police so they can file a police report.
  3. Call the insurance company to report the accident.
  4. Take photos of damages to yourself; your car; other vehicles involved; a road, traffic, and weather conditions; license plates; and any other evidence you may need later on.
  5. Collect the name, home address, and phone number of the driver and/or owner of the vehicle, its passengers, and any witnesses at the scene.
  6. Write down the vehicle make, model, and year of all vehicles involved in the accident.
  7. Collect the name, address, and policy number of the insurance company of the vehicle owner(s).
  8. Record the date and time the accident occurred.
  9. Write down the location of the accident.


For more information on car accidents and personal injuries, visit The Prue Law Group, P.C. online, or call us at (860) 423-9231.

Estate Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are incredibly disruptive diseases. They can disrupt the everyday abilities of the person afflicted, they can disrupt the normalcy in their family, and they can disrupt their ability to plan for the future. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with a form of Dementia, there are many concerns you’ll have about what affects this disease will have.

One such concern may be whether Alzheimer’s Disease would impede the ability to plan ahead for end of life and estate distribution decisions. Can an estate plan still be created? Can it be amended to reflect this diagnosis? Can you decide who’s going to have the right to make medical decisions for you when you no longer can? How can you be sure that your plans won’t go missing or end up in the wrong hands?

In addition to these concerns, with increasing research and awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, you may be aware that you are at a high risk for being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. If so, you may also be wondering what steps you can take in advance to create an estate plan that will cover what will happen if you are diagnosed with the disease at some point in the future.

Can I create or update an estate plan after I’ve been diagnosed with a form of Dementia?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a form of Dementia, you should start the process of creating and updating estate plans as soon as possible. It’s necessary that you are still of the right mental ability to authorize these decisions, and you’re going to want to make these decisions before the disease progresses too far. You’ll need to have an updated Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, designation of conservatorship, and updated HIPPA forms soon after your diagnosis.

Can I create a plan that is specific to my needs related to my diagnosis? What would a plan like this look like?

By meeting with an estate planning attorney, they can discuss with you what specific measures should be taken to protect your estate.

It’s highly likely that a person who has Alzheimer’s Disease will need convalescent care. Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1935 will pay for your convalescent and at home care. You’ll need to meet with an attorney who’s experienced in helping clients apply for Title XIX assistance. This process needs months of planning, so you’ll need to start this process right away.

Another concern with convalescent care is making sure that you don’t lose all of your estate’s assets. If you meet with an experienced estate planning attorney, they can develop a method to protect your assets through gifting and the creation of trusts. This process will look slightly different in each state.

If I’m at a high risk for Dementia, can I create an estate plan that protects my wishes in case I am diagnosed with the disease in the future?

If you know that you’re at a high risk of having Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of Dementia, it would be an excellent idea to begin estate planning before you’re diagnosed. You should consider how you can create protections, like those stated above before you are diagnosed.

Is there anything I should do after my estate plan has been created?

There are two very important things to do once you’ve created your estate plan. Both of these steps are important for anyone who has an estate plan, but even more so to persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

The first step to take is to make sure that your documents are stored in safe, secure locations that you and those people you trust have access to. You don’t want to lose these documents, and you want to make sure that the people you trust have access to them as needed. At The Prue Law Group, P.C., we always make sure that you sign multiple original documents. This ensures that there are enough originals for anyone who needs them, and we also keep an original in our office for safe keeping.

The second important step to take is to make sure that you’re meeting with your attorney regularly to review and revise estate plans. At The Prue Law Group, P.C., it’s our policy to meet with clients every three years to review documents. Keep in mind, you can always meet with an attorney more often than that, and an attorney should only let someone authorize a document if they are of sound mind.


The Prue Law Group, P.C. understands how difficult a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease can be, and we would like to urge you to donate either your time or money to the Alzheimer’s Association.

For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, visit www.alz.org.


For more information about The Prue Law Group, P.C. and our services, please visit us online or call (860) 423-9231 weekdays between 9 am – 5 pm EST.

We’re living together, but we’re not married… What’s the big difference?

If you and your partner have decided to live together and share your assets, but you aren’t married, then you should be made aware of the legal differences between a married and unmarried couple and what steps you should take to protect both of you.


Closeup of couple making heart shape with hands

Disclaimer: This is not a post about the morality of unmarried couples living together. In this blog, we are strictly discussing what legal concerns unmarried couples face when they live together.


Apartment Living

Can we decide ahead of time who gets to stay in the apartment if we break up?

Yes, you could draft a rental agreement that would allow you to decide who stays in the apartment if you end your relationship. If not, you’d both be on the lease, and you’d both have equal rights to stay in the apartment. To create an agreement like this, you’d need to meet with a real estate attorney to draft these documents, because a landlord wouldn’t already have an agreement like this available to you.

Can one or both of us leave our tenancy agreement if we break up?

Unless you decided ahead of time in your landlord-tenant agreement, you’d both still be on the lease. You’ll both have equal right to live there, and you’ll both be equally responsible to pay rent.

Purchasing Real Estate

Can my partner and I purchase real estate together?

You can purchase property jointly even if you’re not married. In order for both people to purchase real estate, both you and your partner must have your names on the deed.

What happens to the property if I or my partner dies?

Whether or not the surviving party inherits both halves of the property is dependent on whether you decided on a joint tenancy with right of survivorship or tenancy in common.

With tenancy in common, the deceased person’s share of the property would be inherited by their next of kin. Joint tenancy with right of survivorship leaves the surviving partner with full ownership of the property.

Should one person purchase real estate and let their partner live there?

You can choose to live together if one person already owns their own home, but keep in mind that the only way you can have a claim to a property is if your name is on the deed. Even if both people are helping to pay the mortgage, only the person(s) with their name(s) on the deed have a legal claim to the property.

Estate Planning

If I die without preemptive estate planning, what happens to my estate?

If someone were to pass away without performing any preemptive estate planning, their estate would be inherited by their next of kin by default.

How can I make sure that my partner inherits my estate?

If you want to ensure that your partner inherits some or all of your estate, you have to meet with an attorney to draft estate planning documents including a Last Will and Testament. By going through this process, you can personalize your wishes beforehand.

For example, if you wanted to split your estate four ways (half to your parents, a quarter to your sister, and a quarter to your partner) you could designate this in your will and ensure that your estate is distributed the way you’d prefer.

Access to Medical Information and the Right to Make Medical Decisions

Why do I need to be concerned about this?

Without the appropriate documentation, an unmarried couple doesn’t have any legal right to each other’s medical information. They also have no right to make medical decisions for their partner in the event that their partner is incapable of making their own decision.

If you trust that your partner is the best person to have access to your medical information and the best person to make medical decisions for you, then you should make sure that they have these authorizations.

How do I designate my partner as someone who can know my medical information / make medical decisions for me?

You have to meet with an estate planning attorney to determine what legal documentation you can create, depending on the state you live in, that will give your partner these authorizations.

Common Law Marriages and Legally Binding Relationships

What is a common law marriage?

A common law marriage is a legally binding agreement by a couple who has been living together for a period of time who meet certain criteria, defined by the state they live in, to consider themselves a married couple. This legal definition provides the couple with the same privileges any other married couple has.

How does this legally come to fruition?

If you meet your state’s criteria, you must present proof to your state in order to enter a common law marriage. It’s a common misconception that you will automatically enter a common law marriage after a certain period of time without first applying for one.

What are the pros and cons of a common law marriage?

The pros and cons are hand-in-hand, and they’re dependent upon how serious you want your relationship to be taken. Once you enter a common law marriage, you have the same rights as any other married couple, including an official divorce.

If you enter a common law marriage, you should want the relationship to be taken as seriously as any other marriage. For example, if you don’t want to go through the process of a divorce should the relationship end, then you shouldn’t enter a common law marriage agreement. On the other hand, benefits of a common law marriage, such as certain health care benefits, can be excellent reasons to enter a common law marriage.

Do all states have common law marriages?

This is another common misconception about common law marriages. No, not all states have common law marriages. In fact, the vast majority of states don’t have common law marriages.

As of writing this post, you can get a common law marriage (or something similar) in Colorado, District of Columbia, IowaKansas, Montana, New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only), Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. (The states in blue have links attached to provide you with further information about common law marriage in those states.)

What can I do if my state doesn’t have common law marriages?

Since most states don’t recognize common law marriages, the chances are that you’ll have to seek out an alternative to these agreements.

If you can possess a common law marriage in another state, then it will be recognized in all states whether or not they also have common law marriage legislation. However, you would have to be a resident of the state providing you with your common law marriage at the time that you get it.

If you can’t get a common law marriage, the next best thing to do would be to meet with an attorney to draft the necessary documents to create a legally binding relationship. We’ve already discussed a few of these documents.

Other Considerations

Who gets the pet(s) if we break up?

There are a few things that could happen if you and your partner end the relationship, but you bought pets together. You could create an agreement ahead of time as to what would happen to the pets, or you could try to come to an agreement after the break-up.

Whether you made the agreement ahead of time or after you’ve decided to break up, the agreements would look a lot like child custody agreements. You could decide to split custody of the petgive one person full custody of the pet, or give one person full custody while the other person has visitation rights.

Should we document what belongs to each person?

There are certain things that you really can’t plan for, and wouldn’t be worth trying to plan for. Trying to determine who bought what (or who paid more for the placemats) in case your relationship ends takes too much time and effort. Additionally, the effort of planning this extensively for a potential break-up probably isn’t very healthy for a relationship.

This isn’t to say that if you were to break up that there’s no way of making sure your assets are distributed equally, but extensively and tirelessly documenting each purchase ahead of time probably isn’t the way to do it.


We hope that you’re feeling more confident about how to live together as an unmarried couple, while still protecting the relationship and each other’s interests. It’s important that you evaluate how close you’d like the relationship to resemble that of a marriage, and based on that evaluation you can set up whatever protections will be necessary for that agreement.

If you’re looking to draft some of the necessary legal documentation we’ve mentioned in this article, or you’d like to discuss with an attorney what options are best for your relationship, please feel free to call

(860) 423-9231 weekdays between 9 am – 5 pm EST.

You can also visit www.PrueLawGroup.com for more information about The Prue Law Group, P.C. and our services.

In addition to some of the other important documentation and decision-making that happens when you develop an estate plan, you can also dictate what you want to happen to you after you pass. In your estate planning documents, you can include what you want to be done with your body after your death and what services you’d like to have. Including what you want to be done after your death ensures that your wishes are upheld, and it helps to alleviate any undue stress on your loved ones.

Keep in mind, if you don’t perform preemptive estate planning, these decisions are left to your next of kin.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the best way to ensure that your plans are executed the way you’d like is to plan ahead of time with both a funeral home/crematorium and an estate planning attorney. By doing this, you can make choices with what your crematorium/funeral home has available to you, and you can include this specific information in your estate plan.

First, decide what you’d like to be done with your body.

Some of your options for what to be done with your body include…

Leaving Your Body “As Is”

If you’d prefer that your body is not cremated your estate plan is a great place to make this request. In addition, you also have a few other related decisions you can plan for.

  • You have the option to decide whether you’d prefer to have an open or closed casket service.
  • You can determine how and where you’d like to be laid to rest. If you know that you’d prefer either a burial or space in a mausoleum, you can mention this in your plan.
  • Additionally, if you’ve predetermined a specific burial space or mausoleum, you can also mention these locations in your estate plan.

Cremating Your Body

If your preference is to be cremated following your passing, then you can mention this in your estate plan. Additionally, you can make other decisions about what’s done with your ashes.

  • Decide whether you want your ashes to be split multiple ways or kept all together. You may choose to split them multiple ways if you’d like more than one person to have them, or if you want to be spread in multiple locations.
  • If you’d prefer that your ashes aren’t spread, then you can mention in your estate plan that you’d like your ashes to be placed in an urn that is meant to remain closed.
  • If you’d prefer to have your ashes spread, you can mention that you want them to be placed in an urn that is meant to be opened to be spread.
  • Whether your wish is to have your ashes spread or to remain in an urn, you can decide who you’d like to have the ashes (either to be kept with this person or spread by them).
  • You can decide where you’d like your ashes to be kept or spread.

Donating Your Body

If you hope to have your body donated, then you have a lot of options as to where to donate your body. You also have some choices as to what can be done with your body after it’s been donated.

First, keep in mind that after you donate your body, often times you can still choose whether or not to be cremated or buried afterward. Sometimes, it’s still an option to have an open casket if that’s your wish. When you’re planning on donating your body, be sure to check ahead as to whether or not these options are available to you if they’re still a part of your wishes.

Next, once you’ve decided what you want to be done after your body has been donated, you can make a decision about where you’d like your body to be donated to. There are quite a few options to consider.

Donate Your Body to Science

If it’s your wish that your body is donated to science, there are numbers of ways in which you can do this. We’ve listed just a few below.

Medical Practice: You can donate your body to science for general research and education. Medical students use cadavers to study and practice on, and doctors use them to refine their skills. You can decide between these two options.

Medical Research: If you have (or you’re a relative of someone who has) a medical condition that could benefit from further research, you can donate your body to further this research.

A few examples of associations that use donated bodies for research include:

Tourette Association of AmericaAlzheimer’s AssociationLewy Body Dementia AssociationParkinson’s Disease FoundationALS AssociationDepartment of Veteran Affairs Biorepository Brain BankConcussion Legacy Foundation, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society to name a few.

Body Farms: You can donate your body to a “Body Farm” where studies are performed on the ways in which bodies decompose. In this case, your body will not be returned to your loved ones.

One such place you can donate your body is the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Become an Organ Donor

The process of becoming an organ donor is done at your Department of Motor Vehicles when you get your driver’s license, or you can sign up online.

Second, ask yourself, “How do I envision my service?”

Religious or Cultural Practices

If there are specific religious and/or cultural practices you want to be performed or respected at your service, you should mention these in your estate plan.

On the other hand, if you’re not religious, and you wouldn’t want your service to be religious, you should dictate this specifically in your estate plan as well.

Service Type

Would you prefer a traditional wake/funeral service, or do you think that a celebration of life is more in line with your preferences? Make sure to mention your preferences in your estate plan.

Finally, consider any other requests you’d like to make in your estate plan?

“In Lieu Of …”

Commonly, flowers are gifted to family and loved ones for someone’s services, but that may not be your wish. Instead, you may choose to dictate that you’d rather people donate to a trust or a charitable organization in lieu of flowers. This statement can be included in your obituary in order to let people know that this was your wish.

Officiants and Funeral Homes

It’s not uncommon for families to use specific funeral homes or officiants over the years. If you want to dictate exactly who you’d like to be used, your estate plan is the best place to make this clear.

Additionally, if you know which funeral home, funeral director, officiant, or even crematorium you’d like to use ahead of time; it’s always a good idea to meet with these people and share your wishes with them as well. The more clearly you can plan ahead with these people, the more you can share in your estate plan, and the easier it will be to follow your wishes.

Other Personal Touches

Are there certain flowers, songs, prayers, pictures, etc. that you’d like to be included at your service? Are there certain clothes you’d like to wear when you’re being laid to rest or cremated? Are there certain items you’d like in your coffin?


The Prue Law Group, P.C has been helping clients develop estate plans for over 4 decades. To set up an appointment with one of our legal professionals to begin your planning, call (860) 423-9231.

A new act became effective at the beginning of the year concerning pay equity. Under this act, employers cannot ask a prospective employee about his or her past wages and/or salary. An employer can ask about other elements of how the employee was compensated, such as stock options, as long as the employer doesn’t ask for any specific values.

The act also allows prospective employees to sue within two years of the alleged violation of the act by an employer. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:(1) an employer cannot be sued if the prospective employee voluntarily discloses this information and (2) if the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment is specifically allowed by a state or federal law.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this new act, please feel free to call our office at (860) 423-9231!

More summaries of new acts to come in the coming weeks!

More Info: The Connecticut General Assembly’s Website

An often overlooked aspect by a small business owner is taking steps to protect their business in the event of their death.  So much time is spent on building and maintaining the business that little time is spent thinking about what happens when the principal business owner passes away.  And yet, estate planning for the small business is just as vital as for an individual or family.

The first step of estate planning for the small business is to think about how the business will continue to operate after your death. Take a moment right now to really think about that possibility!   Do you have people designated to run the business after you? Is there sufficient cash on hand or insurance proceeds to fund the business? One cannot close down the business for several days and then just “reopen” the doors assuming that business will not be affected. The highest and best value of a business is a “going concern.” This means that the value of a business will suffer a serious decrease once the doors are locked.

One of the biggest problems that the small business owner faces is the situation where there is more than one beneficiary to inherit the business but not all are active in the business itself. There is the dilemma of providing equal distribution to the heirs, while preventing the beneficiaries who are not active from interfering with the business operation. The formation of a corporation, limited liability company and/or limited partnership can become a valuable tool in dividing the economic and management interests of the business.

If the business is operated as a sole proprietorship, then the business will be inherited by beneficiaries listed in your Will or, if you do not have a Will, by the beneficiaries as designated by State law. Are those beneficiaries ready, willing and able to step in and operate a business? If not, you need to identify and designate individuals who have the ability and desire to maintain the business immediately following your death.  If the beneficiaries are not interested in keeping the business in the future, you should consider making an arrangement for the sale of the business to a particular individual or company prior to your death.

The transfer of the management and/or ownership of a company is much easier if the company is a corporation or limited liability company. But even in these cases, there is very often one key owner or key person operating the firm.  Buy/Sell agreements which will transfer the ownership of those shares or membership interests to remaining stockholders or members become much more frequent in this situation.

One big advantage that a corporation or a limited liability company has in the estate planning arena is that the key owner has the ability to distribute an interest in the company to his or her beneficiaries during their lifetime. This is especially useful on the tax planning of the decedent’s estate, and these transfers can be set up while simultaneously minimizing the impact on the management decisions for the company.

A basic “Simple” Estate plan should be on everyone’s ‘to-do’ list. It protects you and your family in the most efficient cost-effective manner and makes the most sense considering the problems and issues it helps to avoid. The following documents should be included in your estate plan……

 Last Will and Testament (or simply The Will) is clearly your first and most necessary document.  It can protect your spouse from convalescent expenses, appoint a guardian for your minor children, take care of your grandchildren and designate your executor as well as determine how and to whom your assets pass.

Designation of a Health Care Agent is vital.  In the event, that for whatever reason you cannot make your own decisions concerning medical care or end of life decisions your designation of a health care agent will authorize a person of your choosing to carry out your wishes.   Without this document, all medical and health decisions will be left to family and that can be a complicated matter.

Living Will is an important document that notifies your family and health care provider what your wishes are when it comes to end of life decisions.   To take, or not take, extraordinary medical and health measures is one that should be given serious consideration with this document that will let others know what you desire should such a situation arises.

Power of Attorney.   This is a document that can be used for one time only, a short period of time, or it can be drafted for future use to allow someone of your choosing to manage your day-to-day life decisions, financial interests or otherwise,  in the event you cannot do so.    A Power of Attorney is especially important if you own a business in order to maintain continuity of running that business.

Designation of a Future Conservator is a smart choice for long term help in the event that we lose our ability to manage our own life choices.  Though similar in tasks, one benefit of the Conservator over a Power of Attorney is that the probate court will supervise the conservator while your power of attorney, is unsupervised now that you can’t watch over them.  And again, if you do not name the person you want to be Conservator, the Probate Court will appoint an outside individual.

“HIPAA” Form is the last, but equally important to execute as it declares who you wish to share your medical information with.  Most people appoint their spouse and children but with the form you can appoint, or not appoint, whomever you wish.

What Documents are Part of a “Simple” Estate plan? | The Prue Law Group, P.C.