Articles Posted in Estate Administration

AdobeStock_133177217-300x169The process of properly handling inherited property can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the relevant laws and legal procedures. For instance, how do you know whether or not you’ll need to go through probate?

While there are unique elements to each case, there are some basic guidelines that are universally applicable.

The role of probate in CT and when it applies

Probate is the process for settling an estate under court supervision. It’s designed to serve as a protection against fraud by freezing the estate’s assets until a judge can confirm that everything is in order with the Will, beneficiaries, and creditors. Continue reading

Dollarphotoclub_87265157-300x200For most of us, debt is a way of life. We finance our cars and homes, we use our credit cards to pay for holiday gifts and vacations. We borrow money to send our kids to college. Even if we use credit wisely, we still may end up with a pile of debt at the end of our lives.

So who is responsible for paying it?

That depends on the situation. Continue reading

AdobeStock_60968592-300x300By Peter Smith

When it comes to managing a trust, ensuring a smooth process has a lot to do with knowing the rules and paying attention to the details. For instance, if you are the trustee of a trust, did you know that you need to get a separate tax identification number for the trust?

The only scenario in which a new tax ID number is not needed is if you, as trustee, are also the surviving spouse and everything has been left to you outright or in a revocable trust. In such cases, you can use your Social Security number since, in essence, you are the rightful owner of any assets. Continue reading

New Car GiftWhen you die, someone is going to benefit from the use of your car. Wouldn’t it be nice to decide now exactly who that person should be?

The easiest way to transfer your car to someone you care about is to plan in advance. When registering a vehicle, you can designate a transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiary, not unlike what you can do with a bank account.

How to designate a beneficiary

Simply complete the area reserved for this purpose on the reverse side of your registration certificate. If you do not have a registration certificate, or if you are registering a new vehicle, complete the Official Registration, Form H-13, and designate the Owner in Box 1 as “John Doe, Transfer on Death to Jane Doe.”

When you die, the transfer-on-death beneficiary need only bring a certified copy of your death certificate to the nearest Department of Vehicles office to have the registration transferred. Continue reading

Responsibility wooden sign with a street backgroundBy Peter J. Smith

You might get the news from an unexpected phone call.  Maybe you knew it would come someday, but were surprised when the day finally arrived.  Or perhaps no one told you, and you learned about it after stumbling upon your deceased parent’s trust.  No matter how it happens, the news is the same: You’ve been appointed a Successor Trustee.

How did you become trustee?

There are primarily two scenarios: Continue reading

Bidding on a homeBy Peter J. Smith

Your spouse just passed away, and everything your spouse owned had a joint or beneficiary designation. All of your spouse’s assets go to you without having to go through probate first.

End of story, right?  Not exactly.

Did you know that you still have to file paperwork with the probate court?  At the very least, a Connecticut estate tax return must be filed, even if no tax is due.  Not filing can cause problems for you down the road, and here’s why. Continue reading

smbolo de dinero impulsado por toberas de coheteConnecticut probate fees on settling estates – a legal process that determines the authenticity of Wills and the administering of a deceased’s assets –have risen substantially.

Connecticut previously had a cap of $12,500 on probate court fees, regardless of the value of the estate. This maximum fee was reached with an estate of  $4,754,000.

Now, with the new legislation, the fee has been increased on estates worth more than $2 million so that the rate on the amount in excess of $2 million is increased from .25% to 0.5% of the excess. Continue reading

Helpful tipsSo your duty as executor has kicked in. And the word “probate” keeps popping up.

Not sure what probate is? You’re not alone.

Most people don’t know much about the probate process in Connecticut unless they’ve had firsthand experience with it, for example, when a family member dies and his or her estate needs to be administered.

The probate court oversees an orderly transfer of title of the decedent’s (deceased person’s) assets from the decedent’s name to his or her beneficiaries. It also makes sure that all the assets are accounted for and all the bills are paid. Continue reading

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