Articles Posted in Probate

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

AdobeStock_61297585-300x200By David Green
Contrary to popular belief, a Will or Last Will and Testament, isn’t always written in stone.

Quite frequently, disputes arise over the contents of a Will and the parties who are at odds must seek outside help to resolve the issues. Because there are often conflicts of interest around such disputes, it’s important for each party Continue reading

 AdobeStock_86207800-300x158Note: For additional information on conservatorship, please read our introductory post, What Is a Conservatorship? and the follow up, Applying for Conservatorship in Connecticut.

Deciding to conserve a loved one is a complex and sometimes painful process. You want the best care and quality of life for the people you love, but it can be daunting to consider the intervention and support of external parties.

Because application for conservatorship requires the involvement of the court, it’s important to understand how the court evaluates your loved one’s situation and capacity as well as what means you have to appeal the decision the court makes.

Young carer walking with the elderly woman in the park
 Note: For introductory information on conservatorship, please read our initial post, What Is a Conservatorship?

While all of us wish that our loved ones might remain indefinitely self-sufficient and be able to live their lives with dignity, many of us will face the difficult situation of a loved one who is no longer able to care for his or herself.

The cause of such incapacity may be an illness or accident. It might be dementia or simply the decline of old age. You may find, one day, that your loved one is inconsistent about physical hygiene, unable to manage household finances, or making unwise decisions. If you see such signs, you may need to carefully consider the option of conservatorship.

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

157H (1)By Carmine Perri

Because of my practice area, probate and elder law litigation, I oftentimes find myself in either the courtroom or the hallway with a client fielding this all too common question:

“What could we have done to avoid all of this?”

You probably have an estate plan which means you have certainly taken a step in the right direction to protect your assets and ensure that they get distributed as you wish.

But you may be able to do more. Continue reading

hammer-to-fall-673264-mImagine this…

After your death, your daughter is having serious financial struggles and the money you’ve bequeathed to her would pull her out of financial misery. It would help her to pay your funeral and other outstanding expenses.

But, because by law your estate must pass through probate, it will take several months before your daughter can receive the money you have  left her.

In the meantime, a disgruntled step-son from a prior marriage decides to pursue a Will contest, claiming that the Will is not valid and that he deserves some money, too. He knows the amount of the estate because the probate process is a matter of public record.

You can imagine how the rest of the story goes and how, although you had an estate plan and the best intentions Continue reading

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