Articles Posted in Probate

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During a time of grief and sadness, the thought of having to go through probate can understandably bring on additional anxiety and confusion.

And, if your loved one owned out-of-state property, you may now be tasked with dealing with an additional layer of cumbersome paperwork and probate proceedings.

So you may wondering…

AdobeStock_57199720-300x300By E. Jennifer Reale

It’s often said that art imitates life. If that’s true of the popular movie, I Care a Lot, life can get pretty scary in the world of conservators and conservatorship.

Conservatorship is designed to protect a person who has, for any number of reasons, become incapable of managing his or her financial and/or personal affairs. Most people create a Designation of Conservator as a standard part of their estate planning.

Bidding on a homeYour 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


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If you’re confused, or unfamiliar with trusts as part of an estate plan, you’re not alone! Some people need to have a trust, others do not.

Then there’s the probate process. Does having a trust impact the probate process? Should you have a trust to avoid the probate process?

To answer your questions about trusts and probate, read on!

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 Connecticut 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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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

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

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 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.

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

AdobeStock_140349446-300x200By E. Jennifer Reale 

When appointed as a conservator for a loved one, most people focus on the care they have to provide. They are busy driving the conserved person to medical appointments, taking care of shopping, cooking, and cleaning.

But when you are a conservator in Connecticut, you also have certain statutory duties that you must be aware of. What many people do not realize is that after you are appointed as a conservator, you are effectively an agent of the probate court.

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