How Probate Laws Work in Connecticut

If you’ve recently lost a parent or other loved one, you’re probably dealing with a lot right now. Besides handling the details of a funeral or memorial service, you must also think about your family member’s belongings and assets. Handling the estate of a loved one can be quite complicated as you go through probate.

Probate is a legal term which involves the local court in the county where the deceased person lived. The court oversees and approves of the dispersal of the assets of the person who died according to their will. If they didn’t leave a will, then state law must be followed. It’s important to know some things about probate whether you are the person handling the estate or an heir.

Is Probate Required in Connecticut?

Not all estates must go through the probate process in Connecticut. The state statutes make allowance for estates valued at $40,000 or less and with no real property to be transferred with an affidavit from the court. This doesn’t include any assets that automatically transferred to a beneficiary.

How Do You Avoid Probate in Connecticut?

It is possible to avoid taking an estate through probate in Connecticut. If the assets of the estate have been placed in a living trust, probate becomes unnecessary. The assets of the trust transfer to the beneficiary after the death of the person. Other assets that have a listed beneficiary or payable on death to someone will automatically transfer ownership without the need for probate.

Can an Executor of an Estate in Connecticut be Compensated?

The state statutes in Connecticut allow the executor to receive compensation for their work. This expense is addressed in Section 39 of the Rules of Procedure. The requirement is that the fee be considered reasonable, which the court will determine.

How Much Does an Executor in Connecticut Get Paid?

The statutes in Connecticut don’t give a specific dollar amount or percentage of the estate to set as the fee for the executor. However, they do provide some guidance for courts to use to determine what is reasonable. The executor is responsible for presenting a task statement which will be used to help determine the fee. This statement should include information about the size of the estate and responsibilities of the executor. It should list any special issues or difficulties that came about as well as the results. It would include the time required as well as any special skills or knowledge needed. If another party objects to the fees, the court will determine if the fees are reasonable. If the executor is a professional or if an attorney is used in the management of the estate, fees will also be based on the value of the estate as well as the length of the professional relationship and fees customary for this type of service.

How Long Does Probate Take in Connecticut?

The timeline for probate to be completed in Connecticut can vary widely. It often depends on the size of the estate and if any heirs or creditors file a dispute with the will or probate process. According to the state statutes on probate, the executor has 14 days to notify creditors and publish notice once they have been approved. Creditors then have 150 days to file a claim against the estate. This means that at minimum probate will take more than five months before it can be closed.

Do All Connecticut Estates Have to Go Through Probate?

Not all estates must go through the formal probate process in Connecticut. If an estate is worth less than $40,000, an affidavit from the court is all that is necessary to transfer the ownership to the heirs. To qualify, the deceased person couldn’t have owned a real property. Also, if all assets were included in a living trust or allowed for payable on death to beneficiaries, they don’t need to go through probate for transfer. A death certificate would be the evidence necessary for transfer of title.

Does a Will Have to Be Probated in Connecticut?

All wills are required to be filed with the local court, which will then determine the validity of the will. The court also decides if the estate must go through probate. No action can be taken without a will or without verification that no will exists.

Settling an Estate in Connecticut

Understanding the legal wording of the statutes in Connecticut can be confusing, but the steps in the probate process are straightforward. The tasks may be complicated to complete, but they follow a basic process.

How Long Do You Have to File Probate After Death in Connecticut?

According to Title 45a-283, the executor must apply for probate of the deceased person’s will within 30 days after the person’s death. If they go beyond this timeline, they will be fined. There are exceptions, such as if a will isn’t found until later.

Probate Court in Connecticut

Probate court in Connecticut is part of the state judicial system. The courts are divided by region and by county within the region with each court having its own judge.

Probate Code in Connecticut

Statutes governing probate in Connecticut can be found in the state statutes under Title 45a. This includes administration, trusts, wills and the requirements for filing and completing probate.