What is Probate?
Probate is the court-supervised process of closing out a loved one’s estate after their passing. This is often done by gathering assets and distributing them to creditors and beneficiaries according to their Will or Connecticut state law.
Compassionate and Comprehensive Legal Support
At Drazen Law Group, LLC, we understand the unique set of challenges that your family faces. Working through estate administration can be a stressful, time consuming and costly burden on top of your grief.
That is why we offer a full-service approach to Probate and trust administration for clients throughout Connecticut. Our approach is designed to minimize headaches, quickly transfer assets, and ensure all legal requirements are satisfied within the appropriate deadlines. All of this is done with care and compassion during a difficult time.
Probate and Trust Litigation
We are also one of the few firms in Connecticut that handles contested probates and trust litigation. Probate litigation can be divided into four primary areas:
- Contesting documents based upon incapacity, undue influence, duress and/or fraud of the individual signing the trust or will
- Contesting actions of fiduciaries (trustees and executors) for breach of fiduciary duty or forcing fiduciaries to account for their actions
- Bringing actions to recover property that belongs to a decedent or an incapacitated individual
- Elder abuse causes of action, which can be brought in either civil or probate court
At Drazen Law Group, LLC, we use our experience to realistically evaluate the best course of action to be taken in complex probate litigation. This skill, combined with our ability to communicate with clients and opposing counsel, minimizes both the financial and emotional expense of litigation.
Drazen Law Group, LLC’s attorneys are licensed in Connecticut, New York, and Florida to assist families who may be facing dual probates for loved ones who spent summers in Connecticut or New York, and wintered in the Sunshine State.
If you have lost a loved one and must begin the process of closing out his or her final affairs, please give Drazen Law Group, LLC a call at (203) 877-7511 and ask to schedule a complimentary estate administration session.
Want to learn more about probate? Our free ebook, Seven Steps to Handling Your Loved One’s Estate, explains what actions you should take immediately after the loss of a loved one.
Find answers to common questions about Probate.
What is probate?
Probate is a legal process to finalize and administer a loved one’s estate after death through the Probate Court. This process can take a matter of months or even a number of years to be completed and can include the following:
- Determining of the validity of the will
- Identifying and inventorying the deceased’s property
- Completing the appraisal of real or personal property
- Paying the decedent’s debts and taxes
- Distributing the remaining property in accordance with the will, or in accordance with Connecticut law (also known as Intestate Succession) in the absence of a will
What assets are subject to probate administration?
All assets owned by the Decedent in their own name, and not in joint tenancy, in trust or with a beneficiary designation, are subject to probate administration.
How long does it take to go through probate?
The minimum amount of time required to complete the probate process is approximately six months, but it normally takes longer. Delays are common. If a person contests the will, if property cannot be sold, or if claimants aren’t notified in a timely manner, the process can drag on. Working with an experienced probate attorney reduces the chances of complications during the probate process.
Is there any way to avoid probate?
Yes, most states have a summary procedure whereby probate is avoided if the value of your assets is less than a certain value, or if the only heir or beneficiary is your spouse. For example, in Connecticut, if your assets amount to less than $40,000, a Full Probate Administration can be avoided, and the estate will pass through a much less complicated process called a Summary Estate Administration. Any property held in joint tenancy or with a beneficiary designation is not counted toward this $40,000. However, if your assets amount to greater than $40,000 and you wish to avoid Probate, you should consider drafting a Trust in order for your assets to be distributed outside of the Probate Court. As long as a Trust is properly funded (meaning all the assets are titled in the name of the Trust), it can be administered privately with the help of a Connecticut Probate Attorney.
*It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to minimize the chance of legal complications when trying to avoid probate.
For assistance during the probate process, please give Drazen Law Group, LLC a call at (203) 877-7511 and ask to schedule a complimentary probate consultation.
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