New Haven Trust and Estates Lawyer

A big part of planning your future involves determining what you are going to do with your assets and estate. If you have children or loved ones, legally settling your property is a great way to ensure they have financial security when you are no longer around.

Retaining the services of a New Haven trust and estates lawyer may be important to the future and well-being of your family. An experienced lawyer could help you go over the essential legal documents and financial laws to ensure future generations can benefit from the transfer of wealth.

Probate Process in New Haven

New Haven probate courts oversee and administer trusts and estates. Probate is a court process of settling the deceased’s estate. Most of the court’s work involves:

  • Validating wills and administering estates
  • Overseeing living trusts
  • Interpreting the meaning of wills and trusts
  • Determining title to personal and real property

When a person dies owning property, the probate court will oversee the division of such property. If the deceased has a will, the court will distribute the property according to its terms. If the deceased died intestate, or without a will, the court will distribute the property according to Connecticut law.

Additionally, if the deceased leaves a property in a trust, the trust property avoids this probate process and can be distributed to the trust’s beneficiaries without involving the probate court.

New Haven Trust Laws

Connecticut General Statutes § 45a-471 governs trusts in New Haven. Generally, a court distributes all property held in trust based on the trust agreement. Since any property held in trust does not undergo the probate process, which is often lengthy and expensive, the creator of the trust agreement, or “grantor,” can dictate on their own terms how they want others to manage the property and who gets the property when they die.

The grantor designates a “trustee” to manage the trust on behalf of the “beneficiary,” or those who will eventually receive the trust’s contents. All three of these roles – grantor, trustee, and beneficiary – can be entrusted to the same person or they can each be given to different people.

It should be noted that even though a trust avoids probate, estate taxes must still be paid. This requirement is the same whether a person died with a will or with a trust.

New Haven Estate Laws

The probate court settles a deceased’s estate by either appointing an executor or calling upon the designated executor, who is usually a family member or close personal friend. The executor oversees the gathering and valuing the deceased’s assets, paying estate taxes and any outstanding bills, and distributing the deceased’s estate to their heirs or designated beneficiaries.

There is an exception that allows some estates to not go through probate. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 45a-273, “small estates” do not need court supervision to be settled. Small estates are considered anything valued at or under $40,000, with no real property.

Contacting a New Haven Trusts and Estates Attorney

If you want to start planning for your future or have additional questions, contact a New Haven trust and estates lawyer today. A family attorney in New Haven understands the complex laws regarding tax, property, wills, and probate court and could help you and your family understand how the court will conduct probate proceedings with your family.

Attorneys could help you plan the future of your estate and ensure it is smoothly transferred into the hands of the people you trust, so call today for a free consultation.