New Haven Probate Lawyer

The loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult times in your life. The assets that a decedent leaves behind need to formally pass to surviving heirs or beneficiaries, but unfortunately, proper transfer of assets upon death of the owner involves following many legal requirements.

Normally, after a person dies individually owning assets, their probate estate is subject to the court-supervised proceeding called probate. The probate process can be troublesome, particularly after losing a family member or friend.

A qualified New Haven probate lawyer could strive to make this process as seamless as possible. If you are facing a probate matter, skilled trust and estates attorneys may be able to provide valuable assistance.

New Haven Probate Proceedings

After someone’s death, a court will categorize a decedent’s assets as either probate or non-probate assets. Probate assets are those that are subject to probate because they are owned in the decedent’s sole name.

Examples of non-probate assets that do not necessitate probate include jointly titled assets, trust assets, and assets with designated beneficiaries. These types of assets pass to the surviving joint owner or designated beneficiary by operation of law.

The Connecticut Probate Court is responsible for overseeing the distribution of probate assets after someone domiciled in the state passes away. Probate proceedings should be initiated in the probate court located in the county where the decedent lived at the time of their death.

Is It Necessary to File A Full Probate?

In New Haven, as in the rest of Connecticut, if a person dies owning more than $40,000 worth of assets in their sole name, or if they own real property, a probate proceeding will be required. Decedents owning less than $40,000 and no real property have what is referred to as a small estate. Small estates do not require full probates.

If a decedent died testate—that is, with a will—the will presumably appoints an executor. An executor is the person who is in charge of the estate’s affairs, such as assembling and distributing the decedent’s assets according to the terms of their will. If there is no will, the court will appoint an estate administrator to perform the duties of an executor.

A probate may be necessary regardless of whether or not a decedent died with a will. A will itself does not negate the need for probate. If a decedent did not leave a will naming the beneficiaries of their estate, the Connecticut laws of intestacy are applied to determine the lawful heirs of the estate.

Contested Probate Matters

After a probate is initiated in the court system, there is always a possibility that it will be contested. When quarrels cannot be resolved amicably, probate litigation may become necessary.

Beneficiaries or heirs of the decedent’s estate may disagree with the validity or provisions contained in a will. Disagreements may also arise concerning the appointment of a certain executor. If a probate matter becomes contested, it can dramatically increase the length of the process and the associated legal costs.

Schedule a Consultation with a New Haven Probate Attorney Today

If you are currently dealing with a probate matter or are unsure about whether a probate is necessary, we may be able to help you. Even if a probate is not required in your case, you may need to complete other paperwork as the result of a death, such as a state estate tax return. To schedule a consultation with a New Haven probate lawyer, do not hesitate to reach out.