Opening an Estate in New Haven Probate
Probate is an official court process that settles the deceased’s estate. It is essentially a probate judge giving legal permission to transfer the assets of the deceased to the named beneficiaries or legal heirs.
If the deceased has a Will, the court will transfer their assets to the named beneficiaries accordingly. If the deceased died intestate (without a Will), the court will transfer their assets based on Connecticut’s intestacy laws. To learn more about opening an estate in New Haven probate, speak with a well-versed probate attorney.
When is Probate Required?
Title 45a of the Connecticut Code governs the rules and procedures for probate in New Haven. Probate is only required if the deceased:
- Independently owns property in excess of $40,000 with no named beneficiary; or
- Independently owns any “real property” of any value. Real property typically means land or physical structures, such as buildings or homes.
If either of the two situations above applies, then someone who represents the deceased’s estate will need to file an application to start the process of opening an estate in New Haven Probate.
How to Open an Estate in New Haven Probate
In Connecticut, the probate process generally takes at least six months for smaller estates, and up to two years or more for larger estates. There are generally 8 to 10 steps a person must follow to open up an estate in New Haven probate.
File a Petition with the Probate Court
Under Connecticut law, anyone who is in possession of the deceased’s Will must deliver it to the proper probate court within thirty days after the deceased has died. After the Will is filed, a petition for administration or probate of the Will (Form PC-200) must also be submitted, and copies must be sent to all of the deceased’s heirs and any beneficiaries named in the Will. The court will then appoint an executor.
If the deceased died intestate, then usually an heir will request that an administrator be appointed to act on behalf of the estate.
Gather all of the Deceased’s Assets
The administrator/executor will need to possess all of the deceased’s assets. For example, any bank account under the deceased’s name needs to be transferred into an estate account, and any outstanding bills will remain open but need to be transferred to the estate.
In addition, if the deceased owned any real property, the executor/administrator must file a “Notice for Land Records/Appointment of Fiduciary” (Form PC-251) with the town clerk in each town where the deceased owned property. This form must be filed within two months of the deceased’s death.
File an Inventory Form
In addition to gathering all of the deceased’s possessions, the executor/administrator must complete an inventory form (Form PC-440) with the probate court. The inventory form must include all of the deceased’s solely-owned assets and their respective values. Any assets that were co-owned with another individual or already have named beneficiaries do not need to be included in this form.
Pay Any Outstanding Creditors and File Estate Tax Returns
In addition to giving notice to any heirs and beneficiaries, the executor/administrator also needs to give notice to the deceased’s creditors. Any outstanding bills will need to be paid if the creditors bring a claim within 5 months of the deceased’s death.
Under Section 12-400 of the Connecticut Code, the executor/administrator will need to pay estate taxes to Connecticut and the federal government if the value of the deceased’s assets exceeds a certain financial threshold.
Final Accounting and Distribution
The final step of the probate process is to do the final accounting and distribute the assets accordingly.
How a New Haven Probate Attorney Could Help
If you have questions about opening an estate in New Haven probate an attorney has answers. To learn more about the process and your options, call today to set up a consultation with a knowledgeable probate lawyer. Learn more about your options by calling today.