If you’ve ever experienced the death of a loved one, you might have heard about the probate process. After a person dies, probate might be necessary to validate their will and distribute the assets among beneficiaries. The length of the process varies based on the complexities of the deceased person’s assets and the validity of the will. Has one of your loved ones recently passed away, and now you’re wondering if you’ll need to make an appearance in probate court? To find out, continue reading or contact one of our Hartford County Probate Attorneys today.
IS PROBATE COURT REQUIRED IN CONNECTICUT?
No, not every death will require a probate process. Mainly, there are two exceptions that won’t need to be handled in probate court. If a deceased person didn’t own real property and their estate was worth less than $40,000, the court can approve an affidavit to transfer the assets to the appropriate heirs. Additionally, if the deceased person had a legal will or trust that specified how and where to distribute the assets, the family won’t need to worry about probate after they file the legal will and death certificate. However, all other estates usually require probate court.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING THE PROBATE PROCESS?
There are a few steps involved in every probate process, but the timeframe of each step depends on the deceased person’s circumstances. The first step in settling any deceased person’s estate is filing the death certificate and the will (or proof that no will exists). A judge will need to verify that the will is legal and valid according to Connecticut laws. If valid, the will can be executed by the appropriate personal representative. If invalid or nonexistent, the court will need to decide on a personal representative on behalf of the deceased person.
The next step of probate is notifying others about the person’s death. The executor sends notices to family members, friends, creditors, mortgage lenders, utility companies, and more. After that, the executor will take inventory by gathering all of the deceased person’s assets and paying off any debts they left. The assets are distributed to beneficiaries as instructed by the will or by the court if there is no valid will. Finally, the deceased person’s estate can be officially closed.
If you’re a beneficiary or heir of a recent loved one who passed away, you should consider hiring a probate attorney to help you protect the assets you’re entitled to. Fortunately, the Law Office of Marc N. Needelman is on your side! Contact us today for an initial consultation with one of our highly experienced and versatile lawyers.