Is It Possible To Bypass Probate In Connecticut?

Proper estate planning can minimize or eliminate the need for an estate to spend months in probate. At the Law Office of Walter A. Twachtman, Jr., J.D., LL.M., LLC, our probate attorney can advise you on the best strategies for keeping your estate out of probate court. He has practiced law in Connecticut for a half-century and understands the changes in probate law over the years, as well as the latest case law on this topic.

Steps For Settling An Estate In Probate Court

A quick overview of the probate process in Connecticut includes the following key steps:

  1. Once you have a death certificate for your loved one, file an application administration of the will with the appropriate probate court.
  2. The court will schedule a hearing and appoint an executor or administrator for the estate.
  3. The probate court will provide a Certificate of Land Records for recording with the county clerk if the decedent owned real estate.
  4. Assets owned entirely by your loved one will need to be included in an inventory to be filed with the court.
  5. The executor must pay all debts owed by the estate. Creditors have five months to make a claim against the estate.
  6. Tax returns for the estate must be filed at the state and federal levels, regardless of actual taxes owed.
  7. After the decedent’s debts are paid and the tax returns filed, the executor may prepare a Final Accounting And Proposed Distribution Of The Estate document.
  8. If the distribution plan is approved, the estate’s remaining assets may be distributed to the beneficiaries.

Legal Strategies For Avoiding Probate

Not every estate or every asset must be probated. Accounts that can bypass probate include:

  • Property and assets that are held in a trust
  • Accounts or insurance with designated beneficiaries
  • Bank accounts that have joint tenancy clauses
  • Investment accounts with transfer-on-death designations

Additionally, Connecticut offers a streamlined small estate probate option for estates worth less than $40,000 and containing no real estate.

Get Accurate Probate Advice From A Trusted Professional

The Walter A. Twachtman, Jr. has counseled families on estate planning, probate and other legal matters for more than 50 years. To schedule an introductory appointment, call our offices at 860-659-5657 or email us. We serve clients in Glastonbury and Manchester, as well as throughout Hartford County.