Probate Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Guidance from a Fairfield County Probate Lawyer

Why is Probate necessary?
The primary function of probate is to transfer inheritance to heirs and/or other beneficiaries. Probate also serves to provide for the collection of taxes due by reason of the deceased's death or because the deceased's property has been transferred, and in Connecticut, the process can help ensure that property is free and clear of estate tax liens.

Where is Probate handled?
The probate process in Connecticut usually occurs in the court that is located in the local town or city (or nearby town/city) where the deceased person permanently resided at the time of his or her death. To learn more about which court will handle your probate case, contact a Fairfield County estate planning lawyer at my firm.

Does all of the decedent's property have to go through a full probate?
Not necessarily! In Connecticut, depending on the amount of property, property may be able to be passed on to the decedent's beneficiaries through a simplified probate procedure. Trusts (if properly and fully funded) may also eliminate the need for a full probate process. There should always be some process to transfer legal title from the decedent's name to the heirs or beneficiaries, and I can help you determine the extent of the process involved.

Do I have to go through probate if there is a will?
Many people are surprised to learn that it is usually necessary to go through probate before the deceased's property can be legally distributed even if there is a Will involved. If it is a smaller estate, the probate court may allow a less formal procedure that will still be under the supervision of the probate court. One of the main reasons that probate is necessary is because the court has to give others an opportunity to object to the validity of a Will. Certain scenarios, such as if there was a later Will created or if the Will was the result of fraud, make the probate process necessary.

To learn more about probate and the entire legal process, contact a probate lawyer at our firm today!