"One of my parents recently passed away. What do I do now?"

First off, allow me to express my sincere condolences to anyone who is dealing with this right now. I know this is a very difficult matter for al of us, and the fact that we have to take action to protect our parents' hard-earned savings is not comforting at all. Unfortunately, this is something that we all will face if we have not already during our lifetime. When it comes to protecting your loved ones and going through the probate process, here are some preliminary guidelines to follow in Connecticut:

  1. Don't do it alone and don't put it off – contact a Connecticut probate attorney to help you with this. Your parent's will has to be submitted to the probate court within 30 days.

  2. Don't take on too much before your attorney has reviewed the estate planning documents (e.g. will, trusts, etc) – taking possession of your parents assets, or paying and releasing debts, before the court grants you the right to do so could end up subjecting you to unnecessary legal problems. Feeding the animals, or locking up valuables, or making funeral arrangements may very well be acceptable though. Talk to your attorney about it.
  3. Remember that property outside of Connecticut most likely will require "ancillary" probate in addition to probate in Connecticut – ancillary probate is probate that takes place in a jurisdiction where the property sits regardless of where your parent passed away. For example, once your parent's will is probated in Connecticut, you may have to file for ancillary probate in another State if your parents owned a vacation home outside of Connecticut.

These are some of the many considerations you will need to make when undergoing the probate process. If you would like to speak with a Connecticut Probate Attorney, feel free to visit our website for my contact info here.

Categories: Estate Planning, Probate, Wills