In these week's post, we will continue our series on "Why CT Probate
Takes So Long." As a reminder, the Connecticut probate process generally
takes a year or longer to complete.
Last week, we reviewed the necessity to avoid executor liability for distributions
during the creditor response window.
This week, we will discuss dealing with financial institutions. It tends
to be very time consuming getting the paperwork organized and completed
with financial institutions so that they will advise on what is the amount
if any owed to the estate, and then make a proper distribution.
This time-consuming process can be GREATLY ameliorated by having a licensed,
competent Financial Advisor manage your assets BEFORE you pass away.
You may be saying to yourself...why would I worry about beneficiaries for
the probate process? I thought that my assets with beneficiary designations
would pass outside of probate?
Here is the rub.
If the beneficiary of your life insurance policy (or other account with
a beneficiary designation) is your estate, or if a beneficiary is not
named and the default is for the policy to go to the estate, or if the
beneficiary is the trustee of a Trust in your Connecticut Will (or the
Trust is named as beneficiary), then the assets passed by the beneficiary
designation are subject to the probate process at death.
The problem is that most folks and even some financial advisors jump to
the conclusion that the estate should never be the beneficiary. This may
or may not be the case, but it should be reviewed with your CT estate
planning attorney or your CT probate attorney before you pass away. Improper
designation of beneficiaries can cause a great number of problems with
your Connecticut probate estate.
If you would like to discuss this with a Connecticut Probate Attorney in
the context of your situation you can contact my office to set up a consultation.
Click here for my website and contact information.