Connecticut Probate: Why does it take so long? Part 2 - Estate As a Beneficiary

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.

Categories: Probate