Last will and coffee cupThis is the next post in our series on estate planning for residents of Hartford and other Connecticut areas. Our last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing and it also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Speaking with counsel sooner, rather than later, will allow you to put a structure in place which will assure the proper management of your affairs. Failing to do so can create a great deal of grief and heartache for your loved ones. In this article we will discuss situations in which one’s assets may pass through the “small estate” process rather than probate. If you require assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

Hartford residents may use the small estate process in Connecticut cases with assets under $40,000

Probate can be a lengthy process. Fortunately, Connecticut law does not require this process in all matters. When one has died while not owning real estate, and with total assets of less than $40,000, then their heirs may utilize the small estate process. When determining whether an estate has more than $40,000 in assets, the Court will not consider items which would normally pass outside of a probate (such as bank accounts with designated beneficiaries or the proceeds of life insurance policies). In addition, the Court will only consider the estate’s total assets when determining whether the $40,000 threshold has been exceeded. Any outstanding debts will not be part of the determination.

Cases which go through the small estate process can often be completed relatively quickly. Once a Connecticut Affidavit in Lieu of Probate (Form PC-212) is filed, then, within thirty days, the Court can permit the transfer of the estate’s assets for the settling of any outstanding debts. Once all outstanding debts are settled, then any remaining assets may be divided in accordance with the terms of the deceased’s last will and testament. A Hartford attorney can typically complete the small estate process at a cost which is much lower than that of a full probate.

A small estate lawyer can help Hartford, Connecticut residents ensure that the process is properly handled

If you are preparing an estate plan then there are several benefits to retaining an attorney. First, counsel can help you to understand whether your affairs will be eligible for the small estate process. Second, counsel can help your heirs to complete that process without unnecessary delay and/or aggravation. By ensuring that all of the estate’s assets are listed in the Affidavit, and that all documentation is properly filed, the case can be wrapped up sooner rather than later. This will allow your loved ones to move on from the process as quickly as possible.

If you require assistance then call our office to speak with a Hartford small estate lawyer. We take great pride in our service to the community and our firm is ready to assist you. We also service the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Bristol, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, East Hartford, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.