gavel with justice scalesThis is the first post in a series of articles which will discuss how proper estate planning can help one’s heirs to avoid the probate process in Hartford and other Connecticut areas. We consider it important to write on this issue as probate can be stressful and burdensome after the loss of a loved one. Allowing heirs to skip this process can help them to move forward more quickly. The goal of our coming articles is to provide information which will assist with helping individuals to better understand their options. It is also our goal to provide information which will assist with the selection of an attorney. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

We will be addressing a number of topics over our coming articles. Issues which we will address include:

  • Transferring retirement & bank accounts, as well as property, automatically upon death
  • Utilizing a trust to avoid the probate process
  • The benefits of avoiding probate
  • Keeping one’s documents up to date to ensure that their heirs can avoid probate

We chose to address these topics for a number of reasons. First, there are a number of assets which will not be subject to probate as a matter of course. These include instruments which allow the naming of death beneficiaries. The beneficiaries, however, will need to contact the financial institutions in order to have the accounts transferred into their name. Certain paperwork must be provided and proper identification submitted. Second, a living trust can be utilized to a) provide greater flexibility as to how assets are distributed upon death and b) to help the heirs avoid probate. Third, understanding the benefits of avoiding probate can help make it clear why doing so should likely be a priority. Finally, it is important that all estate planning documents be kept up to date or else newly acquired assets may be subjected to the probate process.

A point we will be stressing in each of these articles is the importance of retaining an attorney to assist you with preparing your estate plan. Retaining counsel helps to ensure that all possibilities are considered, incorporated into your plan, and dealt with should they occur. Having counsel also helps to ensure that your documents are drafted correctly and that they will withstand legal challenges. Our Hartford estate planning lawyers are experienced in handling such matters and we take pride in the level of service which we offer. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation.

We also service the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.