This is the next post in our series on the handling of Hartford area cases in which one has died without a will. Our last article discussed how Connecticut distributes an estate when there was no will. It is important to understand that when an individual has died “intestate,” then their assets will be distributed in an order that has been predetermined by the state. This is true even if such a distribution would have been against the deceased’s final wishes. In this article we will discuss another important topic – the Probate procedure applicable to these types of cases. It is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you with the Probate process. Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Connecticut probate cases, which do not involve a will, begin with the filing of a Petition and the naming of an administrator
Technically, Connecticut considers cases without a will to be subject to a process known as “Administration” as opposed to “Probate.” The matter will begin with the filing of a Petition for Administration with the Court. This document initiates the legal process and also asks the Court to name an “Administrator” who will be in charge of settling the estate’s affairs and distributing any remaining assets to the heirs. Quite often, the person filing the Petition will also be asked to be named as the Administrator. The Petition will be served on the potential heirs, and other interested parties, and they will be given the opportunity to object to the potential Administrator’s appointment.
Once the Administrator has been appointed then there are several steps which must be taken. First, an accounting must be made of the estate’s assets and debts. The Administrator will then request Letters of Administration from the Court so that they may settle any outstanding debts, taxes, or other obligations. The Administrator will also seek permission to sell or liquidate assets, as needed, in order to generate the money needed to settle such obligations. Once the Court has approved a final distribution, and all affairs have been settled, then the case will be considered closed.
Hartford area residents should retain a probate lawyer to help with Administration in cases where there was no will
It is important that one retain an experienced attorney in cases where an individual died without a will. The process of handling such a case may seem straightforward. There can, however, be many complications in these types of matters. First of all, many forms of property (such as joint accounts) may not be considered part of the Administration process. Second, there may be disputes over the validity of debts or over the ownership of assets. By retaining counsel, you help to ensure that these matters are resolved as efficiently as possible.
Our Hartford probate lawyers handle cases where one died without a will. If you find yourself in this type of a situation then contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. 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.