The process of estate administration is something that you should gain an understanding of if you want to effectively plan your estate. Stating your wishes in writing is part of the equation, but actions must be taken after you pass away to bring these wishes to fruition. If you maintain direct personal possession of your property and you facilitate distributions through the terms of a last will, the executor will be forced to admit the will to probate.
Probate is a legal process, and it takes place under the supervision of a court. Property that was in your direct and sole personal possession at the time of your passing could not be distributed until after the probate process was completed.
There is an exception in the state of Connecticut. If the estate in question is valued at $40,000 or less, a simplified probate procedure could be utilized, and the full blown probate process could be avoided.
Transfers Outside of Probate
There are certain types of property transfers that would not be subject to the probate process. As we stated previously, probate property would be property that was in your sole and direct personal possession at the time of your death, and all property that is transferred may not fall under this category.
For example, you could add a beneficiary when you open an account at a bank. Some brokerages also offer this option, and these accounts are called payable on death or transfer on death accounts. If you have a transfer on death account, the beneficiary would assume ownership of the remainder after your passing, and the probate court would not be involved.
Life insurance policy proceeds would not be subject to probate when they are distributed to the beneficiaries, and a surviving joint tenant would inherit the entirety of property that was held in joint tenancy outside of probate.
In addition to these transfers that take place organically outside of probate, you could be proactive about the implementation of probate avoidance strategies. Revocable living trusts are often used by people who want to avoid probate, but there are other options, and the optimal course of action will depend upon the circumstances.
Learn More About Probate
If you are interested in learning more about probate, we have a valuable resource that you can access through this website. We have an in-depth report on the probate process, and it is being offered free of charge right now.
To get your copy of the special report, click this link: Free Probate Report.
Take Direct Action
We can help if you would like to discuss your estate planning objectives with a licensed professional. Our firm offers free consultations, and you can send us a message through this link to schedule an appointment: Hartford CT Estate Planning Attorneys.