The probate process comes into play when you are in direct personal possession of property after you pass away. As a Connecticut resident, if your estate is valued at less than $40,000, you could potentially qualify for a simplified probate procedure. Otherwise, your estate must pass through the full probate process unless you take steps to arrange for asset transfers outside of probate.
There are certain drawbacks that go along with the probate process. One of them is the fact that probate can be time-consuming.
The heirs that you name in your last will do not receive their inheritances until the process of probate has run its course. To understand how long it will potentially take, you should know a little bit about what goes on during probate.
Determining Validity of the Will
The will must be admitted to the court, and the court is charged with determining its validity. If someone wanted to contest the will, this individual could present an argument before the probate court.
Payment of Final Debts
Final debts must be paid during probate. Under the laws of the state of Connecticut, creditors must be notified and given a certain amount of time to come forward seeking satisfaction.
Final tax responsibilities must also be satisfied during probate.
Preparing Property for Distribution
The executor of the estate must prepare the property for distribution to the heirs according to the wishes of the decedent as stated in the last will.
This is usually going to be somewhat time-consuming and complicated. The estate is probably not going to be in liquid form that is easy to distribute among multiple different heirs.
Property appraisals can be necessary, and it can take time to sell the property at fair prices.
Exactly how long the process of probate will take will depend on the circumstances. In the simplest of cases it is going to take months. More complicated cases will take longer.
It is possible to avoid probate when you are planning your estate. There are various different options available to you if you would like to facilitate direct transfers of assets to your heirs outside of probate.
One very commonly utilized legal device that facilitates probate avoidance is the revocable living trust. With these trusts you don’t lose control of the assets while you are living. After you die, the beneficiaries that you name in the trust receive monetary distributions in a timely manner outside of probate.
When you are planning your estate you should make informed decisions. The best way to proceed would be to discuss everything in detail with a licensed estate planning attorney. If you are interested in doing so, contact our firm to schedule a free consultation.