Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
Our attorneys have many years of experience in preparing a variety of wills, trusts, and other documents to help our clients with their estate planning needs. Whether you are planning a vacation without your kids and need a simple will and power of attorney or have substantial assets and complicated business interests that you wish to protect through a variety of trusts and other instruments, we will tailor our services to your needs.
Estate Planning includes the creation of Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning and other instruments for the administration of individuals’ and businesses’ assets. Probate is the representation in court of a party’s interest with regard to an estate.
Our attorneys bring together experience in a variety of disciplines in order to provide the highest quality of counsel to the individual, family and business in creatively and effectively planning for the distribution of property between generations and to charitable organizations. Because the rules governing personal and business taxation are complex and continually changing, we work continuously to ensure that we have access to the broadest base of knowledge. Important in this effort is the strong connections we maintain with accounting, taxation, and insurance professionals, as well as finance and other advisors. An important aspect of our consultation, as with the other disciplines under which we provide legal services, is our ability to see beyond the immediate problem into areas that affect or are affected by your specific estate planning issue. In probate matters our attorneys regularly display their zeal and comfort in the courtroom.
While most people think of probate only in the context of the division of property when an individual dies, there are many other types of matters determined in the Probate Court. For example, the Probate Court may be called upon to appoint a conservator to act on behalf of an individual who is mentally or physically incapable of managing his or her own affairs. The Court also oversees the handling of various types of fiduciary accounts, including those of conservators, guardians, and differing types of trustees. The Court may also be called upon to appoint a guardian for a minor child or make determinations in paternity matters. Sometimes, the Court acts to terminate parental rights when parents are not fulfilling their responsibilities.
The Probate Court oversees the distribution of property owned by an individual who has passed away. If the individual had a will, usually the Court honors the individuals wishes expressed in the will. If someone dies without a will, the Probate Court then divides the property in accordance with Connecticut law. Part of the function of the Probate Court, in this situation, is to see that debts of the decedent, funeral expenses and taxes are paid before the assets of the estate are distributed.
If all property was owned with others in survivorship, then it is not necessary for an estate to be opened when an individual dies. Survivorship means that each of the parties named on an asset of any kind, such as a bank account, mutual fund, or piece of real estate, has an undivided equal interest in the asset. This form of ownership grants to the joint owners who survive ownership of all of the asset upon the death of the other joint owner.
Anyone who has possession of a will is required to deliver the will to the Probate Court in the town where the decedent, the person who has died, had his or her domicile within thirty days after the date of the death. When the will is brought to the Probate Court, an application to Probate the will is filed with the Court. Forms are usually available from the Court for this purpose. If the decedent left no assets in his or her name that would pass under the will, the will is placed on file at the Probate Court but not admitted to probate.
Our attorneys provide a full range of services necessary for the handling of all types of Probate Court matters. Whether a matter involves the administration of an estate, the appointment of a conservator or guardian, or other matters typically handled by the Probate Court, we can provide you with the advice and legal expertise you need to properly and expeditiously complete all such matters