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How can I avoid probate judgments?

Probate courts are there to help the people of Connecticut take care of their friends' and relatives' assets as well as resolve disputes. Another role is determining the best way to disburse money and property when a person has not specified how it should be done before death or incapacity.

Decisions made by probate courts can take a long time if there is not enough information or parties are disputing the details. There are several ways of avoiding the entire probate process by clarifying desires for transferring property before a probate judgment would be necessary. A lawyer can help with all of these arrangements.

How can you give someone rights to property without probate?

Transferring property upon death or mental illness is not necessary if a person co-owns real estate or has co-signed a bank account and has the right to retain it after one party is deceased or incapable. This is called joint ownership with the right of survivorship, and it must be proven legally in writing.

How can you share money or financial tools without probate?

Lots of bank account and retirement account types allow beneficiaries to be named who would receive the contents, making them no longer part of an estate. Most of these are called payable-on-death accounts or transfer-on-death instruments.

What if you may want to change the arrangement?

A revocable living trust allows you to transfer property to someone who will hold it for your benefit while you can take it back if the terms of a trust are broken or you change your mind. Since the trustee technically owns the property during the life of the trust, it is no longer in your estate.

Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding the Probate Process," accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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