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Legal changes and court rulings can affect probate litigation

Connecticut's probate courts exist to allow ordinary citizens to access the essential functions of the law as easily as possible. The law, however, can hold complications of all kinds no matter what the process or goal of a case or hearing.

Estate law and other functions of a probate court also change on occasion. This can be due to updates in Connecticut state law in the government in Hartford or through judges ruling on cases and setting precedents. Attorneys must stay apprised of these changes, and legal representation is often recommended for parties to probate hearings and rulings.

For example, a revision to the Nutmeg State's General Statutes now allows a person with legal physical custody of a minor to apply to have one or both of the minor's parents removed as the legal guardian. The court can no longer apply for this on its own.

Another revision allows a probate court to name a trustee of a trust created during a person's lifetime if the required post is likely to be vacated by resignation or death. Meanwhile, a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling decided that a clause in a will cannot be enforced if it can be proven the author feared from a threat from another party who may benefit.

A person writing a will, creating a trust or debating the contents of either legal document may consult legal counsel prior to and during a probate court hearing. Legal representation increases the chances that a case will be up to date with both legislative and judicial changes that affect the outcome.

Source: Connecticut Bar Journal, "2015 Developments in Connecticut Estate and Probate Law," John R. Ivimey, Jeffrey A. Cooper & Katherine E. Coleman, accessed May 24, 2018

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