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When is it time to go to probate court?

When it is time to deal with the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want is to be confused by his or her last wishes. Last wills and testaments, as well as trusts and other legal structures, can be hard to understand and it is easy to disagree with friends and family about them.

Probate courts are there to help residents of Connecticut deal with these complicated issues and serve the needs of all citizens. Whether a person is looking to execute a will or secure their own assets' future, probate judges and your own lawyer are there to help.

What is handled in a probate court?

All probate courts deal with who gets the assets of a decedent's estate and in what form. This is mostly to add the court's approval to a will so fraud is reduced. Probate courts in Connecticut may also declare a guardian or conservator for people unable to manage personal or financial affairs.

What is not handled in a probate court?

Some wills do not require probate courts to finalize them. Assets with a clear joint owner with a right of survivorship can go to the joint owner without a court order. The same is true with payable-on-death accounts and other assets already directed to a person or organization.

Do I need a lawyer for probate court?

The point of probate proceedings is to make court functions accessible to all, so all are allowed to represent their own interests. However, lawyers are often more accustomed to these functions and can represent clients' interests more effectively.

Source: Legal Consumer, "How Probate Works in Connecticut," accessed June 14, 2018

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