Connecticut Phone: 203-661-5222 | New York Phone: 914-397-2400 | Florida Phone: 239-302-2768

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When there's a will, there's less confusion in estate planning

People who are committed to their family, friends and causes will take time as early as necessary to see that their estate is disbursed to beneficiaries with clarity and finality after they're gone. Last wills and testaments join trust documents and other records of assets to create Connecticut's legal framework for estate planning.

Even the best plans, however, can be challenged as unfair or unclear. When relatives and other beneficiaries have disputes over the assets in a deceased person's estate, litigation in probate court is often the last resort. Probate courts are designed to make the most basic functions of civil law available to everyone.

Connecticut's estate tax applies to specific estates of high value. Any estate with a total value of $3.5 million or more may be taxed by the state government at rates starting at 7.2 percent. Every estate is subject to trimming to pay off a decedent's debts, taxes that remain due or other legal claims. A probate court may also be called upon to adjudicate these claims.

The greatest complications lie in estates without a will or with conflicting claims. If a person dies intestate, or without a will, Connecticut law will divide the value of the estate between claimants and the government. Most people would prefer to avoid this option.

The state only has the right to divide a person's estate if that person did not take the time to carefully consider options. An attorney can help advise estate planners at all levels feel more secure in their plans for bequests and building value for those whom they love.

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Greenwich Office
25 Field Point RD
Greenwich, CT 06830

Phone: 203-661-5222 CT
Fax: 203-661-1197
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1 North Lexington Avenue
Suite 701
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-397-2400 NY
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2317 Montauk Highway
Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Phone: 203-661-5222 CT
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500 Fifth Avenue South
Suite 526
Naples, FL 34102

Phone: 239-302-2768
Fax: 239-325-1813
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