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Probate Attorneys in North Haven, Connecticut

When someone dies, in addition to the sentimental and emotional process family members and loved ones go through, there is also an official, legal process that must take place to address the deceased individual’s estate. This process, referred to as probate, can be lengthy, complicated, and costly, not to mention confusing to the decedent’s surviving loved ones. Having a knowledgeable probate attorney to walk you through the process can be invaluable. 

At DeChello Law Firm LLC, we take great care in guiding individuals and families through the probate process as smoothly as possible to ensure that their lost loved one’s wishes are carried out and the best interests of everyone involved are respected. If you have questions about the probate process or need assistance as you go through it following a loved one’s death, we are here to help. We are proud to serve clients in New Haven, Connecticut, and throughout New Haven County. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process through which a person’s estate is dispersed following their death. If the deceased individual had a valid will in place prior to their death, they likely appointed an executor to work with the probate court to act as the estate’s representative. If the decedent dies Intestate (without a will), the probate court will appoint an administrator to oversee the distribution of assets and closing out of the estate. 

What Assets Generally Go Through Probate?

Assets or property solely owned by the decedent will go through probate. If an asset was co-owned or is otherwise subject to rights of survivorship, then full ownership of the asset would pass to the surviving owner. 

Notable types of assets that do not have to go through probate include, but are not limited to: 

  • 401k and other retirement accounts 

  • Life insurance benefits 

  • Assets placed in a living trust 

How Probate Affects Surviving Family Members

Loved ones who are in line to inherit assets or are named in the decedent’s will may find themselves waiting while the probate process runs its course. In the event that the process is taking too long and surviving family members are left without the funds needed to pay bills and living expenses, immediate family members may petition the court to release short-term support. 

Probate in Connecticut

In the state of Connecticut, an application to serve as administrator of an estate must be filed within 30 days of the decedent’s death. This must be done whether the decedent had a valid will or not. Even if the decedent’s will named an individual as the decedent’s preferred executor, that person will still have to file the application to serve as the estate’s administrator within the allotted time. 

Following the appointment of the administrator, the probate process will commence until the disbursement of the decedent’s estate has been completed. 

The Probate Process

Though the probate process can be lengthy and arduous, there are certain steps that must be followed in order to make things go as smoothly and speedily as possible. 

Appointing an Executor/Administrator 

It is most common for someone to name a close relative as the preferred executor of their will. It is advisable that you select someone who you can trust, is honest, and is capable of making sound decisions. 

The Role of the Executor/Administrator in the Probate Process

The individual you name as the executor of your will (following their submission of the application to serve and the court’s approval) oversees the probate process, including settling all outstanding text debts, handling real estate deed transfers, notifying any creditors of your passing, and passing any other steps of the disbursement of your estate. 

Why You Need an Attorney

Legal matters of any kind have a way of quickly becoming too convoluted for anyone but a trained professional to understand. With so many important decisions to be made and your loved one’s wishes and lifetime of effort to be respected, you owe it to them and to yourself to make sure everything is handled the right way. When you bring your probate case to an attorney with experience and understanding of the process, you put yourself in a strong position to avoid any unnecessary pitfalls or entanglements. Working with skilled probate attorneys allows you and your family to grieve while a trusted professional makes sure the process goes smoothly.

Probate Attorneys Serving New Haven, Connecticut

You shouldn't be stuck trying to find your way through the probate process while still trying to grieve the loss of someone you love. By working with an experienced probate attorney, you can leave the process in skilled hands. At DeChello Law Firm LLC, our team is ready to lead the way. If you are in the New Haven, Connecticut area, or anywhere throughout New Haven County, contact us today.