Formerly "Law Office of Lisa E. Wnuck LLC and" | Connecticut Probate Attorney

Connecticut Probate FAQ

We understand you may have many questions regarding Connecticut Probate. Here are answers to questions we commonly receive.

Welcome to our Connecticut Probate FAQ, your go-to resource for understanding the probate process in Connecticut. Here, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions we encounter regarding probate proceedings in the state. If you have more specific inquiries or need personalized guidance, feel free to reach out to our dedicated team at (203) 586-1445 or CONTACT US online.

Q1: What is Probate, and Why Does it Matter?

Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s estate is administered and distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries. It ensures that the decedent’s assets are appropriately handled, debts settled, and property transferred in accordance with their wishes or state law.

Q2: When Does Probate Apply in Connecticut?

Probate typically applies when someone passes away owning assets in their name alone, especially real estate. However, not all assets go through probate; jointly owned property, assets with designated beneficiaries (e.g., life insurance policies), and assets held in trusts bypass the probate process.

Q3: What Happens When There’s No Will?

When a person dies without a will (intestate), Connecticut’s laws of intestacy dictate how their assets are distributed. The specific distribution depends on the surviving family members, such as a spouse, children, parents, or siblings.

Q4: What is Ancillary Probate?

Ancillary probate comes into play when a non-resident decedent owns real property in Connecticut. In such cases, an inchoate lien attaches to the property, and it must be released before any sale or transfer.

Q5: Are All Assets Subject to Connecticut Probate Fees?

Connecticut probate fees apply to all intangible personal property owned by a deceased resident of the state wherever located. As to real and tangible personal property, however, probate fees only apply to such property actually located within the state. 

Q6: Are All Assets Subject to Connecticut Estate Tax?

For estates of resident decedents dying in 2024, this tax applies once the value of their estate hits $13,610,000.  This is the same as the federal estate tax exemption, which is scheduled to be reduced on January 1, 2026, to approximately $7,000,000.  This reduction will occur because the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2025, causing federal estate tax rates to revert to their 2017 levels, indexed for inflation. Connecticut’s estate tax exemption tracks the federal exemption and, as a result, is also scheduled to decline to approximately $7,000,000 in 2026.

Q7: What Forms Are Required for Ancillary Probate in Connecticut?

Key forms include the Form C-3 UGE State of Connecticut Domicile Declaration, Form PC-205B, Form CT706-NT, Form CT-4422 UGE, and Form CT-792 UGE. The choice of forms depends on various factors, including the value of the estate.

For more information, see our Ancillary Probate page here.

Q8: How Long Does the Probate Process Take?

The duration of probate can vary significantly based on the complexity of the estate, potential disputes, and court schedules. On average, it can take several months to over a year.

Q9: Can I Avoid Probate in Connecticut?

Yes, it’s possible to avoid probate through careful estate planning. Options include creating trusts, designating beneficiaries, and joint ownership arrangements.

Q10: Do I Need Legal Assistance for Probate?

While it’s not mandatory, obtaining legal counsel can be highly beneficial. An attorney can navigate the legal complexities, help avoid errors, and expedite the process.

Q11: How Can Heritage Law Help with Probate?

Our experienced team helps clients in probate matters, including ancillary probate, in Connecticut. We can guide you through every step of the process, from understanding legal requirements to releasing property liens and ensuring a smooth transfer of assets.

At Heritage Law, we are committed to simplifying probate matters and helping you achieve your estate planning goals. Contact us today at (203) 586-1445 or CONTACT US online to discuss your unique situation and find personalized solutions.