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Questions Answered by Steven Basche
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My father passed away a few weeks ago and did not have a will, He only has about $49,000 in his bank account and owned

Some trucks and don’t know where the titles are.He didn’t really tell use much.What would be the next step?

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Oct 11, 2021

You will need to petition the probate court for what is called intestate administration. That is what the process is called when someone dies without a will. Since his solely owned assets are more than $40,000, you won't be able to file a short form probate (called an affidavit in lieu of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Connecticut on
Q: Hello, I have joint account with my husband and in deed it With survivorship rights, should I go to probate

I also have a car under my husband name

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Oct 4, 2021

You may not need a full probate process, but you will have to submit an estate tax return to show the estate is not taxable. Only estates over $7.1 million are taxable in Connecticut. You may be able to file what is called an affidavit in lieu of administration instead of full probate to transfer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: I have filled out a statutory short form power of attorney in Ct. Is this legal and binding?

I will. have this form notarized with two witnesses. Do I still need to go to a lawyer.? Thank you for your time

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 29, 2021

You should be all set. Just make sure you understand that the initial powers, usually on the first page, are all included unless you cross them out, but the optional estate planning powers are not included unless you initial next to them to add them in.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Connecticut on
Q: Is an estate still obligated to pay bills that were received after the hearing to settle it?

I am the administrator of my brother's estate who died in Feb. 2020. It went through the probate process last year and late in March the court held a hearing on the required financial report which was approved. This allows me to now distribute the estate to the heirs. A few days after the... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 15, 2021

In Connecticut, if a claim is not presented to the fiduciary within 150 days from the date of the fiduciary's appointment, the fiduciary is not personally chargeable for any assets (i) paid in satisfaction of any lawful claims, expenses or taxes, or (ii) distributed to any beneficiaries,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Public Benefits for Connecticut on
Q: Can items like a laptop and cell phone count as Medicaid spend down for a parent being admitted to a nursing home in CT?

My father was unexpectedly admitted to a skilled nursing facility after falling ill last year. He will need to remain their for the long term and we are now going through the Medicaid application as Medicare has stopped coverage for this service. We will have to spend down some of his money to... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 29, 2021

Yes, those items can be purchased as part of the spend down.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Connecticut on
Q: I have a very simple probate case. It's me and my sister 50/50 split. What should the lawyer fee be?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 6, 2021

The fee is not necessarily determined by how simple or complicated the split is. It is impossible for anyone to give you an accurate estimate without knowing the number, nature and value of the assets. I've handled "simple" estates, that end up being very complicated. Most lawyers... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: Can children (and their spouses) serve as witnesses for their parent when signing a Power of Attorney in CT?

Due to a sudden illness, my father was admitted to a skilled nursing facility in late 2020. His Medicare eligibility is now lapsing and I need a Power of Attorney agreement to assist with his Medicaid enrollment, funeral planning, managing of finances, etc. Due to Covid restrictions, his facility... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Mar 26, 2021

Because of COVID, there is an executive order which suspends the witness requirement on all instruments which need to be notarized, except for wills. So, you are in luck. There no witnesses required. That said, it can't hurt to have your sister and her husband sign as witnesses. Or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Connecticut on
Q: is a medical examiner supposed to contact next of kin when a person dies to ask if they want an autospy?

-My mother passed away on tuesday, and upon talking to her doctor he expressed she was in good health aside from hypertension and gallbladder issues. I was not contacted asking if i wanted a autopsy and he himself was not. she received the covid vaccine two days prior to her passing so i feel as... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Mar 26, 2021

First off, I am sorry for your loss. The loss of a parent leaves a huge whole in one's heart. The State of Connecticut requires that the Medical Examiner examine deaths due to accident, homicide, suicide, and unknown causes, specifically "sudden or unexpected deaths not caused by... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Can an executor deposit a check made out to a beneficiary into an estate account ?

My husband is executor of my mothers will, however a check made out to me (as I was the beneficiary of an account) arrived. He wants to deposit it into an estate account along with checks from another account that is part of the estate so that he can distribute evenly between me and my sisters,... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Mar 23, 2021

I wouldn't say you are wrong. If you are the beneficiary on the account, that money is yours. That being said, if your mother's wishes were for "everything" to be divided equally, you have moral, and possibly a legal, duty to include the money from that account as party of the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Our son is the beneficiary of a GST set up by his grandparents. Can he draw on the trust before we die?

He is 34 y.o and marginally employed (at best) We support him 100% financially and that is putting us in a hard place. The income generated by this trust is not enough to support us as my husband 70 y.o.retired , I am 61 and have a low paying job and we have a 17 y.o. daughter who wants to go to... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Feb 11, 2021

To answer your question, we would need to review the trust agreement itself. It really depends on the language used in the document. My guess is that your son should be able to get money from the trust, but without reviewing the document it's impossible to say.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: Can a 401k and HSA distribution be added to a general estate bank account if there are no beneficiaries assigned?

My brother passed away last year and did not have a will. The case is currently in CT probate court. There is a surviving brother and myself, no spouse, parents or children. I am also the administrator for his probate case. Can a 401K and HSA distribution be added to the established estate bank... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Feb 4, 2021

Yes, the proceeds from the 401k and HSA can, and should, be added to the estate checking account. Keep in mind, there will be income taxes due on both distributions. Those assets will then be distributed to your brothers heirs as determined by the CT intestacy statute.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: If a stepdaughter gets poa of her mother to get my dads estate while we are in probate court will she inherit some estat
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jan 7, 2021

The step-daughter will not inherit money for herself, but rather the money will (or should) go to her mother. As the POA, the step-daughter has a duty to use the money for her mother's benefit, but we all know that doesn't always happen.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Q: Is a Living Trust good for me.

I am single, age 70, no children or partner. I have 1 brother and no close relatives but 1 nephew who I do not want to inherit from me. I own a home and property. I wanted to leave my house and property to charity but if I die before my brother I did want him to benefit from proceeds of the... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Dec 29, 2020

A living trust would be a good option. For one thing, a trust is a private document, and is generally harder to challenge than a will. By avoiding probate with a trust, you make it more difficult for your nephew challenge your plan or have money go to him through your brother. Your brother could... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Q: Can my sibling make false accusations against me as administrator of my dads estate regarding belongings (assets)?

I was just appointed administrator to my dads estate. I've had to prematurely remove all assets left at my dad's property do to my brother taking the majority of high priced belongings. None of the assets are in my dads name. But I have been verbally threatened by my half brother which... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Dec 14, 2020

As the administrator, your first job is to secure the assets in the estate. This means all assets, including tangible personal property (the stuff in his house, art work, furniture, jewelry, etc) which are owned solely by your father. You should also demand that your brother return any asset he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Connecticut on
Q: So CT probate charges a fee even though there are no assets to go through probate?

All assets were joint or designated via trust. Probate charged base fee plus .5% of taxable estate.

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 21, 2020

Yes, even though the court doesn't do much, when the tax return is filed to clear any possible lien on the property, the court will assess the probate fee.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My dad died in Oct. 2017. My brother filed probate papers in March 2018. My brother died in 2020.

I went and got a copy of my dads probate papers. They said both my brother and my name on papers. The estate said there was $30,990. My brother paid my dads furneral $13,000. He kept the balance for himself. He was suppose to split with me. Like I said he passed away a month ago. I didn't know... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 21, 2020

Yes, you have a claim against your brother's estate. Probate court where you father died should have copies of the various filings in your father's estate. They should show the amount you were entitled to and then you'd have to prove he kept that money and didn't pay it out to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Wrongful Death for Connecticut on
Q: My husband's brother passed away 5 years ago in CT, without a will.

My husband was the executor of the estate, however he was unable to continue, as he became ill. Then, his sister became the executor of estate. Both parents and all siblings were named beneficiaries to the estate. There has been a wrongful death lawsuit going on and is now in the process of... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jul 21, 2020

First, my heart goes out to you in this difficult time.

Now to answer the question. You and/or your daughter should be entitled to your husband's share of his brother's estate. Your husband was alive at the time of his brother's death, so he (or in this case his estate)...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Connecticut on
Q: Brother placing mother in AL facility beyond her means and plans to draw down limited assets.

My brother just received POA for my 82 year old mother. We have searched for an assisted living facility and found one that will cater to her needs and income (approx $3,000 per month). He unilaterally decided to place her in a more expensive facility ($4,300 per month) and draw down on her assets... Read more »

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Jun 23, 2020

This is an interesting question. A POA authorizes another person to handle financial affairs, as opposed to personal decisions, such as where to live. You could go to court and ask to be appointed the conservator of the person (as opposed to the estate) and then you'd have the power to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My father just passed away and I'm trying to figure out how do I handle his stuff?

EDIT: If the answer doesn't include anything related to the process and just says HIRE A LAWYER, dont bother

Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Mar 29, 2020

You need to hire a lawyer where your father died and seek to be appointed the administrator. This will give you the power to act regarding your father's estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Q: My father is dying in South Carolina my sister is power of attorney, doe's she legally have to notify me about will?
Steven Basche
Steven Basche answered on Apr 18, 2019

Most states require notice to all heirs (relatives who would inherit property if the decedent died without a will) if there is an application to admit a will to probate. That doesn't happen until after death. But nowadays, a lot of assets pass outside of probate, by joint account or... Read more »

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