Q: how does one apply to get to be a executor of the estate of their spouse so that they can get bank accounts in
decease spouses name
A: You file an application with the probate court in the state of domicile. There are a few different forms that may need to be filed depending on your circumstances. Also some assets may have a beneficiary already listed, or may be jointly held. In those cases you need to file forms with the institution. These forms vary widely.
It can be a very confusing and drawn out process. Many prefer to have a lawyer assist. Feel free to give me a call for a no charge detailed review of your options.
A: In Connecticut, if bank accounts are held in joint name with the right of survivorship, they generally become the property of the surviving title holder upon the death of the other party. While the accounts often must be disclosed to the probate court, ownership will generally pass automatically without the need of a court order if they are titled in this manner.
To the extent an individual is entitled to inherit assets from his/her spouse either by way of the terms of a Last Will and Testament or as a result of a spouse dying intestate, they need not be appointed as Executor in order to be eligible to inherit.
In the event that anyone, including a spouse, wishes to become an Executor of an estate in Connecticut, the procedure depends on the terms of the operative Last Will and Testament, to the extent it exists. If they were appointed as Executor in the Will, they must submit the Will to the probate court with the appropriate documents to initiate the probate proceeding. If someone else was appointed in the Will, the individual must determine if that person has resigned from the role of Executor or intends to proceed as Executor. If the later, he/she may have to challenge the appointment. If there is no Will, the spouse can open a case in the probate court and petition to be Executor. The probate court in the district where the decedent resided can provide the appropriate forms to submit in either circumstance.
A: From the brief facts described, open a case with the Probate Court.
If you contact the Probate Court they are usually helpful to individuals filing themselves. The forms are online. Also there are user guides available on the Probate Court website.
Keep in mind that there are timing issues where certain filings are required in a certain amount of time after death. The user guide for “Administration of Decedent’s Estate” on the Probate Court website explains the timing issues.
Many times people use a lawyer to take care of the probate case and all the required forms, which is prudent in many situations.
This answer includes generalizations and there are many caveats. Retaining a lawyer may be the best option for the described situation.
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