Killingworth, CT asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut

Q: Can I get info on what the admin. is doing with my brothers estate? Can I find out his assets?

How do I find out what my brother's assests are and what the administrator is doing/has done? He died unexpectedly, had no will and told no one what he might want. He was employed, had at least one life insurance policy (my mom is the beneficiary), a vehicle, and bank accounts.

There are no ex-wives, children, or a partner. I have no idea about what his debt might be but am pretty sure it is negligible, if any. He was the only person living with and helping my older mother in her home. My father, who has been divorced from my mom for around 40 years and was not close with my brother, requested/received the administrator role. He collected and is keeping to himself all of my brother's information/assests. I do not know why, but he has gotten very secretive and suspicious. I need to make sure my father isn't hiding something that could affect my mother. My father is very financially secure and my mom only has her house, no other assests and just a minimal retirement fund.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Maya
Joseph Maya
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Westport, CT
  • Licensed in Connecticut

A: When a person who owns property dies in the state of Connecticut, the Probate Court facilitates and oversees the distribution of the property. If the decedent dies without a Will in place, often a family member or friend is appointed to settle the affairs of the estate. A part of the duties of the individual appointed to oversee the estate is to identify, gather and take control of the assets (as a fiduciary, rather than personally) so an inventory can be submitted to the Court. In the absence of a Will, the property is distributed to the next of kin, as defined by and pursuant to Connecticut law. Generally, in Connecticut, in the absence of a Will, an decedent’s net probatable estate will pass to his/her parents in equal shares in the event that there are no surviving spouse, children, or descendants. Prior to the distribution of any property, the Court will generally ensure that debts, funeral expenses, and taxes are paid.

Family members and other interested parties may attend hearings at the Court to ask questions or state their positions on the issues addressed at the hearings. The court will notify all parties when a hearing has been scheduled. A court may send notice that a petition or motion has been received and indicate that the petition or motion will be granted unless an interested party requests a hearing. Notice of a hearing is required at the time each estate is opened and at the time the executor or administrator files a final financial report or account. Hearings may also be necessary at other stages of the proceedings.

It is must be noted that in Connecticut, any assets that are held in joint name with the right of survivorship, generally become the property of the surviving title holder upon the death of the other party. While the assets 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.

If you believe you did not receive notice of a hearing or you wish to request a hearing, you may contact the Probate Court about your concern.

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