Connecticut Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: 2 names listed on title but manner in which title is held is one name SOLELY

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Connecticut on
Answered on Jan 15, 2019
Nicole M. Camporeale's answer
From the facts you've provided, it seems as though your mom is a co-borrower on the loan/mortgage but is not a co-owner of the property itself. While this is beneficial for you, it is less beneficial for your mom. I would recommend consulting with the real estate attorney that handled your refinance so he/she can provide an accurate answer based specifically on your situation as they have first hand knowledge of your closing, while I do not.

I believe this would mean that if you died,...

Q: I delivered a car but the person died before he paid for it. Can I send the bill to his kids?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut on
Answered on Dec 8, 2018
Matthew A. Wiley's answer
You can do whatever you want to do. However, technically you need to file a claim against his estate. If you do not file the claim following a very specific set of rules your request for money can legally be denied. Generally the claim must be sent to his executor (which is published in the newspaper) within either 3 months or 5 months depending on the very specific rule that applies.

Needless to say do not delay and it probably makes sense to have an attorney file the claim for you to...

Q: If I die before my spouse and the mortgage and deed are in my name only, will she still inherit our house?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Oct 27, 2018
Matthew A. Wiley's answer
It depends. First if you have a will then that will govern who inherits your house at death. If you do not have a will then the CT rules of intestacy govern who inherits your house. The rules depend on whether you have children and a variety of other factors. Surprisingly, usually the spouse does not inherit 100% of a deceased spouses assets at death under intestacy. Why leave it to chance when you can easily prepare a fairly basic will to avoid this situation.

The mortgage debt is...

Q: What is the protocol for initiating a Mutual Distribution Agreement offer in CT. ? How should one party approach others?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Oct 27, 2018
Matthew A. Wiley's answer
The attorney should be the first one you discuss it with. You may ultimately need an attorney as a beneficiary as well. In order to get that MDA approved everyone and the Probate Judge would need to be in agreement.

Q: A Mutual Distribution Agreement, Involving a Charity, represented by the AG office.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Oct 27, 2018
Matthew A. Wiley's answer
No. The Executor or Trustee would represent the grantors intent to the extent it is allowed. The AG would represent potentially the charity and definitely the public's interest. Intent is somewhat irrelevant to the AG in this context.

Q: There are three biological children who are not named in the will but are needed to assign a PR in the State of Georgia,

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Oct 27, 2018
Matthew A. Wiley's answer
This issue is quite complex. Your question does not provide enough information to fully answer it. Feel free to give my office a call and schedule a consultation and we can discuss this in more detail. 203.446.4725.

Reading between the lines. It sounds like someone died in GA and chose to disinherit their children. While I can not speak to Georgia law specifically in almost all states children are mandatory notice parties even if disinherited. Therefore you will have the opportunity...

Q: Is it possible to enter a rental agreement (lease) for a property that is in probate?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for Connecticut on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
Short answer: Yes, it is possible.

Probate can tie-up a property for a long period of time, and it may be financially impractical for the property to remain unoccupied during that time.

The court will generally appoint an estate executor or personal representative. This representative is charged by state law with managing the assets during the probate process. Make sure they have the authority to lease the property to you. If you really want to protect yourself, ask the...

Q: Must a Mutual Distribution agreement only be the result of a will contest?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Sep 19, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
Yes, the beneficiaries can agree on a distribution different from the will without a will contest.

Q: Questions about wills in CT. Can they be hand written and must they be notarized

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Aug 28, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
Connecticut allows handwritten (Holographic) wills under certain circumstances. The will must comply with all of the other requirements, including witnesses. A beneficiary cannot be witness to the will, unless they are also an heir (meaning someone who would get a part of the estate if there were no will). The executor can be a witness, but if they are a beneficiary (they get something from the will) but they are not an heir (next of kin), the will be disqualified. You should hire a lawyer...

Q: My mom passed in January of this year. Prior to her death she added me (her daughter) to her checking/savings account

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Aug 22, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
The funds in the joint account became yours upon your mother's death and you are entitled to keep them. That being said, if your name was added as a convenience, and your mother did not explicitly say she wanted you to have the money and not include it as part of the estate, your brother could argue that the money should come back into the estate and be divided. He would have to prove that in court. If he proposes a distribution which is less than your share, you can object and the court...

Q: What kinds of things should we be aware of as we set up our estate for a disabled child?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
The answer to that seemingly simple question is rather complex. To start, you should be considering setting up a couple of special needs trusts (SNT's). The first trust would be a 3rd party SNT, which is funded by assets owned by a third party (meaning not your child). The second trust is a "1st party" or "self-settled" SNT. This would be funded by assets of your child, which he or she might be entitled to because a relative left money to him or her directly, or by a personal injury...

Q: My brother is not handling our parents' trust responsibly. Can I have him removed?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Jul 9, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
If you are a beneficiary of the trust, you have the right to ask the probate court to get involved to look at your complaints about how he is handling things. Whether the court will remove him depends on the nature of the problems and probably on the terms of the trust. You should contact an attorney with experience in this area.

Q: I'm pretty sure my uncle's updated will was signed when he was already diagnosed with dementia. Is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
This is a hard question. Even a person with dementia may have the mental capacity to sign a will or codicil if he knows what he is signing, knows the natural objects of his bounty (his children, relatives, etc.) and knows the extent of his estate.

Q: How do I claim anything when dad left no will? I am closest living relative. No one else cared.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
You can file to become the administrator of the estate. Connecticut law states that if a person dies without a will, and has no spouse, the assets in the estate go to the children.

Q: I believe close relatives are taking advantage of my fathers diminished mental capacity as it relates

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Connecticut on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
You can petition the probate court to have a conservator appointed for your father. This will give you the power to take control and manage assets in his name.

Q: What can I do if the executor of the estate is not abiding by the provisions/directions of a will?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Connecticut on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
You can contact the probate court and possibly ask that the executor be removed for failing to act in accordance with the will. My best advice is to start with the probate court. Even a letter to the judge may get the issue front and center.

Q: Can a power of attorney for a parent purchase property from that parent? Is it a conflict of interest?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Steven Basche's answer
This would be what is called "self-dealing." If the POA document itself allows self dealing transactions, it would most likely be ok assuming that the terms of the transaction are fair. But self-dealing transactions are looked at very closely, so it needs to be a fair deal based on fair values.

Q: How does one remove a 'life-use' clause from a real estate quit-claim deed?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Connecticut on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Christopher H. McCormick's answer
Unfortunately the only way to get rid of the life use is to probate your grandmother's estate. An estate tax return reflecting the full value of the property needs to be filed with the probate court and a certificate releasing the estate tax be issued and recorded. This terminates the life use interest in the property.

Q: I am drafting up my will. Do I have to name my wife to take care of our kids if I die?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Feb 5, 2018
Nicole M. Camporeale's answer
It is always recommended that you see the assistance of a licensed attorney to drafting your Will. DIY Wills can cause more harm then good if not executed properly.

Q: Hello, I am a low income senior & I have two questions about my existing will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Connecticut on
Answered on Jan 24, 2018
Nicole M. Camporeale's answer
#1. The address change should not make a material difference with regard to your will being valid.

#2. If your will disposes of the "residue" of your estate, which all well drafted wills should, then your condo would be included in that residue and would be distributed according to who you chose to leave those assets to. If that is not the case, the yes, you definitely should update your will. If you died without properly leaving the condo to a person/people in your will then the condo...

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