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An Alternative to Probate in Connecticut

 Posted on November 22, 2023 in Estate Planning

Untitled---2023-11-22T124048.765.jpgProbate is a highly-feared legal process, and for good reason. It can be complicated and costly. Even mid-sized estates might be significantly depleted by the costs of probate, leaving the decedent’s beneficiaries with less than they deserve. Probate court procedures can also take a very, very long time. Simple estates might take months. More complex estates can take years. There is also a chance that the will could be contested by almost anyone who is not pleased with their gift, or lack thereof. Since probate is a public process, and wills that have taken effect are public documents, anyone can see the details of what is happening with your case. The lack of privacy is concerning to many. If you are hoping to spare your future beneficiaries the trouble of going through probate, an attorney can help you accomplish this goal. 

Using Trusts to Prevent Probate

A trust can do almost all of what a will can. However, a trust does not need to go through probate - or any other court for that matter - to be enacted. Many people simply are not aware that trusts are an option, or do not understand how they work. The idea of moving most or all of their property into a trust can make some people nervous. However, putting your property in a trust does not mean that you lose control of it. You can declare yourself trustee and beneficiary for life, meaning that you can use your property as you see fit. 

Then, when you pass away, the successor trustee you chose can take control of the trust and start carrying out your directions for distributing trust property immediately. They will not need permission or intervention from a court. No one can see your trust document except those named in it unless you direct otherwise, so it would be very hard for anyone not named to challenge your trust.

No matter how big or small your estate is, you and your intended beneficiaries could likely benefit from using a trust in place of or in addition to a will. Probate can put a lot of stress on a grieving family. It can be a very long battle before even small pieces of your personal property can be lawfully handed out to your loved ones. 

Contact a Greenwich, CT, Estate Planning Lawyer

Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC is skilled in planning to avoid probate. Our practiced Metro New York Area estate planning attorneys will do all we can to make sure that your estate can be handled in a smooth and swift manner. Contact us at 203-661-6000 to begin with a free consultation. 


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