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We know you might have questions about the Probate Courts. We've gathered together some of the questions we hear most often here, along with the best answers.

Logistics
What can I expect?
Do I Need an Attorney For a Probate Court Proceeding?
How do I file a complaint against a judge?
Costs
What are the Probate Court Fees and Costs?

Logistics

What can I expect?

The Probate Courts have often been called "the people's courts" because they offer simple, direct access to legal proceedings. Convenience and efficiency are the hallmarks of the Probate Court. The majority of uncontested matters are heard within four weeks of the time a person goes downtown or drives to the next town to file the application. In most cases, the courtroom will be a conference room in the Probate Court offices. The atmosphere at the hearing is informal; the judge does not preside from a bench or wear a black robe.


Do I Need an Attorney For a Probate Court Proceeding?

Parties involved in a proceeding do not necessarily require a lawyer to represent them. Probate Court forms are designed to be "user-friendly,'' and the probate clerk or judge may offer limited assistance to people completing required forms and reports. In the case of complex estates or complicated family matters, however, an attorney should be retained, as explained below.

Decedent's Estates
The executor or administrator of an estate should obtain legal assistance if:

  • extensive help is required;
  • the estate includes substantial or unusual assets, such as a closely held business or a copyright;
  • the estate is large enough to involve the filing of a Federal Estate Tax Return;
  • there are problems involving taxation;
  • the executor or administrator has substantial questions concerning the law or fiduciary responsibilities; or,
  • the will or any matter in the estate is contested.
 
Family Matters
In the following matters, an attorney is required for the respondent (the person who is the subject of the proceeding):

 

  • guardianship, placement, and sterilization of persons with intellectual disability;
  • commitment of adults and children with psychiatric disabilities;
  • involuntary conservatorship;
  • temporary custody or removal of guardianship for a minor child; and,
  • termination of parental rights [legal representation is required for both the minor child and the respondent pa

 

 


How do I file a complaint against a judge?

The Council on Probate Judicial Conduct has jurisdiction over disciplining probate judges

Council on Probate Judicial Conduct

Costs

What are the Probate Court Fees and Costs?
Decedent's Estates

Upon the death of any person, some or all of the following costs may be payable to settle the decedent's affairs: (a) probate fees and taxes that are fixed by law; (b) fees of an executor or administrator that are subject to the approval of the Probate Court; and (c) attorney's fees that are also subject to the approval of the Probate Court.  

The fee is based on the greater of: 1) the gross taxable estate for succession tax purposes (Sec. 12-349), OR the inventory of probate estate OR the Connecticut taxable estate as defined in C.G.S. 12-391, as amended, OR the gross estate for estate tax purposes (Ch. 217 and 218 of the Connecticut General Statutes), PLUS all damages recovered for injuries resulting in death, LESS hospital and medical expenses and attorney’s fees and costs, LESS 50% of any portion of the property passing to the surviving spouse.
 
In connection with any estate in which proceedings are commenced on or after January 1, 2011, the fair market value of any real property or tangible personal property situated outside the State of Connecticut will be excluded from the calculation of probate fees.
 
For decedents who die on or after January 1, 2011, interest at the rate of .5% per month will be added to all unpaid probate fees beginning 30 days after the court issues an invoice, or, if a Connecticut estate tax return has not been filed within the time required, beginning 30 days after the return was due.
 
VALUE OF ESTATE
FEE
$0 to $500 $25.00
$500 to $1,000 $50.00
$1,000 to $10,000 $50.00 plus .01 of all in excess of $1,000
$10,000 to $500,000 $150.00 plus .0035 of all in excess of $10,000
$500,000 to $4,754,000 $1,865.00 plus .0025 of all in excess of $500,000
Over $4,754,000 $12,500.00
FILING FEE
Custody of remains $25.00
Estate Examiner for limited purpose $25.00
Conservatorships, Guardianships and Trusts
FILING FEE
Account with no hearing $25.00
Account requiring a hearing Based on the greater of the fiduciary acquisition value, market value, or receipts. If more than one account is the subject of the hearing, the most recent account is used to determine the fee.
Of less than $25,000 $50.00
Of $25,000 to $375,000 .0020 of value
Over $375,000 $750.00
Other Fees and Costs
Application fee (other than decedents' estates and fiduciary accountings) $150.00
Application by creditor for the court consideration of disallowed claims $50.00 (payable by creditor; if allowed, may order the fiduciary to reimburse from the estate)
Continued hearing, either upon request of party or due to party’s failure to appear, which necessitates continuance. [Note: No charge if fee waived for cause shown.] $50.00 (plus actual cost of mailing)
Each hearing notice in excess of two. $2.00 each
Fiduciary Certificates (first certificate)
Additional certificates ( up to 5)
Each additional certificate (after 5)
No Charge
$5.00
$1.00
Copies (up to 5 pages)
Additional pages
$5.00
$1.00 per page
Certified Copies (for first two pages)
(for each page thereafter)
$5.00
$2.00
Document recording (after first 5 pages) $3.00 per page
Will for filing only $5.00
Other documents for filing only $25.00
Marriage waivers $25.00
Use of Handhold Scanners $20.00 per day
Digital copy of an audio recording on a hearing $25.00​

 

OFFICE OF THE PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR
STATE OF CONNECTICUT DATA PRICING STRUCTURE
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QUERY CODE
DESCRIPTION COST FREQUENCY OF DATA TRANSFER
CDQC-1 One-time Download of Requested Data Set (hourly programming charges will apply) $345.00 One-time
CDQC-2 Advance Payment of Annual Renewal of Monthly Updates for Pre-Programmed Data Set $1265.00 Annual
CDQC-3 Monthly Updates for Pre-Programmed Data Set $115.00 Monthly
CDQC-4 Hourly Programming Charge to design, code, test, and produce data set for customer requirements $130.00 N/A
Note: hourly programming fees for requests are waived for all state agencies and local police departments.