Probate Courts have jurisdiction over the administration and oversight of trusts and estates. These matters account for most of the courts' work and include the following:
- probating wills and the administration of estates;
- overseeing testamentary and living trusts;
- determining title to real and personal property; and
- construing the meaning of wills and trusts.
When a person who owns property dies, the Probate Courts oversee division of the property. Most often the division is carried out according to the person's wishes as set forth in a will. If no will exists, the property is divided according to Connecticut law. The Probate Courts ensure that any debt owed by the deceased person, funeral expenses and taxes are paid before the remaining assets are distributed.
Often a family member or friend is responsible for settling the affairs of the estate. The menu bar above offers some helpful information, but estate matters can be complex, and the advice of a lawyer is strongly recommended.
Trusts are commonly used to help people who need financial assistance and people who are unable to manage their money properly. Often, they are established for minors or individuals with disabilities. Trusts can also be used to shield a person's assets from taxation or court oversight.
Setting up and administering trusts is complicated and should be pursued with help from a lawyer who is experienced in the field.
Estate and Gift Taxes
Estate and gift taxes are owed to the state and federal government if the value of the estate meets the thresholds established under the law. Connecticut estate taxes are paid to the Department of Revenue Services using the forms found on the department's website. Estate Tax Forms