Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson today announced that Milford-Orange Probate Judge Beverly K. Streit-Kefalas has been appointed Probate Court Administrator, effective Sept.3. She will replace Judge Paul J. Knierim, who is retiring Aug. 31 after serving 11 years in the position
“Judge Knierim is a very hard act to follow, however, I am confident that Judge Streit-Kefalas has the ability, talent and extensive knowledge to continue with Judge Knierim’s successes and initiate her own to further modernize Connecticut’s probate courts,” Chief Justice Robinson said. “Moreover, her commitment is exceeded only by her enthusiasm to help the thousands of people who rely on theprobate courts to resolve their most sensitive family matters.”
Judge Knierim praised the Chief Justice’s appointment, which marks the first time a woman has led the Probate Court system over its 300-year history.
“Chief Justice Robinson has picked an exceptionally capable judge to lead the Probate Courts,” Judge Knierim said. “Judge Streit-Kefalas is bright, she’s hard-working and she’s a woman of great integrity. I am absolutely thrilled that she will be succeeding me. I’ve witnessed firsthand her incredible dedication to the mission of the Probate Courts. Her life’s work has been helping children and families during some of the most difficult times of their lives.”
Judge Streit-Kefalas, a probate judge since January 1999, said she is “honored to have been selected by Chief Justice Robinson to serve as the next Probate Court Administrator. I look forward to the opportunity to work with him and my probate colleagues as we continue to meet the needs of the probate court system and the vulnerable citizens we serve.”
As did Judge Knierim, Judge Streit-Kefalas said she would continue focusing on ways to enhance access to justice and ensuring that the probate system is well equipped to handle the state’s diverse population. She often speaks to community groups to explain the role of the probate courts and its expanded role in assisting various groups, including senior citizens, individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities and children.
“We do continue in our traditional role of handling estates,” Judge Streit-Kefalas added. “Yet, we also have a substantial role in helping vulnerable populations.”
First elected as a probate judge in November 1998, Judge Streit-Kefalas has been re-elected as probate judge for the Milford Probate Court and then the Milford-Orange Probate Court each term thereafter. A graduate of Smith College and the University of Connecticut School of Law, she has served as the Administrative Judge of the New Haven Regional Children’s Probate Court. She also is past president of the Connecticut Probate Assembly and an active member of many Probate Assembly working committees. In addition, she is a community advocate serving on the boards of Bridges Healthcare Inc., The Boys & Girls Club in Milford, the Devon Rotary and the Milford Senior Center Council on Aging. Judge Streit-Kefalas is married to Nicholas Kefalas, and they have two daughters, Diamantina and Barbara.