Connecticut Probate & Trust Administration Attorneys
Ensuring Smooth, Accurate Transfer of Assets from One Generation to Another
Distributing an estate after the death of a loved one is a delicate matter. Whether probating a will or administering a trust, every asset and transaction must be recorded with detailed accuracy while still being sensitive to the needs of a grieving family. For over 20 years, Connecticut families have trusted Weatherby & Associates, PC to ensure their loved ones’ estates are handled correctly and compassionately, with special care taken to handle each estate the way their loved one intended.
Our Connecticut probate attorneys are known for taking a focused approach to estate administration that streamlines the process, reduces the potential for errors, and minimizes the costs and hassles involved. Our client families also appreciate our communication process that keeps family members up to date on the estate’s progress and makes it easy to get answers to questions they have.
When you need reliable, compassionate, experienced help handling the estate of a recently deceased loved one, turn to Weatherby & Associates, PC.
Our seven-step Estate Settlement Program® is tailored just for you to assist you during your time of need. Click each of the steps in the process below to learn more:
The Estate Settlement Program® Snapshot is an overview of the legal, tax and financial road that we will travel together following the loss of your loved one. This module will assist you in getting familiar with your role and responsibilities when completing the estate settlement. To begin, we will meet to:
The governing documents such as the will and trust, legal filings and official documents necessary to properly administer your loved one’s estate/trust.
- Review The Estate Settlement Program™ Guide seven module process
- Complete the “Your Goals and Concerns” Worksheet
- Review your duties and responsibilities as personal representative/trustee
- Review The Getting Started Checklist™
- Confirm this firm’s engagement as your attorney
- Meet your Team
In any estate administration, the legal documents govern the wishes of the deceased and determine the ultimate outcome of who benefits from the estate/trust. Moreover, a myriad of notices and other court documents must be filed under Connecticut law. This module of the Estate Settlement Guide® serves to organize these important documents.
The marshalling and identification of all of your loved one’s assets. This includes those owned individually, in trust, or in joint name with someone else. Implementation of new tax cost basis and discussion of prudent asset management during the course of the administration with members of your financial team.
One of the first responsibilities of the personal representative/trustee in an estate administration is to marshal the assets, obtain date of death values (for tax reporting purposes) and to determine whether the assets and portfolio should be adjusted to meet the needs of the estate and its beneficiaries. Where the assets are located, how they are titled (owned), and what they consist of drives almost all of the decisions to be made during the course of the administration.
The identification of any reasonably ascertainable creditors, the legal notifications required to those creditors, and the clearing of any claims that they may have.
The personal representative/trustee has a primary duty to first notify and clear creditors prior to making distributions to beneficiaries. This stage of the process leads you through the legal requirements to satisfy one of the most important obligations.
The identification of any gift, estate and income tax returns that may be necessary to be filed, as well as planning for any IRA or 401(k) Required Minimum Distributions. Includes coordination with the CPA and financial advisors to minimize taxes and achieve family objectives.
This stage of the process concentrates on a very important element of any estate administration - the proper reporting and payment of taxes. It will be important to have a qualified tax return specialist on the professional team – preferably a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who is well versed with income, gift, estate and generation skipping transfer tax reporting.
May include both ongoing and necessary income distributions to the surviving spouse (if applicable) and/or other beneficiaries during the course of the administration. The distribution of specific bequests, including tangible personal property, and ultimate distribution of the estate/trust to the beneficiaries and/or establishment of continuing trusts for their benefit.
In order to protect the personal representative/trustee from liability, and to comply with the law, an accounting is prepared and is delivered to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are asked to review and approve the accounting, from which point distributions are made. Some distributions may be outright where others may be held in continuing trusts. This module of the Estate Settlement Guide™ serves to lead you through this process.
Review family’s ongoing planning opportunities. Complete any remaining open points and answer final questions.
We’ve made it through this Estate Settlement Program™ and have successfully completed what has probably been for you an emotional and arduous process. Congratulations! You may have open points or questions going forward, and there may be estate, tax and financial opportunities available to take advantage of. This module serves to organize your thinking and clarify outstanding points.
Connecticut Probate Services
When someone dies, all of the decedent’s assets that are not included in a trust or don’t have a designated beneficiary must be inventoried and then used to pay off outstanding debts and any taxes and probate fees that are due. Any remaining assets are distributed to heirs and beneficiaries according to the decedent’s will, if there is one, or according to Connecticut state law if there isn’t a will. This whole process is known as ‘probate’ and is supervised by the Connecticut Probate Court. Because the process of probating an estate requires a thorough investigation of the decedent’s finances, belongings and personal business, and may be scrutinized by family members as well as the court, it is often a very emotional process for the surviving loved ones involved. In Connecticut, the executor or the successor trustee must file a Connecticut Estate Tax Return whether there is any tax due or not. The Probate Court is paid a fee on the amount reported on this Estate Tax Return whether the assets are in a living trust or not. The fee accrues interest until it is paid.
The Connecticut probate attorneys at Weatherby & Associates, PC offer their services as executors, co-executors or as legal counsel to executors to make the probate process less stressful on grieving family members, ensure accuracy, and manage communication with family members and other beneficiaries. From filing the will in probate court and identifying all of a decedent's assets to calculating estate taxes, paying creditors and ensuring accurate distribution to beneficiaries, our experienced Connecticut probate attorneys make the probate process easier and smoother for everyone involved.
Trust Administration Services
When assets have been transferred to a trust, they do not go through probate like other assets after a person dies. Instead, the trust assets are administered according to the terms of the trust. Depending on the intentions of the trust creator, trust assets may be distributed directly to beneficiaries, held and invested for later distribution, used to create scholarships or grants, or transferred to charitable organizations. Numerous other options are also available, including combining several of these options. Administering a trust is usually a complex matter, involving detailed record keeping and fiduciary duties that require a high level of attention and integrity.
It is not uncommon for family members and designated successor trustees to discover they don’t have the time or the skill sets required to appropriately administer a trust. The larger the estate and the more complex the terms of the trust are, the more this is true. Weatherby & Associates, PC offers our services to assist in the administration of trusts. Put our years of trust administration experience to work ensuring your loved one’s trust is handled with precision and integrity.
Get the help you need with the probate or administration of your loved one’s estate.
Discover how your family and your loved one’s estate can benefit from probate and trust administration services from Weatherby & Associates, PC. Call our Connecticut probate attorneys today to schedule an initial consultation: 888-822-8778 (Toll Free)
Probate Lawyers - West Hartford CT, Simsbury CT, Bloomfield and serving all CT