Probate Shortcuts in Connecticut

Save time and money when you wrap up an estate in Connecticut.

Updated by , Attorney

Connecticut offers a probate shortcut for "small estates." This makes it easier for survivors to transfer property left by a person who has died. You may be able to transfer a large amount of property using the following probate shortcut -- saving time, money, and hassle.

Simplified Probate Procedures

Connecticut has a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, an executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.

You can use the simplified small estate process in Connecticut if there is no real estate (except real estate held in survivorship form) and the estate does not exceed $40,000 in value if you are the deceased person's surviving spouse, next of kin, or other person the court approves. There is a 30-day waiting period.

To use the small estate process, you complete an affidavit that states the following:

  • whether the deceased person received aid or care from the state
  • a list of deceased person's probate assets, and
  • a list of all claims, expenses, and taxes due and whether they have been paid and who paid them.

The court sends a copy of the affidavit to the Department of Administrative Services. The court orders who should receive the remaining assets of the estate. Whoever has this asset transfers it to the person designated by the court, pays a specified amount to the person, or sells the asset and gives the proceeds to the specified person. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-273.

The court also determines which claims should be paid from the estate in the following priority order:

  • funeral expenses
  • costs to administer the estate
  • medical expenses of the last illness
  • taxes and claims from the state of Connecticut
  • unpaid employee wages or payments due to a mechanic from the three months before death, and
  • other preferred claims.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-365.

For More Information

For help determining if an estate qualifies for one of these probate shortcuts, or handling an estate in general, see The Executor's Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo), or Estate Planning Basics, by Denis Clifford (Nolo).

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