The role of the Connecticut Probate Court is to oversee the distribution of the estate when someone who owns property dies. If the person who died, called the decedent, left a will, the will determines how property will be distributed. If the decedent did not leave a will, property is divided according to state law. The Probate Court is also responsible for seeing that the decedent’s debts, funeral expenses and taxes are paid before the property is distributed.
Seek professional assistance, the Probate Court advises, “when the estate to be managed involves substantial or unusual assets or if the estate is large enough to involve the filing of a Federal Estate Tax Return.”
File PC Form 211 within 30 days of death when the value of estate assets is less than $40,000. The estate may include only personal property and real estate that goes automatically to a survivor. Fill in the form with the name, date of death and Social Security number of the decedent, and your name and address. Indicate why estate administration is not required.
File PC Form 200 within 30 days of death for all other estates. In addition to basic identifying information, fill in information about any surviving spouse and the decedent’s beneficiaries. Check the applicable boxes in the section for petitioner representations, indicating, for example, whether the decedent left a will. Provide your name and address in the “Proposed Fiduciary” section to formally request appointment to the position.
File Form PC 251 within two months of your appointment as fiduciary if the decedent owned real estate. The notice must be filed with the clerk of every town where property was owned.
File Form PC 440 within two months of your appointment as fiduciary. This form gives the Probate Court an inventory of the decedent’s assets. Instructions on the form explain the order for listing assets and the information that is required.
File Form PC 202 if a surviving spouse or other dependents need to request a support allowance from the estate while it is being settled. The surviving spouse files this form, specifying the amount of support requested, and the estate administrator must sign it.
File Form PC 237 at the appropriate time. This form lists the creditors who have claims on the estate. Creditors have 150 days to present their claims to the fiduciary or, if they have received certified notice, 90 days. You must file PC 237 within 60 days following the time allowed for presenting claims.
File an Administration Account (PC 241 or 242) within 12 months of the decedent’s death to report payment of debts, expenses and taxes.
File Form PC 213 following the distribution of assets to close the case. The form is a sworn statement that assets have been properly distributed. Attach a schedule of the distributions.
Kate Fogle, an attorney and former English teacher, is the communications director for a non-profit agency in Stockton, Calif. Prior to recent articles on eHow.com, her writing has been published in-house for professional purposes. Fogle is a graduate of UC Davis with a JD from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall.