Help for When You are Facing Probate

Probate can sometimes be a long and confusing process. When a person passes away, their estate may go through this process called probate. An experienced probate attorney can help guide you through this confusing process, which can extend for a long time.

What happens when there is a will?

There are plenty of reasons to write a will, but worrying about the state snatching your family’s inheritance is not one of them. If you die without a valid will — intestate — the state law kicks in. Generally, your spouse and children are first in line to inherit. However, in a second marriage, not necessarily how you might expect. Assets only go to the state if there are no relatives to be found.

Can it take years to get through probate?

Most estates do not take years to resolve. The only delay is the period mandated by state law that gives creditors time to file claims. The length of the creditors’ claim window in Connecticut is 150 days from when notice of probate proceedings is published in the local paper

Why does probate sometimes drag on for years? Family fights end up before the probate judge in court —acrimony, delay, expense. Sometimes it is due to the fact that it is a very big estate that owes federal or state estate taxes, and that can take nine months to settle and can go another six months if an extension is filed.

How expensive is probate court?

Many stories circulate about probate costs such as lawyers’ fees and court costs. Generally, only assets owned in the deceased person’s name alone need to go through probate. If the value of the probate assets is small enough, the family can take advantage of probate shortcuts, which are less expensive than regular probate.

But even if the estate requires formal probate, costs are likely to be less than 5 percent of the value of the estate. Only in relatively rare cases, such as when someone contests the will or accuses the executor of misconduct, can costs soar.

The key to moving through probate successfully is knowing how the rules apply to your particular circumstances. Give this office a call today to plan so that the process will be smooth and less complex when future events ensue. We will be happy to help you through the process.

Do you have questions?

Count on our experienced team at Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, PC to provide you with sound guidance for your Estate Planning, Elder Law, Real Estate, Probate, Trust & Estate Administration, and other legal needs. For assistance, contact us today at (860) 229-0369, or email us at

a gavel sitting next to a folder labelled "probate law"