For all of life's milestones ... we can plan for that

P.O. Box 602, Simsbury, CT 06070
|

Estate planning to help you live for today and prepare for tomorrow

Do I Need a Will?

If you don't have an estate plan, the State of Connecticut has one for you.  And it may not be what you expect or want.  If you die intestate - which means without a valid written Will  - the laws of Connecticut will determine how assets you own in your sole individual name ("probate assets") will be distributed.  Connecticut General Statue Sections 45a-437 and 45a-438 provide that:  


  • If you die with children but no spouse, your children will inherit everything.
  • If you die with a spouse but no descendants or parents, your spouse will inherit everything.
  • If you die with a spouse and at least one descendant from you and that spouse, your spouse inherits the first $100, 000 of your probate property plus one-half of the balance.  Your descendants will inherit everything else. 
  • If you die with a spouse and at least one descendant from you and someone other than that spouse, your spouse inherits one-half of your intestate property and your descendants inherit everything else.
  • If you die with a spouse and parents, your spouse inherits the first $100,000 of your probate property plus three-fourths of the balance.  Your parents will inherit the remaining one-fourth balance.
  • If you die with parents but no spouse or descendants, your parents inherit all of your probate assets.
  • If you die with siblings but no spouse, descendants, or parents, your siblings inherit everything.
  • If you die without a spouse, descendants, parents  or siblings, your probate property will be inherited by distant relatives, whether you know them or not. 


Not all assets you own pass under the terms of a Will or laws of intestacy.
These assets will pass to the surviving co-owner or to the beneficiary you named, whether or not you have a will. Here are some examples:

 

  • Property you’ve transferred to a living trust 
  • Life insurance proceeds with a designated beneficiary
  • Annuties with a designated beenficiary
  • Funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account if you have named a beneficiary 
  • Securities held in a transfer-on-death ("TOD") account 
  • Payable-on-death ("POD") bank accounts 
  • Vehicles held by transfer-on-death ("TOD") registration, or 
  • Property you own with someone else in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.  


However, avoiding Probate DOESN'T mean there is nothing to do when someone dies. The beneficiairies still have a legal obligation to administer the decedent's estate, and there are penalties for delaying.  


Navigating "Who gets what and how?" can be confusing.  Give us a call - we can explain and help you put YOUR preferred plan into effect.



Learn More

To find out how we can help, download our Estate Planning Questionnaire to tell us more about you.  Call us today to schedule an appointment to review it and answer any questions you have. 

Estate Planning Questionnaire and Interview Guide

 To find out how we can help, download our Estate Planning Questionnaire to tell us more about you.  We can review this information together and we will recomend any additional estate planning steps you can take to best plan for all the milestones in your future.