Probate follows what is typically a painful emotional loss. I have over 30 years of experience in probate law and know how to ease the stress of probate by guiding executors and beneficiaries through the complex process. Most executors have rarely if ever probated a will and know little about the process. I can guide you through all aspects of probate, including:

  • Filing the will with the Connecticut probate court
  • Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously probating the estate
  • Finding and collecting assets
  • Closing and opening bank accounts
  • Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
  • Paying estate taxes
  • Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Hiring experts, when appropriate

Drafting your last will and testament

A will is essential at every stage of your life, providing you with the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes for what will happen upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to someone who is not your blood relative e.g., a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pets. The decisions the court makes might not reflect your desires. I have over 30 years of experience and can assist by drafting a valid will to ensure your intentions are honored.

Creating an optimal estate plan

Drafting an effective will requires more than filling out a form. If a court determines that your will is invalid, your desires will not be honored upon your death. I will draft your will and consider all aspects of your estate plan. We review your family arrangements, financial situation and philosophical goals to guide you in making the best estate planning decisions and draft your will accordingly. When valuing and managing the estate I assist executors with the arduous process of collecting, managing, valuing, protecting and liquidating the assets. I have a team of experts available to assist in every aspect of estate probate. When appropriate, my staff and I call upon accountants, financial advisers, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with executor duties. I can access expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectables for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.

Probate disputes

Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between beneficiaries. When necessary, I assertively defend my client's beneficiary rights within the Connecticut probate court.

My professional courtroom presence can calm the emotionally-charged process of probating a challenged will or disputed executor or judicial decision. When it is in the best interests of my client to preserve cordial familial relationships, I am adept at mediating these disputes.