No matter what your age or marital status, someone in your family will be affected by probate in one way or another. Julie Jason's Guide to Connecticut Probate: What Every Connecticut Family Needs to Know About Probate, gives you a lay of the land in an easy to understand form that you and your family members will enjoy reading.
Acclaimed by experts in the trusts and estates field, this book will help you learn important lessons that your family can apply today to address uncertainties, save money, avoid unnecessary taxes, find and work with an experienced lawyer, and set up a family plan to organize affairs.
Worth the price of the book alone is the reference section containing official Connecticut forms and publications and other valuable resources.
What Is Probate?
Probate serves a useful purpose. If the probate process were not available, a deceased person’s property would rattle around in no-man’s land forever.
Let me give you an example. Say your favorite great-uncle Harry tells you that he wants you to have his beloved rebuilt red Ford pickup when he passes on—one of only 116,327 built by Ford in 1953.
When Harry dies, you go to Melanie, Harry’s widow, to claim the pickup. Lucky for you, Melanie knows Harry’s wishes and hands you the keys and the title, which is in Harry’s name.
You now have possession of the car. But do you own it? Can you sell it? Can you insure it? No. Only the owner of the car, Harry, can transfer title to you. But Harry passed away.
This is where probate enters the picture. Probate is the mechanism to transfer ownership after the owner’s death. In this case, Harry’s will will be “probated” in the probate court located in the town where Harry resided at the time of his death. The court will verify the validity of Harry’s will and transfer property he owned at death to the beneficiaries named in his will. If there is no will, Harry’s property will pass to his heirs under the laws of “intestacy,” a topic we will discuss in Chapter 7.
Julie Jason is a money manager who began her Wall Street career as a securities lawyer after earning a master of laws degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1975.
Ms. Jason’s money management clients are affluent conservative Connecticut families who want more than the traditional stock brokerage relationship provides.
Although Ms. Jason is a lawyer licensed to practice law in New York, she does not do estate planning for her money management clients. Instead, she works with her client’s attorneys and accountants to help integrate their estate plans with their investment portfolios.
Ms. Jason is a proponent of investor protection. She is an arbitrator and mediator for FINRA and teaches and writes to educate the lay person about investment and financial matters.
Her investment education column appears weekly in the Sunday business sections of the Stamford Advocate and the Greenwich Time.
Her books include:
• You and Your 401(k): How to Manage Your Returns for Maximum Results (Simon & Schuster 1996)
• The 401(k) Plan Handbook (Prentice Hall 1997)
• JK Lasser’s Strategic Investing After 50 (John Wiley & Sons 2001)
• Julie Jason’s Guide to Connecticut Probate: What Every Connecticut Family Needs to Know About Probate (Author House 2007)
• The AARP’s Crash Course on Retirement Income Planning (Sterling Publishers 2008).
Ms. Jason is president of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc., a registered investment adviser, located at Two High Ridge Park, Stamford, CT 06905. You can call Ms. Jason at (203) 322-1198 or email her at Readers@JulieJason.com.