Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, October 24, 2005

Connecticut Probate System Lambasted

John H. Langbein, the Sterling Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School, has just published a commentary which is highly critical of the Connecticut probate system entitled Don't Die In Connecticut: A will can't protect you from the state's predatory probate system, considered a national disgrace, Hartford Courant, Oct. 23, 2005. 

Prof. Langbein believes that

[t]here are five major (and deeply interconnected) structural flaws in Connecticut probate:

1. The wasteful multiplicity of our probate courts.

2. The use of people who are not legally trained to serve as judges.

3. The corruption that inheres in having lawyers sit as judges part time while they continue to practice law.

4. The perverse incentives of Connecticut's probate court fee system, which rewards probate judges for inflicting make-work on estates.

5. The sustained, self-serving opposition that the probate judges have mounted to protect their turf and fight off benign national trends and standards in probate procedure that would reduce expense for our citizens.


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