Monday, October 1, 2018
Jeffrey A. Cooper recently published an Article entitled, Rethinking Connecticut Probate, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is a description of the Article.
Connecticut’s probate system, long branded a national scandal, is already more efficient and effective than outdated memories and Internet archives might suggest. A series of meaningful reforms, including a complete restructuring and enactment of robust rules of practice, have gone a long way toward redressing critiques of the prior system.
At the same time, there is room for more progress. In this essay, I suggested three main avenues for further reform. First, the legislature must develop a rational funding model for the courts, eliminating the poorly-named, reputation-killing, “probate fee.” Second, judges and their staffs should continue to strive for increased uniformity and predictability from case to case and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Finally, the courts and the legislature should work together to continue to streamline the existing probate process and to embrace the concept of unsupervised probate —thereby allowing the parties in interest, rather than decedents and their estate planning lawyers, to determine whether, and to what extent, judicial oversight is required in the settlement of an estate.