OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 248

AN ACT CONCERNING PROBATE FEES.

SUMMARY:

This bill eliminates the $ 25 fee for each (1) probate hearing beyond the first and (2) hour of a hearing beyond the first hour (up to a $ 300 maximum) ( 2, 3, 4). It also makes various other changes affecting probate court fees.

The bill creates an exception to the general estate settlement fees when the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner is the legal representative of the estate by law (see BACKGROUND). In that situation, the fee is the lesser of the (1) fees that would otherwise apply or (2) amount the commissioner collects after paying funeral and burial expenses ( 3).

The bill establishes a $ 25 fee to receive a digital copy of an audio recording of a probate hearing ( 5).   

The law imposes a charge of $ 50 plus the actual cost of rescheduling an adjourned probate hearing on any party who requests adjournment of a scheduled hearing or whose failure to appear requires an adjournment. The court may waive these for cause. The bill specifies which expenses of rescheduling can be charged to such a party, by referencing another statute that establishes fees for various matters (e. g. , a $ 2 charge for each notice of a hearing or continued hearing, starting with the third notice) ( 2, 3, 4).

The bill makes technical changes to terminology regarding probate fees and expenses. It also makes other minor, technical, and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2013, except a technical change is effective July 1, 2012.

BACKGROUND

DAS as Estate's Legal Representative

By law, DAS must petition the probate court for appointment as legal representative of an estate when the (1) state has a claim against the estate for support or care provided to the decedent; (2) amount of the claim, together with other specified expenses, equals or exceeds the value of the estate; and (3) value of the assets does not exceed $ 40,000 (CGS 4a-16).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

42

Nay

0

(03/26/2012)