PA 12-45—sSB 248

Judiciary Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PROBATE FEES

SUMMARY: This act 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 act creates an exception to the general estate settlement fees when the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner is the legal representative of an 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 act also establishes a $25 fee to receive a digital copy of an audio recording of a probate hearing ( 5).

Under existing law, any party who requests adjournment of a scheduled probate hearing or whose failure to appear requires an adjournment must pay $50 plus the actual cost of rescheduling the hearing. The court may waive these for cause. The act specifies which rescheduling expenses 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 act 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 for a technical change repealing an obsolete provision, which 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).

OLR Tracking: JO: KM: JL: ts: eh