Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6448

Public Act No. 13-199

AN ACT CONCERNING PROBATE FEES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 45a-106 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

The basic fees payable to [courts of] probate courts for any proceeding other than in connection with the settlement of the estate of a deceased person or periodic accounts of trustees, guardians, conservators or other fiduciaries shall be as follows:

(1) Except for such proceedings for which basic fees are specified in subdivision (4), (5) or (6) of this section or are otherwise specified or exempted in section 45a-111, as amended by this act, or elsewhere in the general statutes, there shall be payable to the [Court of] Probate Court with respect to each application, petition or motion filed with the court to commence a matter before it, an entry fee of one hundred fifty dollars which shall be paid by the person making the application, petition or motion.

(2) On each matter commenced by the court on its own motion, an entry fee of one hundred fifty dollars shall be payable by an interested party as determined by the court.

(3) For the purposes of establishing fees payable to [courts of] probate courts under this section, all applications, petitions and motions filed and proceedings thereunder, in connection with a matter which has been entered as above, which are necessary to enter a final decree in and are incidental to the action of the court being sought in the matter so entered shall be covered by the entry fee and by any additional fee or expense under subdivision (6) of this section that may have become payable in such matter. No additional fees under this section shall be charged for any such incidental applications, petitions or motions, except that once a final decree is entered in any matter and, thereafter, additional action or actions are sought in the court in connection therewith, such additional action or actions shall be treated as a new matter under this section.

(4) For proceedings brought under section 46b-30, the fee shall be twenty-five dollars.

(5) For filing a will in the Probate Court, the fee shall be five dollars. For filing any other document in the [probate court] Probate Court under the provisions of any statute if the court is not required to take any action, the fee shall be twenty-five dollars, in addition to any applicable recording fee. Any fee under this subdivision shall be payable by the person filing such will or document.

(6) A fee of fifty dollars, plus the actual expenses of rescheduling the adjourned hearing that are payable under section 45a-109, as amended by this act, shall be payable to the court by any party who requests an adjournment of a scheduled hearing or whose failure to appear necessitates an adjournment, except that the court, for cause shown, may waive either the fifty-dollar fee or the actual expenses of rescheduling the adjourned hearing, or both.

(7) A fee of two hundred fifty dollars shall be payable to the Probate Court by a petitioner filing a motion to permit an attorney who has not been admitted as an attorney under the provisions of section 51-80 to appear pro hac vice in a matter in the Probate Court.

Sec. 2. Section 45a-107 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

(a) The basic fees for all proceedings in the settlement of the estate of any deceased person, including succession and estate tax proceedings, shall be in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(b) For estates in which proceedings were commenced on or after January 1, 2011, fees shall be computed as follows:

(1) The basis for fees shall be (A) the greatest of (i) the gross estate for succession tax purposes, as provided in section 12-349, (ii) the inventory, including all supplements thereto, (iii) the Connecticut taxable estate, as defined in section 12-391, or (iv) the gross estate for estate tax purposes, as provided in chapters 217 and 218, except as provided in subdivisions (5) and (6) of this subsection, plus (B) all damages recovered for injuries resulting in death, minus any hospital and medical expenses for treatment of such injuries resulting in death, minus any hospital and medical expenses for treatment of such injuries that are not reimbursable by medical insurance, and minus the attorney's fees and other costs and expenses of recovering such damages. Any portion of the basis for fees that is determined by property passing to the surviving spouse shall be reduced by fifty per cent. Except as provided in subdivisions (3) and (4) of this subsection, in no case shall the minimum fee be less than twenty-five dollars.

(2) Except as provided in subdivisions (3) and (4) of this subsection, fees shall be assessed in accordance with the following table:

 

Basis for Computation

 
 

Of Fees

Total Fee

0 to $ 500

$ 25

 

$ 501 to $ 1,000

$ 50

 

$ 1,000 to $ 10,000

$ 50, plus 1% of all

   

in excess of $ 1,000

 

$ 10,000 to $ 500,000

$ 150, plus . 35% of all

   

in excess of $ 10,000

 

$ 500,000 to $ 4,754,000

$ 1,865, plus . 25% of all

   

in excess of $ 500,000

 

$ 4,754,000 and over

$ 12,500

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, if the basis for fees is less than ten thousand dollars and a full estate is opened, the minimum fee shall be one hundred fifty dollars.

(4) In any matter in which the Commissioner of Administrative Services is the legal representative of the estate pursuant to section 4a-16, the fee shall be the lesser of (A) the amount calculated under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, or (B) the amount collected by the Commissioner of Administrative Services after paying the expense of funeral and burial in accordance with section 17b-84.

(5) In the case of a deceased person who was domiciled in this state on the date of his or her death, the gross estate for estate tax purposes shall, for the purpose of determining the basis for fees pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, be reduced by the fair market value of any real property or tangible personal property of the deceased person situated outside of this state.

(6) In the case of a deceased person who was not domiciled in this state on the date of his or her death but who owned real property or tangible personal property situated in this state on the date of his or her death, only the fair market value of such real property or tangible personal property situated in this state shall be included in the basis for fees pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(c) For estates in which proceedings were commenced on or after April 1, 1998, and prior to January 1, 2011, fees shall be computed as follows:

(1) The basis for fees shall be (A) the gross estate for succession tax purposes, as provided in section 12-349, the inventory, including all supplements thereto, the Connecticut taxable estate, as defined in section 12-391, or the gross estate for estate tax purposes, as provided in chapters 217 and 218, whichever is greater, plus (B) all damages recovered for injuries resulting in death, minus any hospital and medical expenses for treatment of such injuries resulting in death, minus any hospital and medical expenses for treatment of such injuries that are not reimbursable by medical insurance and minus the attorney's fees and other costs and expenses of recovering such damages. Any portion of the basis for fees that is determined by property passing to the surviving spouse shall be reduced by fifty per cent. Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, in no case shall the minimum fee be less than twenty-five dollars.

(2) Except as provided in subdivisions (3) and (4) of this subsection, fees shall be assessed in accordance with the following table:

 

Basis for Computation

 
 

Of Fees

Total Fee

 

0 to $ 500

$ 25

 

$ 501 to $ 1,000

$ 50

 

$ 1,000 to $ 10,000

$ 50, plus 1% of all

   

in excess of $ 1,000

 

$ 10,000 to $ 500,000

$ 150, plus . 35% of all

   

in excess of $ 10,000

 

$ 500,000 to $ 4,754,000

$ 1,865, plus . 25% of all

   

in excess of $ 500,000

 

$ 4,754,000 and over

$ 12,500

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, if the basis for fees is less than ten thousand dollars and a full estate is opened, the minimum fee shall be one hundred fifty dollars.

(4) In estates where the gross taxable estate is less than six hundred thousand dollars, in which no succession tax return is required to be filed, a probate fee of . 1 per cent shall be charged against non-solely-owned real estate, in addition to any other fees computed under this section.

[(d) For estates in which proceedings were commenced on or after July 1, 1993, and prior to April 1, 1998, costs shall be computed as follows:

(1) The basis for costs shall be: (A) The gross estate for succession tax purposes, as provided in section 12-349, or the inventory, including all supplements thereto, whichever is greater, plus (B) all damages recovered for injuries resulting in death minus any hospital and medical expenses for treatment of such injuries that are not reimbursable by medical insurance and minus the attorney's fees and other costs and expenses of recovering such damages. Any portion of the basis for costs that is determined by property passing to the surviving spouse shall be reduced by fifty per cent. Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, in no case shall the minimum cost be less than ten dollars.

(2) Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, costs shall be assessed in accordance with the following table:

 

Basis for Computation

 
 

Of Costs

Total Cost

 

0 to $ 1,000

$ 10. 00

 

$ 1,000 to $ 10,000

$ 10, plus 1% of all

   

in excess of $ 1,000

 

$ 10,000 to $ 500,000

$ 100, plus . 30% of all

   

in excess of $ 10,000

 

$ 500,000 to $ 4,715,000

$ 1,570, plus . 20% of all

   

in excess of $ 500,000

 

$ 4,715,000 and over

$ 10,000

(3) If the basis for costs is less than ten thousand dollars and a full estate is opened, the minimum cost shall be one hundred dollars.

(e) For estates in which proceedings were commenced on or after July 1, 1983, and prior to July 1, 1993, costs shall be computed as follows:

(1) The basis for costs shall be: (A) The gross estate for succession tax purposes, as provided in section 12-349, minus one-third of the first fifty thousand dollars of any part of the gross estate for succession tax purposes that passes other than by will or under the laws of intestacy, plus (B) all damages recovered for injuries resulting in death minus any hospital and medical expenses for treatment of such injuries that are not reimbursable by medical insurance and minus the attorney's fees and other costs and expenses of recovering such damages.

(2) Costs shall be assessed in accordance with the following table:

 

Basis for Computation

 
 

Of Costs

Total Cost

 

0 to $ 1,000

$ 10. 00

 

$ 1,000 to $ 10,000

$ 10, plus 1% of all

   

in excess of $ 1,000

 

$ 10,000 to $ 100,000

$ 100, plus . 30% of all

   

in excess of $ 10,000

 

$ 100,000 to $ 200,000

$ 370, plus . 25% of all

   

in excess of $ 100,000

 

$ 200,000 to $ 500,000

$ 620, plus . 2% of all

   

in excess of $ 200,000

 

$ 500,000 to $ 1,000,000

$ 1,220, plus . 15% of all

   

in excess of $ 500,000

 

$ 1,000,000 to $ 5,000,000

$ 1,970, plus . 125% of all

   

in excess of $ 1,000,000

 

$ 5,000,000 and over

$ 6,970, plus . 1% of all

   

in excess of $ 5,000,000]

[(f)] (d) A fee of fifty dollars shall be payable to the court by any creditor applying to the [Court of] Probate Court pursuant to section 45a-364 or 45a-401 for consideration of a claim. If such claim is allowed by the court, the court may order the fiduciary to reimburse the amount of such fee from the estate.

[(g)] (e) A fee of fifty dollars, plus the actual expenses of rescheduling the adjourned hearing that are payable under section 45a-109, as amended by this act, shall be payable to the court by any party who requests an adjournment of a scheduled hearing or whose failure to appear necessitates an adjournment, except that the court, for cause shown, may waive either the fifty-dollar fee or the actual expenses of rescheduling the adjourned hearing, or both.

(f) A fee of two hundred fifty dollars shall be payable to the Probate Court by a petitioner filing a motion to permit an attorney who has not been admitted as an attorney under the provisions of section 51-80 to appear pro hac vice in a matter in the Probate Court.

[(h) In] (g) Except as provided in subsections (d), (e) and (f) of this section, in no event shall any fee exceed ten thousand dollars for any estate in which proceedings were commenced prior to April 1, 1998, and twelve thousand five hundred dollars for any estate in which proceedings were commenced on or after April 1, 1998.

[(i)] (h) In the case of decedents who die on or after January 1, 2011:

(1) Any fees assessed under this section that are not paid within thirty days of the date of an invoice from the [court of probate] Probate Court shall bear interest at the rate of one-half of one per cent per month or portion thereof until paid;

(2) If a tax return or a copy of a tax return required under subparagraph (D) of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 12-392 is not filed with a [court of] probate court by the due date for such return or copy under subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 12-392 or by the date an extension under subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of section 12-392 expires, the fees that would have been due under this section if such return or copy had been filed by such due date or expiration date shall bear interest at the rate of one-half of one per cent per month or portion thereof from the date that is thirty days after such due date or expiration date, whichever is later, until paid. If a return or copy is filed with a [court of] probate court on or before such due date or expiration date, whichever is later, the fees assessed shall bear interest as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection;

(3) A [court of] probate court may extend the time for payment of any fees under this section, including interest, if it appears to the court that requiring payment by such due date or expiration date would cause undue hardship. No additional interest shall accrue during the period of such extension. A [court of] probate court may not waive interest outside of any extension period;

(4) The interest requirements in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not apply if:

(A) The basis for fees for the estate does not exceed forty thousand dollars; or

(B) The basis for fees for the estate does not exceed five hundred thousand dollars and any portion of the property included in the basis for fees passes to a surviving spouse.

Sec. 3. Section 45a-108 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

(a) (1) Except with respect to a decedent's estate, the basic fees for all proceedings in connection with allowance and settlement of a periodic or other account, after notice and hearing, regardless of the date of origin of the estate in which such account is filed, shall be in accordance with the following schedule:

 

    If the [book] fiduciary acquisition value or

Fee

 

    market value or receipts, whichever is larger, is:

 
 

    Less than $ 25,000

$ 50. 00

 

    $ 25,000 to $ 375,000

. 20% thereof

 

    $ 375,000 and over

$ 750. 00

(2) If more than one account is the subject of a hearing, the fees shall be based on the values in the most recent account being heard.

(b) For the purposes of this section, "fiduciary acquisition value" has the meaning set forth in the rules of procedure adopted under section 45a-78.

[(b)] (c) A fee of fifty dollars, plus the actual expenses of rescheduling the adjourned hearing that are payable under section 45a-109, as amended by this act, shall be payable to the court by any party who requests an adjournment of a scheduled hearing or whose failure to appear necessitates an adjournment, except that the court, for cause shown, may waive either the fifty-dollar fee or the actual expenses of rescheduling the adjourned hearing, or both.

(d) A fee of two hundred fifty dollars shall be payable to the Probate Court by a petitioner filing a motion to permit an attorney who has not been admitted as an attorney under the provisions of section 51-80 to appear pro hac vice in a matter in the Probate Court.

Sec. 4. Section 45a-105 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

The fees charged by [courts of] probate courts shall be uniform for all of the probate districts established by law. Fees shall be assessed in accordance with sections 45a-106 to 45a-112, inclusive, as amended by this act.

Sec. 5. Section 45a-109 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

In addition to the basic fees specified in sections 45a-106 to 45a-108, inclusive, as amended by this act, the following expenses shall be payable to the [courts of probate] Probate Courts: (1) For recording each page or fraction thereof after the first five pages of any one document, three dollars; (2) for each notice in excess of two with respect to any hearing or continued hearing, two dollars; (3) for any expenses incurred by the [court of probate] Probate Court for newspaper publication of notices, certified or registered mailing of notices, or for service of process or notice, the actual amount of the expenses so incurred; (4) for providing copies of any document from a file in the court of any matter within the jurisdiction of the court, five dollars for a copy of any such document up to five pages in length and one dollar per copy for each additional page or fractional part thereof as the case may be, except that there shall be furnished without charge to the fiduciary or, if none, to the petitioner with respect to any probate matter one uncertified copy of each decree, certificate or other court order setting forth the action of the court on any proceeding in such matter; (5) for certifying copies of any document from a file in the court of any matter before the court, five dollars per each copy certified for the first two pages of a document, and two dollars for each copy certified for each page after the second page of such document, except that no charge shall be made for any copy certified or otherwise that the court is required by statute to make; (6) for retrieval of a file not located on the premises of the court, the actual expense or ten dollars, whichever is greater; (7) for copying probate records through the use of a hand-held scanner, as defined in section 1-212, twenty dollars per day; and (8) for providing a digital copy of an audio recording of a hearing, twenty-five dollars.

Sec. 6. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 45a-111 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

(c) If a petitioner or applicant to a [court of] probate court claims that unless his or her obligation to pay the fees and the necessary expenses of the action, including the expense of service of process, is waived, such petitioner or applicant will be deprived by reason of his or her indigency of his or her right to bring a petition or application to such court or that he or she is otherwise unable to pay the fees and necessary expenses of the action, he or she may file with the clerk of such [court of] probate court an application for waiver of payment of such fees and necessary expenses. Such application shall be signed under penalty of false statement, shall state the applicant's financial circumstances, and shall identify the fees and expenses sought to be waived and the approximate amount of each. If the court finds that the applicant is unable to pay such fees and expenses, it shall order such fees and expenses waived. If such expenses include the expense of service of process, the court, in its order, shall indicate the method of service authorized and the expense of such service shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Judicial Department, except that, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such expenses, such expenses shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(d) The court may, in its discretion, postpone payment of any entry fee or other fee or expense due under sections 45a-106 to 45a-112, inclusive, as amended by this act, and enter any matter if it appears to the court that to require such entry fee or other fee or expense to accompany submission of the matter would cause undue delay or hardship, but in such case the applicant, petitioner or moving party shall be liable for the entry fee and all other fees and expenses upon receipt of an invoice therefor from the court. [of probate. ]

Sec. 7. Section 45a-112 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

When the state or any of its agencies is an applicant, petitioner or moving party commencing a matter in a [court of] probate court, or is otherwise liable for the fees or expenses under sections 45a-106 to 45a-112, inclusive, as amended by this act, the court shall accept such matter without the entry fee accompanying the filing thereof, and shall bill the entry fee or other fee or expense to the appropriate agency for subsequent payment, which payment shall be due and payable upon receipt of such bill.

Sec. 8. Section 45a-113a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2014):

Whenever a probate court determines that a refund is due an applicant, petitioner, moving party or other person for any overpayment of costs, fees, charges or expenses incurred under the provisions of sections 45a-106 to 45a-112, inclusive, as amended by this act, the Probate Court Administrator shall, upon receipt of certification of such overpayment by the [court of probate] probate court that issued the invoice for such costs, fees, charges or expenses, cause a refund of such overpayment to be issued from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

Approved June 24, 2013