Creating a will is an important step in planning the distribution of your estate (assets including real and personal property) following your death. Connecticut wills allow for any children, your spouse, other family members, and pets to be provided for after your death. LegalZoom works with the testator (or the person making the will), to create valid Connecticut wills and to assign a person (called the executor in most states) to administer a Connecticut last will and testament after the death of the testator.
Basic Requirements for a Connecticut Last Will and Testament:
Age: The testator must be at least 18 years old.
Capacity: The testator must be of sound mind (capable of reasoning and making decisions).
Signature: The testator must sign a Connecticut last will and testament.
Witnesses: Two witnesses must sign the Connecticut last will and testament in the testator's presence.
Beneficiaries: A will may make a disposition of property to any person.
Distribution of Property:
A will is a legal document created by you to determine how your property, known as your estate, is distributed after your death. Your estate consists of assets and property including bank accounts, homes, land, furniture, automobiles, and securities (stocks and bonds). In general, Connecticut laws allow you to dispose of your property as you wish.
Other Purposes of Wills:
Our Connecticut wills form may be used to designate a guardian for any minor children.
Our Connecticut wills form may also be used to name an executor (also called a personal representative) to handle a testator's property and affairs from the time of death until an estate is settled.
Notable exceptions to the ability to distribute property:
Property owned in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship automatically passes onto the surviving owner.
Spousal share: Under Connecticut laws, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive 1/3 of the estate value after payment of debts and claims.
Providing for Pets
Connecticut law currently does not have specific statutes pertaining to providing care for pets. However, the testator may specify a beneficiary as the new owner of a pet. Our Connecticut wills form gives you the choice of providing for your pets in this manner.
Changing and Revoking
Changing a Connecticut Will and Testament
A Connecticut will and testament may be changed whenever the testator desires.
A Connecticut will and testament can be changed through a codicil, which is a document stating additions or changes to the original will. Codicils must be executed in accordance with Connecticut laws.
Revoking a Connecticut Will and Testament
A Connecticut will and testament can be revoked by burning, canceling, tearing or obliterating it by the testator or by some person in the testator's presence by the testator's direction, or by it can be revoked by a later will.
Probate and Estate Taxes
After the testator has died, probate procedures prove the validity of a Connecticut last will, pay off debts and taxes of the estate, and distribute property as designated in the Connecticut last will.
Connecticut's estate tax is generally equal to the Federal estate tax credit. However, the system is based on classes, and is complex. Connecticut estate tax is dependant on the type of property distributed by the Connecticut last will and who receives the property.
It is extremely important to make a Connecticut will if you want to control the distribution of your estate. If you die without a valid will, you are said to have died "intestate" and your property will be distributed according to strict Connecticut state laws.
For example, if the decedent dies leaving no children or parents, but a spouse, then the spouse takes the entire estate. If there is a spouse, no children, but parents, then the spouse takes the first $100,000 plus of the balance of the estate.
If you make a Connecticut will, your valid will prevents the laws of intestacy from deciding the distribution of your estate.