You will often hear attorneys and other advisors celebrate the benefits of "avoiding probate". This is usually heard in the context of estate planning with living trusts.
However, when you hear the term "avoiding probate" that means, more specifically, avoiding a full-blown, long, drawn-out probate process. Because in nearly all cases in Connecticut something has to be filed with the local Probate Court.
Sometimes a person will pass away owning only assets that were jointly owned or in beneficiary-driven vehicles (like retirement accounts and life insurance). Such assets do not have to go through probate before they are distributed to others. Nonetheless, there will still be something to file with the Court. The minimal filing requirements usually include the original will (see my last post) a special affidavit or two, and the Connecticut estate tax return (most often the CT-706 NT).
Having said that, keep in mind that there is an enormous difference between going through a full-scale probate process that continues for several months and a filing process where just a few documents are submitted to the Court.
Regardless, the family should be aware that there will always be some probate involvement required in order to tie up all the legal loose ends when someone passes away.