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JUDGE OF PROBATE

 

James
            Purnell Judge of Probate

Hon. O. James Purnell, III, Esq.
Judge of the Court of Probate,
District of Ellington 12
Vernon Town Hall
14 Park Place
P.O. Box 268
Vernon, CT  06066-0268
Telephone: (860) 872-0519
Fax: (860) 870-5140
jpurnell@ctprobate.gov

Probate Judge: Hon. O. James Purnell

Hours:
Monday-Wednesday  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Probate wills and the administration of estates, determines title to real and personal property and trust, appoints guardians for the mentally retarded; remove unfit parents as guardians of their children, grant adoptions, grant name changes. For frequently asked questions regarding the Probate Court visit:  http://www.jud.state.ct.us/probate/faq.html

 

Probate Courts have jurisdiction over a wide variety of matters including:

Trusts and Estates

  • probating wills and the administration of estates;
  • overseeing testamentary and living trusts;
  • determining title to real and personal property; and,
  • construing the meaning of wills and trusts.
 

Guardians, Conservators and Civil Commitment

  • appointing guardians for persons who are mentally retarded;
  • approving sterilizations and placements of persons who are mentally retarded;
  • appointing a guardian of the estate or person for a child;
  • for persons with mental illness and/or for persons who are incapable of managing or administering their own affairs, appointing conservators of the person and the estate; and,
  • committing those suffering from severe mental illness to an appropriate facility.

Parents

  • removing unfit parents as guardians of their children;
  • hearing the claims of paternity of unwed fathers;
  • terminating the parental rights of parents who cannot fulfill their parental responsibilities; and,
  • granting adoptions.

Other

  • granting name changes;
  • approving or disapproving the marriage of a youth under the age of sixteen years;
  • waiving the blood tests required for the issuance of a marriage license; and,
  • assisting persons in obtaining passports.

 

Probate Court FAQs

http://www.jud.ct.gov/probate/faq.html

Do I Need an Attorney For a Probate Court Proceeding?
Parties involved in a proceeding do not necessarily require a lawyer to represent them. Probate court forms are designed to be "user-friendly,'' and the probate clerk or judge may offer limited assistance to people completing required forms and reports. In the case of complex estates or complicated family matters, however, an attorney should be retained, as explained below.

Decedent's Estates
The executor or administrator of an estate should obtain legal assistance if:

  • extensive help is required;
  • the estate includes substantial or unusual assets, such as a closely held business or a copyright;
  • the estate is large enough to involve the filing of a Federal Estate Tax Return;
  • there are problems involving taxation;
  • the executor or administrator has substantial questions concerning the law or fiduciary responsibilities; or,
  • the will or any matter in the estate is contested.

Family Matters
In the following matters, an attorney is required for the respondent (the person who is the subject of the proceeding):

  • guardianship, placement, and sterilization of the mentally retarded;
  • commitment of mentally ill adults and children;
  • involuntary conservatorship;
  • temporary custody or removal of guardianship for a minor child; and,
  • termination of parental rights (legal representation is required for both the minor child and the respondent parent(s).

What can I expect?
The probate courts have often been called "the people's courts" because they offer simple, direct access to legal proceedings. They have also been described as "neighborhood courts" because there is a probate court in almost every town in the state. 123 of 169 towns have a probate court.

Convenience and efficiency are the hallmarks of the probate court. The majority of uncontested matters are heard within four weeks of the time a person goes downtown or drives to the next town to file the application. In most cases, the probate courtroom will be a conference room in the probate court offices. The atmosphere at the hearing is informal; the judge does not preside from a bench or wear a black robe.

Probate Court Forms

 

 Probate Forms

 

 

GENERAL

PC-170

Report of Representative for Interested Party

PC-180

Second Sheet

PC-181

General Waiver

PC-183

Appearance of Attorney

PC-184

Request/Order - Waiver of Fees/Petitioner

PC-184A

Request/Order - Waiver of Fees/Respondent

 

DECEDENTS' ESTATES

PC-200

Application/Administration or Probate of Will

PC-201

Application/Ancillary Probate of Will

PC-202

Application and Decree for Support Allowance

PC-203

Application/Decree and Return Safe Deposit Box

PC-204

Application/Declaration of Insolvent Estate

PC-205

Application for Certificate Releasing Connecticut Succession and Estate Tax Liens

PC-210

Affidavit in Proof of Will and/or Codicil

PC-211

Affidavit for Filing Will not Submitted for Probate

PC-212

Affidavit in Lieu of Administration

PC-212A

Request For Order of Distribution

PC-213

Affidavit of Closing of Decedent's Estate

PC-234

Notice to Creditors to Present Claims

PC-237

Return of Claims and List of Notified Creditors

PC-241

Cover Sheet/Administration Account Decedent's Estate

PC-242

Decedent's Estate Administration Account (Short Form)

PC-243

Statement in Lieu of Account

PC-244

Acceptance and Waiver Re: Statement in Lieu of Account

PC-245

Acceptance and Waiver Re: Final Account

PC-256

Certificate Releasing Connecticut Succession and Estate Tax Liens

PC-265

Acceptance of Trust/Ex Parte Decree Qualifying Testamentary Trustee

PC-280

Bond Waiver

 

 

CONSERVATORS

PC-300

Application/Appointment of Conservator

PC-301

Application for Voluntary Representation by Conservator

PC-302

Application for Appointment of Temporary Conservator

PC-310

Affidavit/Appointment of Commissioner of Social Services as Conservator

PC-370

Physician's Evaluation/Conservatorship

PC-371

Conservator's Report

 

 

FIDUCIARIES

PC-400

Application to Sell or Mortgage Real Property

PC-410

Affidavit of Financial Responsibility Personal Surety

PC-440

Inventory

PC-441

Fiduciary's Periodic or Final Account (Short Form)

PC-480

Probate Bond

PC-482

Appointment of Judge of Probate as Agent for Service by Non-Resident Fiduciary

 

 

TEMPORARY CUSTODY AND GUARDIANSHIP

PC-500

Application/Removal of Guardian

PC-501

Application/Immediate Temporary Custody

PC-502

Application/Temporary Custody

PC-503

Application/Appointment of Guardian of the Estate

PC-504

Application/Appointment of Temporary Guardian

PC-510

Custodian's Affidavit/Immediate Temporary Custody

PC-550

Physician's Certificate/Immediate Temporary Custody

PC-570

Guardian's Report/Guardianship of the Person of a Minor

PC-580

Receipt and Release of Guardian of Estate

 

 

TERMINATION/ADOPTION

PC-600

Application/Termination of Parental Rights

PC-601

Application/Stepparent or Relative Adoption Consent Termination of Parental Rights

PC-602

Application/Appointment of Statutory Parent

PC-603

Application/Adoption

PC-604

Application/Validation of Foreign Adoption

PC-606

Petition/Information for Emergency Health or Medical Treatment

PC-607

Petition for Authorization for Release of Original Birth Certificate

PC-610

Affidavit/Temporary Custody, Removal, Termination or Adoption

PC-611

Birth Mother's Financial Affidavit Identified Adoption

PC-612

Adoptive Parent's Financial Affidavit Identified Adoption

PC-613

Agency or Department Financial Affidavit Identified Adoption

PC-633

Waiver of Personal Service Parental Rights Matters

PC-680

Adoption Data Sheet

PC-681

Agreement of Adoption

JD-JM60

Affidavit/Consent to Termination of Parental Rights

 

 

MENTAL RETARDATION

PC-700

Application/Guardianship of the Mentally Retarded

PC-701

Application/Placement of Mentally Retarded Person

PC-702

Application/Sterilization of Adult

PC-770

Assessment Team Evaluation: Guardianship of the Mentally Retarded

PC-770A

Assessment Team Evaluation: Guardianship of the Mentally Retarded/Review

PC-771

Guardian's Report/Guardianship of Mentally Retarded

PC-772

Psychologist's Report/Placement of Mentally Retarded Person

PC-773

Panel Evaluation/Sterilization of Adult

 

 

MENTALLY ILL CHILDREN

PC-800

Application/Commitment of Mentally Ill Child

PC-801

Application for Involuntary Commitment of Mentally Ill Person

PC-802

Probable Cause Hearing Request

PC-803

Application for Involuntary Commitment/Alcohol and/or Drug Dependency

PC-804

Application for Involuntary Recommitment/Alcohol and/or Drug Dependency

PC-850

Physician's Certificate/Involuntary Commitment/ Annual Review  Person with Psychiatric Disabilities

PC-852

Physician's Certificate/Involuntary Commitment/Alcohol and/or Drug Dependency

PC-870

Physician's Evaluation/Commitment of Mentally Ill Child

PC-881

Examination Proceedings/Mentally Ill Child

PC-882

Examination Proceedings Mentally Ill Person Examination by Court

PC-883

Appointment of Counsel and Physicians/Involuntary Commitment of Mentally Ill Person

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

PC-900

Application for Change of Name (Minor)

PC-901

Application for Change of Name (Adult)

PC-902

Petition/Judicial Commitment for Treatment of Tuberculosis [No Prior Emergency Order Issued]

PC-903

Petition/Judicial Order Continuing A Prior Emergency Commitment for Treatment of Tuberculosis

PC-904

Petition/Judicial Order Enforcing Examination of Respondent for Tuberculosis

PC-905

Application/Emancipation of Minor

PC-980

Marriage Waiver

Probate CourtFee and Costs

Decedent's Estate
Upon the death of any person, some or all of the following costs may be payable to settle the decedent's affairs: (a) probate fees and taxes that are fixed by law; (b) fees of an executor or administrator that are subject to the approval of the Probate Court; and (c) attorney's fees that are also subject to the approval of the Probate Court.

Decedent's Estate Fees: (for estates in which proceedings commence on or after 4/1/98) The minimum fee is $150.00 for a full probate estate with a gross taxable value of less than $10,000.

In estates where the gross taxable estate is less than $600,000 and no succession tax return is required to be filed, a probate fee of .1% shall be charged against non-solely owned real estate, in addition to any other fees.

The fee is based on the greater of: 1) the gross taxable estate for succession tax purposes (Sec. 12-349), OR the inventory (probatable estate) OR the Connecticut taxable estate as defined in C.G.S. 12-391, as amended, OR the gross estate for estate tax purposes (Ch. 217 and 218 of the Connecticut General Statutes), PLUS all damages recovered for injuries resulting in death, LESS hospital and medical expenses and attorney’s fees and costs, LESS 50% of any portion of the property passing to the surviving spouse.

 

VALUE OF ESTATE

FEE

$0 to $500

$25.00

$500 to $1,000

$50.00

$1,000 to $10,000

$50.00 plus .01 of all in excess of $1,000

$10,000 to $500,000

$150.00 plus .0035 of all in excess of $10,000

$500,000 to $4,754,000

$1,865.00 plus .0025 of all in excess of $500,000

Over $4,754,000

$12,500.00

 

 

Conservatorships, Guardianships and Trusts: (Effective July 1, 1993)

FILING

FEE

Account with no hearing

$25.00

Account requiring a hearing

Based on the greater of the book value, market value, or receipts. If more than one account is the subject of the hearing, the most recent account is used to determine the fee.

Of less than $25,000

$50.00

Of $25,000 to $375,000

.0020 of value

Over $375,000

$750.00

 

 

Other Fees and Costs: (As of January 1, 1998)

Application fee (other than decedents' estates and fiduciary accountings)

$150.00

Each additional hearing on any matter

$25.00

Hearings that exceed one hour

$25.00/hour, after first hour (Not to exceed $300.00)

Application by creditor for the court consideration of disallowed claims

$50.00 (payable by creditor; if allowed, may order the fiduciary to reimburse from the estate)

Motion for appeal

$50.00

Continued hearing, either upon request of party or due to party's failure to appear which necessitates continuance. [Note: No charge if waived for cause shown.]

$50.00 (plus actual cost of mailing)

Each hearing notice in excess of two

$2.00 each

Fiduciary Certificates (first certificate)
Additional certificates ( up to 5)
Each additional certificate (after 5)

No Charge
$5.00
$1.00

Copies (up to 5 pages)
Additional pages

$5.00
$1.00 per page

Certified Copies (for first two pages)
(for each page thereafter)

$5.00
$2.00

Document recording (after first 5 pages)

$3.00 per page

Will for filing only

$5.00

Other documents for filing only

$25.00

Marriage waivers

$25.00

How Are Probate Charges Used by the Probate Court?
Statutory charges paid to the Probate Court are used to pay the salaries of the court staff and certain operational expenses. After payment of such costs, the net sum is retained by the judge as his or her only compensation, subject to an assessment levied by the State of Connecticut. The statute strictly limits the amount a judge may retain as compensation, and it now permits a court with insufficient income to meet its reasonable and necessary operating expenses by requesting a subsidy from the Probate Court Administrator.

 

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