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Welcome to Vernon, a celebrated place to live, work and visit. 

Judge of Probate


Hon. Elisa H. Bartlett 
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


Monday through 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.

Click here for Probate Court Forms

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 developmentally disabled;
  • approving sterilizations and placements of persons who are developmentally disabled;
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


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