Online Seminar

Connecticut Probate Process from Start to Finish

Handling Probate From Initial Notices Through the Estate Closing

NBI (97804)
Event Date
Event Time
8:30 AM - 4:10 PM EST
Event Planner
Jim Lau
(866) 876-5876

Program Description

Handling Probate From Initial Notices Through the Estate Closing

This "a through z" guide to probate is designed to take you from the first days of the estate timeline through all the steps of marshaling and valuing estate assets, locating and paying the creditors, paying the beneficiaries, and laying the estate to rest. You will receive the latest updates on the probate court procedure and tax laws, practical guidance from experienced probate attorneys on using spousal elective share and resolving estate disputes, and sample forms and checklists to speed up the administration process. Build a solid foundation for your probate practice - register today!

  • Learn the procedure, rules and practical steps to effectively administer a probate.
  • Determine what form of administration is appropriate for a specific probate case.
  • Clarify the order of inheritance for an estate when there is no will.
  • Locate assets and obtain ownership documents more easily with a list of local and online resources.
  • Get a complete view of the sequence of events that must happen before the estate can be closed.
  • Identify common actions that trigger malpractice liability and get tips for staying in the clear.
  • Get practical advice for honoring or contesting all claims against the estate.
  • Find new ways to resolve liquidity issues that delay estate closing and final distributions and payments.
  • Learn what common closing mistakes can allow the estate to be re-opened, and how to avoid them.

Who Should Attend

This basic level online seminar is designed for professionals who want to be more effective in handling the probate process, including:

  • Attorneys
  • Paralegals
  • CPAs and Accountants
  • Financial Planners and Wealth Managers
  • Tax Professionals
  • Trust Officers

Course Content

  1. Initial Filing in Probate Court and Estate Timeline
  2. Law of Intestate Succession
  3. Probate Property vs. Non-Probate Assets
  4. Inventory and Appraisement
  5. Handling Claims Against the Estate
  6. Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Matters
  7. Ethics
  8. Final Accounting and Closing the Estate
  9. Probate Disputes and Litigation

Agenda / Content Covered

All times are shown in Eastern time.
  1. Initial Filing in Probate Court and Estate Timeline
    8:30 - 9:15, Charles L. Kurmay
    1. Small Estate Administration
    2. Probate Court Procedure
    3. Estate Timetable/Checklist
    4. Formal vs. Informal Probate Administration
    5. Opening the Estate
      1. Petition for Probate and Administration and Notice of Hearing
      2. Required Notices (to Creditors, Heirs, DHS, IRS)
      3. Sample Forms
    6. What the Personal Representative Needs to Know and Do
    7. When is Ancillary Administration Necessary?
  2. Law of Intestate Succession
    9:15 - 9:40, Charles L. Kurmay
    1. Who Can Inherit - Degrees of Kinship and Order of Inheritance
    2. Determining the Share Size
    3. Exceptions and Bars to Inheritance
  3. Probate Property vs. Non-Probate Assets
    9:40 - 10:30, Kate M. Casagrande Zarro
  4. Inventory and Appraisement
    10:45 - 11:15, Kate M. Casagrande Zarro
    1. Locating Insurance Policies, Deeds and Other Ownership Documents
    2. Obtaining a Tax ID and Marshaling Property
    3. Preparing the Inventory and Appraisal Forms
    4. Dealing with the Probate Referee
    5. Managing Decedent's Assets During Probate
    6. Handling Common Valuation Issues
    7. When to Hire a Valuation Specialist or Appraiser
  5. Handling Claims Against the Estate
    11:15 - 12:00, Robert J. Santoro
    1. Required Creditor Notice
    2. Determining Priority of Claims
    3. Allowing and Rejecting Claims, and Paying Them
    4. Handling Lawsuits Against the Estate and the Decedent
    5. Insolvency Issues
  6. Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Matters
    12:30 - 1:15, Julie D. Eisenhower
    1. Final Tax Returns Timeline, Forms and Filing Procedure
    2. Requesting Deadline Extensions
    3. Income Tax Considerations in Probate
      1. Selecting a Tax Year: Calendar or Fiscal?
      2. Decedent's Final Income Tax Return
      3. Estate Income Tax Return
      4. Tax on Income Earned by Estate after Decedent's Death
      5. Beneficiary Income Tax Considerations
    4. Proper Use of Disclaimers and Valuation Discounts
    5. Claiming Estate Tax Portability
    6. Estate and Gift Tax Considerations - When Do You Need to File Form 706?
    7. Coordinating with Decedent's Accounting or Investment Advisors
    8. GST Tax Implications
    9. Handling Common Property Tax Issues
  7. Ethics
    1:15 - 2:15, Thomas J. Sansone
    1. Who is Your Client? Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    2. Protecting Client Confidentiality
    3. Attorney Fees
    4. Malpractice Liability Risks
      1. Negligence
      2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
      3. Fraud
  8. Final Accounting and Closing the Estate
    2:30 - 3:15, Kate M. Casagrande Zarro
    1. Estate Accounting Procedure
    2. Sales of Property and Distributions
    3. Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries
    4. Closing Decedent's Remaining Accounts
    5. Personal Representative and Attorney Compensation
    6. Extraordinary Services Compensation
    7. When Reopening the Estate is Warranted
  9. Probate Disputes and Litigation
    3:15 - 4:10, Philip C. Pires
    1. Beneficiary Liability
    2. Fiduciary Liability
    3. Interpreting Testamentary Intent - Burdens of Proof, Presumptions, Evidence Rules
    4. Revoked, Multiple, Contested Wills
    5. Common Will Construction Problems
    6. Objections to Accounts and Petitions

Materials Due Date: 12/29/2023


If you're covering any of the following topics, you must include the (identified) sample documents and any other sample forms/checklists of your choice with your materials:

  • I. Initial Filing in Probate Court and Estate Timeline (estate administration timeline and checklist, sample initial notices)
  • III. Inventory and Appraisement (sample inventory template (blank or with sample assets), sample appraisal)
  • V. Handling Claims Against the Estate (Sample creditor notice, sample letter rejecting a claim)
  • VI. Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Matters (sample tax forms used in estate administration)
  • IX. Final Accounting and Closing the Estate (sample accounting)

Attendees love forms! Even if your topics are not above - if you can think of any templates, checklists, letters, agreements, provision language, reports, or legal and tax forms that are appropriate for your topic - you are highly encouraged to provide them.

Event Materials Support


Phone: (800) 777-8707

Kate M. Casagrande Zarro is a sole practitioner in the Shelton, Connecticut area, where her practice areas include estate planning; probate and probate tax matters; real estate closings and refinances; mediation; and small business/corporate law, including employment policies, general contract law, and assistance with personal injury. Ms. Casagrande Zarro is also a trained mediator. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, as well as an agent of the Connecticut Attorney Title Insurance Company. Ms. Casagrande Zarro earned her B.S. degree from Southern Connecticut State University and her J.D. degree from Quinnipiac University. Her passion is to help others  through her legal work, as well as volunteer efforts in her community.

Julie D. Eisenhower is a partner with TriAmicus Law, PLLC, in Knoxville, Tennessee. She practices primarily in the areas of estate planning, trust administration, probate, conservatorships, elder law, family law, appellate law, and civil litigation, and serves as an administrator ad litem and fiduciary for many estates. She is a frequent speaker on estate planning, probate and tax related issues. Ms. Eisenhower is a master certified estate planner® through the National Institute of Certified Estate Planners. She earned her A.A. degree in history, summa cum laude, from Pellissippi State Technical Community College; and her B.A. degree in history, summa cum laude, from the University of Tennessee. Ms. Eisenhower earned her J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She is currently a candidate for an LL.M. degree in elder law and estate planning through the Western New England University School of Law.

Charles L. Kurmay is the owner of the Law Offices of Charles L Kurmay, LLC and is based out of their Milford, Connecticut office. He has over two decades of experience that he utilizes when representing clients in contentious and complex probate, civil and criminal matters in Connecticut and New York state and federal courts. Mr. Kurmay earned his B.A. degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College and his J.D. degree from Quinnipiac College School of Law, Hamden, Connecticut. Mr. Kurmay is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and practices with his father, a former probate court administrator and Stratford Probate Judge, F. Hall Kurmay. He is admitted to practice law in Connecticut, U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, New York, and the Supreme Court of the United State of America.

Philip C. Pires is a principal in the law firm of Cohen and Wolf, P.C. A persuasive and successful litigator, he has handled a variety of litigation matters including complex commercial disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, partnership and shareholder disputes, adverse possession claims, prescriptive easement claims, quiet title actions, landlord/tenant cases, and collection actions. Mr. Pires frequently appears in the Connecticut Probate Court system representing beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and creditors in a variety of probate litigation matters. In addition to litigation, he practices in the municipal and land use and zoning arena, regularly appearing before planning and zoning commissions, inland wetlands commissions, zoning boards of appeals, the Connecticut Siting Council, and other administrative agencies, advocating for applicants, developers, property owners, and neighborhood groups. Mr. Pires also regularly counsels municipalities and property owners in commercial and residential property tax appeals. As a former member of his hometown's governing board, his firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of town administration offers valuable insight to his clients. Mr. Pires earned his B.A. degree from Haverford College and his J.D. degree, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Thomas J. Sansone is a partner in the law firm of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP, where he concentrates his practice in civil litigation, with an emphasis on commercial, utility and insolvency litigation. He has tried more than 100 cases to conclusion in Connecticut Superior Court, the Federal District Court for the District of Connecticut and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut, and has argued before both the State Supreme and Appellate Courts. Much of his trial work involves complex banking issues, including lender liability cases, contested foreclosure/collection matters and representation of creditors in adversary bankruptcy proceedings. From 2012 - 2018, Mr. Sansone served on the Connecticut Judicial Branch's Statewide Grievance Committee. He previously served as chairman of the Connecticut Bar Association's Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, and is an active member of both the New Haven County Bar and Waterbury Bar Associations. Mr. Sansone received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from the Boston University College of Arts and Sciences, and his J.D. degree from the Boston University School of Law.

Robert J. Santoro is a partner with the law firm of Knott & Knott, LLC. He practices in the areas of probate, wills, trusts and estates. Mr. Santoro earned his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Quinnipiac University School of Law, where he concentrated in health care law (with honors). There, he served as the executive managing editor of the Quinnipiac Probate Law Journal. Before law school, Mr. Santoro earned his B.S. degree in biology from Boston College and received his Masters of Theological Studies with a concentration in bioethics, from Boston College. He is admitted to practice in Connecticut State and Federal Court, and is a member of the Connecticut and New Haven County bar associations.



Phone: (866) 240-1890

Customer Service


Phone: (800) 930-6182

Event Materials Support


Phone: (800) 777-8707

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