Under one procedure, where a person dies leaving personal property not exceeding $40,000
in value, the surviving spouse, or, if none, the next of kin of the decedent may file
an application with the probate court for authorization to have the property paid
to him or her. If there is no spouse or next of kin, the Social Security Administration
(SSA) may also make payment to the funeral director who buried the decedent or to
the physician attendant at his or her last illness, or both (pro rata up to the $40,000
maximum) based upon the affidavit that such lawful preferred claim or claims exist.
Refer cases involving competing applications for payment by a spouse or next of kin
and a funeral director or physician, under Connecticut General Statutes 45:229 and
the small estate statute to the Regional Chief Counsel, Region I.