TN 9 (06-13)
GN 02315.043 Connecticut Small Estates
A. Background for Connecticut small estates
The Connecticut Small Estate Statute and the Connecticut General Statutes 45a-273 to 45a-274, outlines two alternate procedures for underpayments. These provisions apply only to estates for which no will has been presented for probate or application for administration filed within 30 days after death.
B. Policy for an estate that does not exceed $40,000 in Connecticut
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.
C. Policy for a payment that does not exceed $1,000 in Connecticut
The other procedure authorizes the appointment of an administrator by the appropriate probate court to enable distribution to the surviving spouse, next of kin, funeral director, or physician. The probate court may only use the alternate procedure if the value of the personal property owed to the decedent or his or her estate does not exceed $1,000.
D. Policy for issuing underpayment upon authorization from probate court in Connecticut
For those degrees of kinship not covered by the SSA-1724 (Claim for Amounts Due in the Case of a Deceased Beneficiary), the Social Security Administration (SSA) may make an underpayment in Connecticut to such next-of-kin upon obtaining the necessary authorization from the probate court:
The next of kin files an affidavit form “Affidavit in Lieu of Administration” with the court in the district wherein the deceased resided. (Note that the affiant declares that all known debts of the deceased, including the funeral expenses are paid.)
Upon consideration of the affidavit, the probate court issues the “Decree, Transfer of Personal Property without Probate Proceedings” to the petitioner. The decree when presented to SSA permits disposal of the underpayment in favor of the named individual.
Under this procedure, we, as “holder” (and transferor) of the property pursuant to such authorization are expressly discharged, and remain so discharged, even in the event of a subsequent appointment of an executor or administrator, from liability to a person on account of the transfer.