Who is entitled to serve as the fiduciary of a Connecticut estate depends on whether the decedent died testate (with a will) or intestate (without a will).
Who Is Appointed As Fiduciary When Decedent Died With a Will?
If the decedent died with a will, then the executor is usually nominated in the will. If you are nominated as the executor in a Connecticut will, you must first be appointed to serve as the executor before you can take action on behalf of the estate.
The certificate of appointment as executor is valid for one year from appointment. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-200. The fiduciary of the estate can request an updated certificate to extend the time to administer the Connecticut estate.
Who Has Priority To Serve As Fiduciary Of a Connecticut Estate When Decedent Died Without a Will?
When a Connecticut decedent dies without a valid will, they have died intestate. An administration proceeding is used when a decedent dies without a valid will. The court appoints an administrator to administer the Decedent’s estate, in an order of priority set forth by Connecticut law.
The following order of priority is used to appoint the estate fiduciary:
- The surviving spouse,
- Any child of the decedent or any guardian of such child as the court shall determine,
- any grandchild of the decedent or any guardian of such grandchild as the court shall determine,
- the decedent’s parents,
- any brother or sister of the decedent,
- the next of kin entitled to share in the estate, or, on their refusal, incapacity or failure to give bond or upon the objection of any heir or creditor to such appointment found reasonable by the court, to any other person whom the court deems proper.
When Is Someone Not Qualified To Serve as A Fiduciary Of a Connecticut Estate?
Connecticut does not have formal statutory requirements for who can serve as an executor, but if the court finds that a nominated executor in a will is legally incapacitated to serve, then the nominated executor cannot be appointed.
For example, a minor is not capable of serving as an executor of a Connecticut estate, nor is someone who is incapable of accepting appointment in a timely manner. Moral unfitness does not constitute incapacity to serve.