How to Make a Will in Connecticut

November 16, 2020
How to Make a Will in Connecticut

A will allows you to select the individuals who will receive what you own when you die. A will includes specific directions on how you wish your estate to be distributed after your death, including provisions for any tangible personal property that you may own. Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.

Why is a will important? 

A will, sometimes referred to as a "last will and testament," can help you protect your family and properties after your death. You might use a will in order to:

  • Leave your property to individuals or organizations.
  • Name a personal guardian to look after your children and/or dependents.
  • Name a trusted individual to handle the assets you leave to minor children and
  • Name an executor, the person who ensures that the terms of your will are executed.

What happens if you die without a will?

If you die without a will in the state of Connecticut, your assets will be divided according to state laws on 'intestacy'. The Intestacy Act of Connecticut gives your property to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse and children. Your mother and father or grandchildren will get your property if you don't have a surviving child or partner. This list continues with ever more distant relatives, including siblings, uncles and aunts, grandparents, cousins, nieces, nephews, and stepchildren. If you don’t have living relatives by blood or marriage, the state will take away your property.

What are the conditions for the signing of a will in Connecticut? 

  • You have to sign your will in front of 2 witnesses, and
  • Your witnesses are obligated to sign your will before you.

Is it necessary to notarize the will?

No, in Connecticut, in order to make it legal, you do not need to notarize your will.

Connecticut, though, requires you to "self-proving" your will, and if you want to do so, you'll need to go to a notary. A self-proving would speed up probate and without consulting the witnesses who signed it, the court would recognize the will.

In order to make your will “self-proving”, you and your witnesses will go to the notary and sign an affidavit that shows who you are and that each of you knew that you signed the will.

Do I need to use my will to appoint an executor? 

Yes. You may use your will to appoint an executor who will ensure that the terms of your will are followed after your death. The probate court will nominate someone to take on the responsibility of winding up your assets if you don't name an executor.

May I revoke my will or change it?

Yes, you can revoke or change your will according to the laws of Connecticut. You may revoke your will by :     

  • canceling, burning, tearing, or obliterating it yourself, or telling someone else to do or do one of these things in front of you.
  • The creation of a new will or codicil.

Whenever you need to change your will, it's better to revoke it and create a new one. If you only have very basic modifications to make, however, you may add an amendment to your current will-this is called a codicil. 

If you and your spouse are divorced, Connecticut law revokes any language in your will that leaves properties to your spouse or declares your spouse to be your executor. This rule does not apply when you explicitly state in your will that the provisions in your will should not be changed by divorce.

If you have any questions about creating your will, you can reach out to the Best Lawyer in New Haven, CT

All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.