Before we share some very valuable Essex Junction probate resources, we should explain the function of the Vermont Probate Court. If you use a last will to state your final wishes, you would name an executor in the document. This individual would be required to admit the will to probate, and the court would provide supervision during the estate administration process.
When someone passes away without any estate planning documents at all, the resulting condition is called intestacy. Under these circumstances, the probate court would be called upon to supervise the administration of the estate under Vermont intestacy laws. Ultimately, the assets that remain after debts are paid would be distributed under rules of intestate succession.
The probate court also handles guardianship matters, and this is something that you should address when you are planning your estate. A significant percentage of seniors become unable to handle their own affairs at some point in time due to incapacity. If you do nothing to prepare for this eventuality, the probate court could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf.
This is a useful remedy when no other option exists, but you can take the matter into your own hands when you are devising your estate plan. This is done through the execution of certain documents. You can include an advance directive for health care decision-making along with a durable financial power of attorney.
When these documents are in place, your own chosen representatives would be empowered to represent you. The matter would ultimately be taken out of the hands of the probate court.
In addition to adult guardianship proceedings, the court is responsible for child guardianship cases. These are the matters that are related to estate planning and elder law, and there are a handful of additional duties that fall to the probate court.
Chittenden County Probate Division
Now that we have provided the necessary background information, we can share some resources. Probate matters are handled on the county level, and Essex Junction is in Chittenden County. The Chittenden Probate Division is located at 175 Main St. in Burlington. Their phone number is 802-651-1518, and their hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The Vermont Bar Association
There is excellent information about the probate process in our state on the Vermont Bar Association website. If you are interested in digging into the subject on your own, you may want to visit their page that is devoted to the fundamentals of estate planning and probate.
Vermont Probate Related Statutes
The best way to obtain precise information about probate in Vermont is to read the actual statutes. The Vermont General Assembly has a hub page that leads to all relevant portions of the statutes.
We offer free seminars on an ongoing basis that provide information about probate and other important estate planning and elder law topics. There is no charge to attend the sessions, but we do ask that you register in advance. You can visit our seminar schedule page to obtain all the details.
Schedule a Consultation!
If you would like to discuss probate or any other relevant matter with a licensed estate planning attorney, our doors are always open. You can send us a message through our contact page to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone in Essex Junction 802-879-7133.