*Please note - The Probate Court is no longer located in City Hall
Responsibilities & Services
The citizens of Bristol, Plainville, and Plymouth are served in many ways by the Bristol Probate Court. Many people are not aware of all of the functions of the Probate Court.
- Estates - The Probate Court handles decedent's estates. There is currently a gradual phase-out of the Connecticut succession taxes going on in the State of Connecticut. It remains to be seen what the effect of the phase-out of the succession tax will have on the Probate Court system and the handling of the decedent's estate.
- Changes in Jurisdiction - In recent years, the Connecticut legislature has passed legislation, which extends the Probate Court's Jurisdiction. As a result, our caseload has shifted away from decedent's estates to family matters. We are best described now as a family court.
- Conservatorship - We handle cases involving conservatorships of incapable adults and voluntary conservatorships. We handle commitments of mentally ill people. We handle guardianship proceedings for mentally retarded adults. The Probate Court is involved with the adoptions of children and adults, the termination of parental rights, the perfection of paternity claims, along with the emancipation of minors. In addition, we have jurisdiction over the estates of minors, who are entitled to receive sums in excess of $5,000. The Probate Court also has the authority to legally change names.
- Trusts - We have jurisdiction over testamentary trusts. In some circumstances, we have limited jurisdiction over living trusts. We have jurisdiction over living will disputes.
Our Goals & History
Our goal is to continue serving the residents of Bristol, Plainville, and Plymouth in an efficient and courteous manner, and to keep them informed about the services available through the Bristol Probate Court. On a historical note, the records in the Bristol Probate Court go back to 1830.