Editorial: CT Probate Court Reform to Yield Big Profits

Although the full effect of reforms to the Probate Court system will not be felt until next year, when the 117 courts will be cut to 54, they already are helping to right its financial troubles.

The archaic, fee-based system was so inefficient that it had lost money for years, requiring a state subsidy to keep it running.

At one point, it had been expected to run out of money last year and to have run up a further deficit of $5 million this year.

Instead, the system’s deficit for this fiscal year is projected to be $820,000 and the Office of Probate Court Administrator is expected to spend $703,000 less than its approved budget.

For the following fiscal year, which starts in July 2011, savings of $2.8 million are expected.

The savings are the result of the 2009 reform law that cut the number of courts, centralized its finances, set judge’s salaries and requires judges to be lawyers and courts to be open 40 hours a week.

The courts have operated independently, setting their own hours and pay based on fees they collected.

They will remain the only courts whose judges are elected.

About half the savings in the probate administrator’s office has come from staff cuts, salary freezes and unpaid days off.

The rest, according to the office, have come from better use of technology and lower operating costs.

The biggest savings will come after January, when the court consolidation takes place.

Cutting the number of judges by more than half is expected to save $2.3 million in salaries and benefits. Consolidation of the courts’ finances — accounting, payroll, audits — will save more than $400,000.

Full Editorial and Source:
Editorial: Probate Court Reform to Yield Big Profits

4 Responses to “Editorial: CT Probate Court Reform to Yield Big Profits”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    >No more perks!And real lawyers doing the judging? Well, that's promising!

  2. Thelma Says:

    >Maybe CT can set the standard for probate – the sickest courts of all courts around the country.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    >Well that sounds wonderful… CT seems to be attempting to repair their broken system.Sure hope the other states follow suit.

  4. Mike Says:

    >It's all about profit, just like everything else.

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