Does Incarceration Impact Inheritance in Connecticut?

By Timothy Mucciante

Incarceration impacts an inmate's inheritance. Connecticut law and Department of Correction policy determines, to some extent, where any inherited funds that come into the DOC system end up. Inherited cash going into an inmate’s prison account may be used partially to fund an inmate’s discharge savings account and for payment of the inmate’s incarceration cost. Even inherited assets that never come into the DOC are subject to a lien.

Inheritance Received by an Inmate

Connecticut inmates are required to reimburse the state for the cost of their incarceration. If an inmate has a remaining balance owing to the state, and the inmate inherits assets, the DOC may place a lien on the inmate's inheritance. This applies to any inheritance received by the inmate within 20 years of the inmate's release from incarceration. The lien is filed directly with the probate court and for the remaining cost of the inmate's incarceration or 50 percent of the assets, whichever is less.

Cost of Incarceration

While incarcerated, the DOC may take a certain percentage of the inmate's discharge savings account to pay for the cost of incarceration. Within two years after the inmate's release, the state attorney general may bring a civil lawsuit to enforce the state's claim on the inmate's assets. Among property exempt from seizure are items necessary for day-to-day living, such as food, clothes and furniture, public assistance payments and workers' compensation benefits. The two-year limitation period does not apply to inmates who fraudulently conceal assets from the state.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Discharge Savings Accounts

In order for an inmate to prepare for his eventual release, he is required to deposit funds in a savings account. When the inmate is discharged from custody, he will be paid the balance in this account. Up to 10 percent of the funds received into the inmate's commissary account may be deducted as a contribution to the discharge savings account. When the savings account balance reaches $1000, 10 percent of all incoming funds will be taken to reimburse the state for the inmate's cost of incarceration.

If the Inmate Dies

If an inmate dies within 20 years of his release, any of the inmate's assets that form the probate estate may be claimed by the state to pay any remaining reimbursement balance. Certain estate payments have priority over the state's lien, including the support requirements for a surviving spouse, parent or children. Expenses of the deceased's last sickness, funeral and burial expenses, and restitution also have priority over the DOC's claim.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Title an Inherited Vehicle in Texas



Related articles

Alabama Child Support Arrears Laws

Child support is awarded to a custodial parent to provide financial assistance with a child's basic needs, including food, clothing and shelter. Support is generally owed until the child turns 18. When a non-custodial parent does not pay as ordered, the owed support becomes past due, or in arrears. In Alabama, the Department of Human Resources' Child Support Enforcement Program aids custodial parents in the collection of child support arrearages.

How to Notify Social Security of the Death of a Beneficiary

A disabled person or retired worker may receive Social Security benefits. The money is paid monthly to the beneficiary, with the amount based on many factors, including how long the person worked. If a loved one who was receiving Social Security benefits dies, the surviving family, such as a spouse, is responsible for reporting the death to the Social Security Administration. If you fail to report the death and continue to receive the deceased's benefits, you may face legal action by the administration.

Divorced Spouses Benefits of Retired Veterans

As a result of the passage of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, or USFSPA, by Congress in 1982, former spouses of military personnel are eligible to receive a portion of a spouse’s military retirement benefits during divorce proceedings and are also eligible for continuing medical and dental coverage. The law accomplishes this by permitting state courts to treat the pension as marital property.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help. Wills & Trusts

Related articles

Alimony Laws in Kansas

Alimony, also called spousal support, may be awarded during a divorce proceeding in Kansas. Alimony is paid by one ...

Maine Statutes on Inheritance of a Surviving Spouse

A surviving spouse's inheritance in Maine depends on various factors, including whether the deceased spouse has ...

What Happens When the Executor of the Will Steals the Money?

Estate beneficiaries must move quickly if the estate executor is stealing. State laws set a window during which heirs ...

Oregon Laws Regarding Executors of Estates

An executor is someone named in a will to manage the appointer's estate after death. Under Oregon law, an executor is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED