Region 22 Probate District  

The mission of Region 22 Probate District is to be responsive to the needs of those who utilize court services and to serve all with respect and compassion.
Bethlehem      Oxford      Roxbury      Southbury      Washington      Watertown      Oakville      Woodbury


About Judge Calabrese        

Court Staff 


Children’s Matters

Probate Forms

Fees & Costs

Helpful Brochures

Seminar Schedule and Free Seminars   

Articles by Judge Calabrese 

Additional Links

Municipal Websites





Taking the Mystery Out of Trusts

A trust can be the centerpiece of a complete estate plan.  However, most people find  trusts confusing and even intimidating.  There is an erroneous belief that trusts should only be used by the wealthy.  In this presentation, Judge Domenick Calabrese will draw on his 20 years as a Connecticut Probate Judge and 26 years as a trusts and estates attorney to shed light on basic but important trust concepts.  Subjects covered include how a trust works; the use of trusts for incapacity planning; trusts versus wills; trusts in estate plans; the importance of funding trusts (it’s not as difficult as it sounds); asset protection with trusts; preserving family wealth; and avoiding probate.  Judge Calabrese will explain trusts in plain English using real-life examples to illustrate trust concepts and will take questions from the audience.


Schedule of Presentations

Wednesday August 3 at 11:45 am
Southbury Senior Center

 Monday August 15 at 1:00 pm
Roxbury Senior Center

 Wednesday September 14 at 11:00 am
Oxford Senior Center

 Friday, September 16 at 1:00 pm
Southbury Public Library

 Friday, September 23 at 1:00 pm
Woodbury Senior Center


Practical Probate is a seminar series created by Judge Domenick Calabrese of the Region 22 Probate District.  Covering a wide variety of topics, it’s designed for non-attorneys.  In 15 years on the bench, Judge Calabrese has seen how confusion and misunderstanding of probate issues can adversely affect families and individuals who come to the probate court.

Using a simple, informal approach, Judge Calabrese discusses topics that are of interest to many, such as Living Trusts, Incapacity, Real Estate and Probate, Wills, Guardianships, and Connecticut Unclaimed Property, to name just a few.

During these presentations, Judge Calabrese answers questions from the audience.  The objective of Practical Probate is to provide the public with information that will help them better understand their own situations, and whether they may benefit from planning.  It’s also designed to provide unbiased facts to minimize chances that attendees may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous purveyors of expensive products and services that often don’t deliver on promises made.  Frequently, opportunists capitalize on fear of the probate process for their own monetary gain at the expense of seniors, families, and individuals.

Region 22 Probate District

Why Estate Plans Fail, Part 2: Importance of Updates

Over time, changes in a number of factors can render an estate plan ineffective. 
Changes in the law, passage of time, marital status, birth or adoption of children and grandchildren, changes in residence, death of a spouse or child, and other factors often have an impact on an estate plan.  In some cases, these changes may have dramatic and unwanted outcomes, resulting in additional or prolonged probate proceedings, an estranged beneficiary or previously unknown heir inheriting assets, excessive tax liability, or creditors of beneficiaries gaining access to family assets.  In this presentation, Judge Domenick Calabrese will look at some of the most recent changes in the law affecting estate planning, and will also review how common changes to personal circumstances and finances must be addressed in updated estate plans.


Estate Planning

In this free seminar, Judge Calabrese will discuss the purposes of estate planning, including asset management,  transferring assets during life and after death, estate tax planning, and planning for incapacity.  Judge Calabrese will examine how wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance healthcare directives, and designations of conservator may be used to create a comprehensive estate plan. 


Estate Taxes in Connecticut

When a Connecticut resident passes away, his or her estate may be subject to Connecticut estate tax. The Connecticut and federal estate tax schemes have been extensively revised effective January 1, 2018.  Estate taxes] can be complex; rates and exemptions can be drastically different from one year to another.  Judge Domenick Calabrese of the Region 22 Probate District will review Connecticut estate taxes, outlining exemptions, marital deduction, persons subject to Connecticut estate tax, property subject to Connecticut estate tax,  and tax rates.  Judge Calabrese will take questions from the audience.

Probate: Myths, Misconceptions and Mistakes (MMM)

This seminar will look at issues such as ownership of motor vehicles, real property owned in survivorship, need for a will, out of state real property, interest in limited liability companies, burial and funeral arrangements in wills, failure to name beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts, probate fees, “avoiding” probate, and failure to fund a living trust.  Judge Calabrese will reflect on the consequences to heirs and beneficiaries and the implications for probate proceedings.  Judge Calabrese will also answer questions for the audience.


Living Trusts: Myths versus Reality

Living trusts can be a legitimate estate planning tool, but unscrupulous purveyors of living trusts have been known to misrepresent some of the reasons to use them in order to pressure the unwary into purchasing their living trust package, often at a cost of thousands of dollars. This 30 minute presentation by Judge Calabrese looks at these misrepresentations one by one, and discusses the realities of those claims. Judge Calabrese also discusses the advantages that living trusts can provide and will answer questions from the audience during this presentation.

Incapacity, Conservatorships and the Probate Court

While many people plan for the transfer of assets at death by creating wills, few are aware of the options and importance of planning for legal incapacity. Legal incapacity can occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Wills have no utility during the will creator’s lifetime, including when they become incapacitated. The ability to deal with the incapacitated person’s financial and personal affairs may require court intervention. Planning for incapacity can minimize the stress and uncertainty families face when a loved one becomes incapacitated.  Connecticut probate courts deal with issues of incapacity regularly with guardianships, conservatorships, and commitments.   Judge Calabrese will discuss legal incapacity, the role of the probate court, conservatorships, and legal tools to plan for incapacity. He will also answer questions from the audience on the topic.


The New Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act

In 2016, Connecticut passed the most comprehensive changes to powers of attorney in decades.  Modernizing the law while preserving the advantages of powers of attorney are two of the objectives of the new laws.  However, powers of attorney are complex, and mistakes can have disastrous consequences.  In this presentation, Judge Calabrese reviews highlights of the new laws, and discusses how powers of attorney may be used as part of a comprehensive estate plan.



How to Schedule Free Seminars

Judge Calabrese is available to address civic and other groups on various probate matters free of charge as a public service. 

If you are interested in having Judge Calabrese address your group, please contact the Court at (203) 262-0641.


  • Connecticut Estate Taxes
  • Conservatorships
  • Guardianships of Adults with Intellectual Disability
  • Probate & Connecticut Unclaimed Property
  • Living Trusts: Myths versus Reality
  • Real Estate and Probate
  • Administration of Decedent’s Estates in Connecticut
  • Legal Incapacity, Conservatorships & the Probate Court

         Other topics are also available upon request.











  The focus of the probate court is to provide friendly, responsive service to all. 
However, Connecticut law prohibits probate court staff from giving legal advice.
Terms of Use