FARMINGTON — A Probate Court judge has appointed a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of Jennifer Dulos for a hearing this month on her estranged husband’s estate.
The guardian ad litem, Peter J. Alter, of the Glastonbury-based Alter & Pearson LLC, will represent the New Canaan woman who vanished May 24, 2019 after dropping off her five children at school.
The focus of the Oct. 22 hearing in Farmington Probate Court will be whether Judge Evelyn Daly determines Jennifer Dulos has died.
It would be an unprecedented ruling, according to one attorney involved in her estranged husband’s estate who says no one who has been missing for less than seven years has ever been declared dead in Connecticut.
Daly is expected to hear arguments on whether Jennifer Dulos predeceased her estranged husband so the administrator of his estate can access a $194,000 Individual Retirement Account.
Fotis Dulos, who died from an apparent suicide in January while facing murder and other charges in his wife’s death and disappearance, did not name a beneficiary of the account. Under state law, an IRA goes to the person’s spouse if no beneficiary is named.
Attorney Christopher Hug, the administrator of the estate, needs Daly to determine that Jennifer Dulos predeceased her husband so the money can be used to pay creditors.
Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, who has been caring for the couple’s five children since the disappearance, is the estate’s largest creditor.
Earlier this year, a Hartford Superior Court judge awarded Farber nearly $2 million in lawsuits she filed against Fotis Dulos for unpaid business loans her family made to his real estate development company.
Farber and other family members have “stipulated” that Jennifer Dulos has died based on arrest and search warrants and are not opposing the determination of death, attorneys said.
Hug also wants Daly to agree to a $137,500 settlement offered by criminal defense attorneys Norm Pattis and Kevin Smith to resolve a lawsuit alleging they improperly kept a $250,000 fee for representation paid by Fotis Dulos two weeks before he died.
Farber’s attorneys are contesting the settlement, claiming Pattis and Smith are seeking to be paid more than $100,000 for about two weeks of work.
That money would go to the estate to pay debts Fotis Dulos racked up as he was fending off foreclosures, lawsuits filed by Farber and criminal charges in his wife’s death and disappearance.
Guardian at litem to represent Jennifer Dulos in estate hearing
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