The Connecticut Probate Assembly has recognized Old Saybrook attorney Kerry E. Knobelsdorff for her work in assisting families who use the Probate Courts, especially those who have limited resources or whose cases are complicated.
“Attorney Knobelsdorff has been a shining star in her dedication to those least fortunate in our district,” Judge Terrance D. Lomme of the Saybrook Probate Court said in awarding her the Glenn E. Knierim Pro Bono Award at the Probate Assembly’s annual meeting on April 7. “These people typically have no support system and rely on her for almost everything. She is the first one my clerks think of for the most difficult cases and the last one to say ‘no.’”
“I am so honored and humbled to have received this award,” Knobelsdorff said. “I've seen what a tremendous job the Probate Courts do in providing a safety net to people who would otherwise fall through the cracks, and I feel privileged to be able to play even a small role in that process.”
Since 2003, Knobelsdorff has been a sole practitioner in the Knobelsdorff Law Office LLC in Old Saybrook, where she focuses on elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning and probate matters. Previously, she worked as an associate at law offices in New London, New Haven, Colchester and Cheshire. In 1994 and 1995, she was an attorney with the General Assembly’s Legislative Commissioners’ Office.
Knobelsdorff graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1993 and became a member of the Connnecticut Bar that year. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
The Probate Assembly comprises the 54 judges of the Probate Courts, which administer decedents’ estates, wills and trusts, appoint conservators and guardians, grant adoptions and handle other matters. Since Probate Court restructuring in 2011, the Saybrook court has served residents of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Saybrook and Westbrook.
“It was not until our courts merged that my clerks realized how much each of the prior courts was dependent on Attorney Knoblesdorff,” Judge Lomme said. “She understands the needs of her clients and what programs are available to them and then spends the requisite time to process their applications, whether it is for Title 19, Social Security disability or VA benefits.”The assembly’s Pro Bono Award honors advocacy on behalf of children and families in probate matters. It is named for Judge Glenn E. Knierim, whose tenure as the longest-serving Probate Court administrator extended from 1973 to 1989 and who demonstrated exemplary judicial leadership and public service by improving adoption and guardianship laws, among other achievements.