Guiding Administrators, Beneficiaries And Heirs Through The Probate Process
Being named the administrator another person’s estate is an important responsibility. You have been given the duty of carrying out that person’s wishes. At the same time, you are required to follow the probate law of every state where that person owned property. You also have a duty of care to the beneficiaries.
At MT Law LLC, our attorneys are here to advise you and help you carry out your responsibilities every step of the way. Our main office is in Lexington, Massachusetts, and we have additional locations in New York, California and China. An international law firm, we represent clients from around the world whose estates include property in Massachusetts, New York or California.
What Are The Steps Of Probate?
Probate laws vary from state to state. Generally, the steps include:
- Presenting the will, if there is one, to the probate court for approval
- Collecting and recording the deceased person’s property
- Publishing legal notice for creditors who may be owed money by the deceased
- Paying legitimate bills
- Distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will
- Completing a final inventory for the court and paying taxes
Some assets can be distributed directly to beneficiaries without court supervision. Examples are life insurance policies and retirement accounts. If the deceased person had a trust, those assets do not have to go through probate. Our attorneys will review the deceased person’s estate plan and let you know how to proceed.
In addition to representing personal administrators and executors, our attorneys represent beneficiaries and heirs who want us to protect their interests.
Simplified Probate In Massachusetts
In 2012, the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code was put into place. The goal of this effort was to make the estate administration process easier. This revised law makes it so that there are different procedures available depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Two of the main circumstances that qualify for this simplified probate are:
- If the decedent’s estate includes no real estate and is worth $25,000 or less
- If the value of the entire estate does not exceed the combined value of exempt property — as long as there are no liens or encumbrances
Under these informal or simplified processes, the personal representative of the estate will have the ability to collect assets, distribute property and pay off debts without court supervision. However, the representative must file a sworn statement declaring all steps have been conducted properly.
Let Us Guide You Through The Probate Process
Losing a loved one is never easy. Having to deal with the probate process while you grieve can add extra stress and emotion. We will help ease some of the burden by guiding you through each step from start to finish. We will give you the personal attention you deserve and work with you through any issues that may arise throughout the process. Our attorneys are ready to advise you and protect you from personal liability. Contact our Massachusetts office online or by calling 800-345-1899.