The Probate Process: FAQ, Solid Answers

The probate process doesn't have to be intimidating. Yes, it may take some time to settle an estate regardless of whether a will is in place, but the probate process is necessary. We know that many people have questions about the process, and our team at Albanese Law, LLC, of Milton, Massachusetts, is ready to guide you. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers:

  • Is probate necessary?
    • Probate is the court procedure necessary to change title to a decedent's assets and can take a year to conclude. A will guarantees an estate's assets will enter the probate process. However, you can avoid the probate process by creating a revocable living trust, which allows you to control your assets even when you are living.
  • What happens during probate?
    • The key component in probate is validating the will. Other aspects of probate include appointing an executor/personal representative if one has not been named, determining value of assets, paying the bills and taxes owed by the estate, settling disputes between heirs, and carrying out the distribution of the estate.
  • What is the attorney's role in the probate process?
    • A probate attorney advises the executors or estate representative and beneficiaries in settling the estate of a deceased person or decedent from start to finish. In representing the executor, the attorney will assist in many tasks, including selling estate property, distributing assets, securing property appraisals, and determining and paying taxes and outstanding bills. The executor may also help settle disputes between executors and beneficiaries.
  • Where may I find documents related to a probate estate?
    • In most states, including Massachusetts, the probate process for a decedent's estate takes place in the county where that person resided at the time of his or her death. However, sometimes, the probate process may occur in the states where the decedent owned real estate.
  • How can I obtain copies of probate court documents?
    • The documents are public record and can be obtained at little cost. Once you have determined the Massachusetts county where the probate took place, you can search online for the probate court in that county such as Bristol, Norfolk, Plymouth, Middlesex, Suffolk and Barnstable. You can then obtain probate-related documents, including a will by going in person to the clerk's office of the Probate and Family Court Department. You will have to pay some minimal fees to obtain copies. Be advised, however, that this can be a very time-consuming process.

You may not understand the probate process, but we will help. Our team will guide you and provide simple explanations to complicated matters.

We Understand The Probate Process, So Call Us Now

We can answer your questions on all estate planning matters, including the probate process. For more than a decade, Albanese Law, LLC, of Milton has advised estate planning clients in the Boston area and eastern Massachusetts. We provide complimentary initial consultations. Call a lawyer at 866-591-4451.