In the time following the death of a loved one, many Massachusetts residents may have many questions about the estate their loved one left behind. In the best case scenario, the deceased individual will have already created an estate plan for the benefit of surviving loved ones. Additionally, these plans may help those left behind determine whether the estate must go through the probate process.
If individuals want to ensure that their surviving loved ones do not face unnecessary complications, they may want to work on their estate plans. By assessing their estates, they may be able to determine whether they would like to take steps to avoid probate or if probate proceedings may suit their cases. Though some individuals may think the process should be avoided, probate could effectively address the issues of the estate.
If individuals do not feel the need to avoid this legal process, they may want to consider using their plans to lessen the potential for probate litigation. Litigation may come about if surviving family members have reason to believe that the estate is not being properly handled. Though there are some valid reasons for taking such action, adding clauses to a will addressing how disputes could be addressed may help avoid unnecessary squabbles.
Planning for the probate process could help families move through the proceedings more efficiently, and it could potentially help individuals feel less intimidated by the process. If Massachusetts residents are interested in creating their own estate plans, they may wish to find out more information on their options. Speaking with experienced attorneys could help shed some light on this area of the law.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Will Your Heirs End Up in Probate Court?", Maryalene LaPonsie, Jan. 27, 2017