After the death of a loved one, Massachusetts residents often have many tasks to which they must attend. Among those tasks is completing the probate process for the deceased loved one's estate. Various aspects go into this process, and some surviving family members may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of having to deal with the legal proceedings probate entails.
Whether appointed by the court or named in a will, a personal representative or executor will likely carry out the majority of the estate-related duties. The executor must present the will to the court in order for the document to be validated and move through the probate proceedings. If there was no will, probate begins with the court appointing a personal representative for the estate.
Probate also involves the distribution of appropriate assets. Property that goes through this process includes any property solely owned by the deceased that did not have a beneficiary designation. During this aspect of the process, the will can be used to determine who was intended to inherit the remaining applicable assets, and the executor will be tasked with notifying the appropriate parties.
Though the probate process can seem intimidating, there are useful resources available that could help Massachusetts residents navigate the proceedings. If individuals have been named executors or hope to be appointed as personal representatives, they may want to find out more information on duties related to those roles. Consulting with experienced attorneys could help interested individuals better understand what may be expected of them and how they need to approach probate proceedings.
Source: cumberlink.com, "Elder Care: Be wise about probate", March 23, 2017