A number of tasks need to be completed before a recently deceased person's affairs can be settled. These tasks usually take place during the probate process, which many Massachusetts residents may not have much information about. In particular, one of the first steps that needs taking is having the will validated by the court.
In order to have the will validated, the person holding the will, often a family member or executor, must file the document with the probate court. Generally, the probate process begins at this time if the person also files the petition to start the process. Individuals may also want to determine whether they need to present the decedent's death certificate at this time. Having all the necessary documents gathered and organized can help this step go smoothly.
In order for the validation process to move forward, a court hearing usually takes place. The hearing involves beneficiaries named in the will, heirs and possibly other parties connected to the estate. At this time, if someone has a concern about the document or the appointed executor, he or she can come forward to express those concerns.
Submitting the will and having it validated is only the very tip of the probate process. There are a number of other actions that will need to occur in order to really get the proceedings underway. If Massachusetts residents have been named executors or otherwise have concerns about starting probate, they may want to consult with knowledgeable attorneys who can help with this legal process.