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A simplified guide to claiming your inheritance in Massachusetts

Losing a loved one is never easy, and navigating the legal process afterward can feel overwhelming. If you’re wondering how to claim your inheritance, it is important to understand the necessary steps to help you through the process.

What is probate?

Probate involves legally distributing a deceased individual’s assets to their beneficiaries.

If the deceased had a will, the court will oversee the distribution of assets according to the will’s instructions.

If there’s no will, intestacy laws dictate the distribution of assets among surviving family members.

Locate the will

First, it is important to find the deceased person’s will. Find out if they had a lawyer. if they do, contact them for assistance.

Ensure the will is the most recent version and check for any amendments or codicils.

File the will

Next, file the will with the probate court in the county where the deceased resided. Include a death certificate to initiate probate proceedings.

Notify beneficiaries

Inform all beneficiaries named in the will about the death and their inheritance. Provide them with copies of the will and relevant contact information for the probate court.

Executor responsibilities

If you’re named as the executor of the will, fulfill your duties, including paying debts and taxes, before distributing assets.

Probate process

The court will verify the will and oversee the dispersal of assets, a process that could span several months.

Attend any required court hearings and respond promptly to court requests for information

Claim your inheritance

Once the probate process is complete, you can claim your inheritance as specified in the will.

Navigating the inheritance process in Massachusetts can be complex, but with the right guidance and support, you can successfully claim what is rightfully yours after the loss of a loved one.


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