Understanding Your Elder Law & Estate Planning Options
Skilled Attorneys Providing Probate And Estate Administration Services
Some people believe that just because a loved one has a will, they do not have to go through the probate process. They believe that after a loved one passes away, they will just get the money and that will be that. Unfortunately, the probate process does not work that way. There is a process of estate administration and probate that can take more than a year to complete. It is important that you and other family members are aware of what is involved with this process.
Even with a will, you will have to get the will probated. A Personal Representative will be appointed, and creditors will have up to a year to file any claims. Typically, even with an uncontested estate, it will be a year at the earliest before distribution occurs. That is assuming things go well. If there is a will contest or other problems, estate administration can go even slower. Not only are there legal concerns, but also serious tax ramifications involved in probate matters.
At Albanese Law, LLC, we can advise you about the probate process and help you handle it as efficiently as possible. In almost all instances, a knowledgeable attorney can handle most of the matters that come before an executor and/or administrator. If you have questions about your role in the process, we can provide the information you need.
How The Probate Process Works In Massachusetts
In the probate process, there are six main steps:
- The probate petition is filed, and the court will appoint an executor of the will or personal representative of the estate.
- A notice will be published in the newspaper to creditors, and time will be given for them to make claims.
- Assets will be inventoried and appraised before they are made freely available to beneficiaries. This may involve extensive valuations and accounting.
- Debts, claims and taxes will be paid by the estate.
- An account is filed with the probate court showing the receipts and expenditures of the estate.
- All assets will be distributed, and the estate will be closed or completely settled.
The court must determine if a legal will was in place, who is entitled to assets if a valid will does not exist and what is available to creditors. If there is no valid will, the court will determine who gets the assets according to the laws of intestacy. If someone objects to the will or appointment of Personal Representative, an already cumbersome process will delayed for months or even years.
The probate process is often very time-consuming and confusing. Additionally, it can be an expensive ordeal depending on the size and complexity of the estate.
The Estate Administration Services We Provide
We can advise the executor/personal representative of his or her duties, and draft and file the necessary probate documents in order to get the executor/administrator appointed by the probate court. We also notify creditors, heirs and beneficiaries of the estate, and then we work with the executor/administrator to determine the existence of and gather the assets of the estate. We will provide references for appraisals of assets, assist the executor/administrator in the distribution of the estate assets, assist in the preparation of the estate tax return, and assist in the preparation and subsequent filing of the probate court account.
Attorney Matthew Albanese strives to help clients avoid these problems through the creation of trusts and other estate planning tools. And at Albanese Law, LLC, we seek to finish the estate administration process in a timely and efficient manner while protecting the personal representative of the estate from current or future liability.
Contact An Experienced Probate Lawyer Today
Contact us for more information regarding probate and estate administration in Massachusetts. Arrange a free consultation by contacting the Boston-area office of Albanese Law, LLC. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 866-591-4451.