Massachusetts Probate & Estate Planning Laws

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Probate Laws in Massachusetts

Probate law in Massachusetts refers to the legal process that takes place after someone has passed away. This legal process takes place whether or not a legal will is in place. The process is essentially the necessary legal filings that must occur in order to give the family of the deceased the authorization to pay off debts and taxes of the deceased, and also authorization to distribute assets or property. The entire process of Probate law can take up to one year in Massachusetts. If there is any kind of opposition or dispute pertaining to the distribution of assets amongst family members or other beneficiaries, the process can be extended.

Property and Assets

The first thing that typically occurs within the realm of Probate law is the Court appointment of a personal representative. This Court appointed representative has a great deal of responsibility. They will initially be responsible for taking a complete inventory of any property and assets and then having that inventory assessed. They also have the task of safeguarding any assets or property. Then, a personal representative is responsible for overseeing the payment of debts or taxes that are part of the estate of the deceased. Finally, once all debts and taxes have been properly dealt with and accounted for, the personal representative will then oversee the process of distributing property and assets. This is typically done within the confines of what specific wishes a person may have outlined in a legal will. However, if there is no will, this can become complicated if those left behind dispute how assets or property is being distributed after taxes and debts are handled. Not all property or assets are automatically subject to Probate law and the appointment of a personal representative. If the deceased has shared assets, such as accounts and property with a living spouse, that property or assets automatically go to that spouse. Only assets or property solely in the name of the deceased will be subject to Probate law. The value of the estate also factors into how Probate is done and what all is required. If the property is valued at $15,000 or less, then it falls under Small Estate Probate Law.

Probate Process

The Probate law process should be handled by a skillful Massachusetts probate attorney. The complexities and time frame of the process can be overwhelming, especially at a time where grieving may still be a priority. With the experienced team of Shapiro Law Group on your side and protecting your interests and the assets of your loved one, you will get a timely and fair resolution. Any kind of legal process, especially probate law, should be handled expertly and by someone who knows the current legal statutes and requirements. When your loved one has passed, let Shapiro law guide you and help you navigate the Probate law process.

By Anna Shapiro

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