Estate Administration

 

Moran Law Offices can help you navigate the probate process and give you some peace of mind at a difficult time. The probate process generally begins when a loved one passes away.  His or her estate may need to pass through a court administered process known as probate or estate administration. Estate planning in advance can reduce or possibly eliminate the need for a court-managed probate process. When it becomes necessary for an estate to be administered before a Probate Court, there are a number of steps which will need to be taken and these will differ for each estate depending on its size, complexity and the existence or absence of a will.

 

Generally the Probate Administration process will involve:

 

Filing a petition with the proper Probate Court; this generally includes a petition for the appointment of a Personal Representative (formerly known as an Executor or Administrator). The steps in the process include:

 

  • Providing notice to everyone who is a beneficiary under the will and/or an heir of the deceased according the intestacy statutes in Massachusetts.

  • Preparation of an Inventory, which will involve an appraisal and valuation of estate assets by the Personal Representative.

  • Payment of all debts of the Estate, including taxes.

  • Sale of the assets of the estate, if necessary.

  • Preparation of an accounting for the estate.

  • Distribution of the assets to the heirs.

 

With estate planning, it is possible to position assets so that they pass outside of the probate process; these are called non-probate assets.  Some examples of non-probate assets:

 

  • Jointly held property in which the title is held as “joint tenants with the right of survivorship”; this property will pass directly to the surviving co-owner by operation of law.

  • Life Insurance policies which go to a designated beneficiary.

  • Bank accounts or other financial accounts where a “pay on death” designation has been made.

  • Retirement accounts which pass to a designated beneficiary.

  • Property owned by a living trust. The legal title to the property passes to the successor trustees and does not need to go through a probate administration process.

 

Our office can help you with your Estate Administration needs. Please call us at 781.893.5955.

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