Should I Hire a Probate Attorney?
When you are the executor of an estate in Massachusetts, or when a loved one has recently passed away, you may not know how to move forward in resolving the estate. An experienced Massachusetts probate attorney can help walk you through the steps necessary to administer the estate. Probate is the legal process through which a deceased’s estate is administered after death, which involves paying debts and distributing assets according to the terms of the deceased’s will. In some cases, the probate process will be straightforward and conflict-free, meaning that it may be possible to handle probate on your own. For most people, however, hiring a probate lawyer is an essential step in the process of handling an estate.
The following are some questions you should ask yourself when you are deciding whether or not to hire a probate attorney in Massachusetts.
Is Probate Necessary?
You might not be sure whether probate is necessary for a deceased person’s assets to be transferred. In general, assets that are held in a trust or a joint account do not need to go through the probate process. It can be difficult to know with certainty whether probate is necessary until you have discussed your case with a probate attorney in Massachusetts.
Is the Estate Small and Limited?
When a person dies and has a small or limited estate, Massachusetts probate law may permit a simplified probate process. In order to be eligible for a simplified probate process, the estate cannot include any real estate, and it cannot include assets worth more than $25,000. If you want to use the simplified probate process, you will need to file a written request to do so. If the deceased’s estate is eligible for the simplified probate process, you could consider moving forward on your own. However, the simplified probate process is not available in many cases, and even if it is an option, it might not be the best one for you.
Is Anyone Likely to Contest the Will?
We mentioned that the simplified probate process might not be for you even if you are eligible to request it, and this is generally the case when someone is planning to or is likely to contest the will. Whether or not you are eligible for the simplified probate process, whenever there is a will contest, it is critical to hire an experienced Massachusetts probate lawyer. Dealing with a will contest can be extremely complicated.
Do You Have Questions or Concerns About the Validity of the Will?
Even if you do not know about another specific family member or friend of the deceased who may contest the will, it is essential to speak with a probate lawyer about the will specifically, and about the probate process moving forward.
Contact Our Massachusetts Probate Lawyers for More Information
If you are the executor of an estate in Massachusetts and you have any questions about the probate process, you should seek advice from one of our Massachusetts probate attorneys. While there are some cases in which it may not be necessary to hire a lawyer for the probate process, administering a will in Massachusetts can be complex, and it is important to get advice from an attorney about the particular facts of your case. Contact the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos today for more information.