Probate Lawyer Serving the North Shore of Massachusetts
Navigate the Massachusetts probate process with minimum stress. Contact Jordan & White today.
If you need to act as a will executor in Massachusetts, your duties may seem overwhelming. This is especially true for debt-saddled or contested estates.
Working with an experienced probate lawyer can help you discharge your estate administration duties and avoid legal pitfalls. Call Jordan & White, estate and probate attorneys, for reliable legal guidance through probate in Massachusetts.
What Assets Go Through Probate in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, probate is the default legal procedure for any assets that the decedent owned in their name only. Examples of assets that do not require probate include:
- Any property that the decedent owned jointly with others, like a surviving spouse
- Assets with a designated beneficiary, like payable-on-death checking or savings accounts
- Pension or life insurance proceeds with a named beneficiary
- Assets the decedent had placed in a revocable trust during their lifetime
Probate in Massachusetts typically takes about a year. During this period, creditors may come forth with any claims on the estate. Small estates (usually worth up to $25,000) without real estate property may qualify for simplified probate.
What a Personal Representative Does
A will executor, also known as a personal representative, has a fiduciary duty to follow the instructions in the decedent’s will and act in the best interest of the beneficiaries in administering and distributing the estate.
The personal representative must:
- Open and manage a designated checking account for all estate administration expenses, like property management costs and court fees
- Collect, inventory, and appraise all the decedent’s assets and keep them secure for beneficiaries
- Pay all estate taxes, remaining mortgage payments, and homeowner’s insurance during probate
- Send notices to the decedent’s creditors and discharge valid debts
- Distribute the remainder of the estate to beneficiaries
How a Probate Lawyer Can Help With Estate Administration
While there is no legal requirement to hire a lawyer to complete probate in Massachusetts, a probate lawyer can speed up the process and help the personal representative comply with their obligations.
A probate lawyer may:
- Assist with all estate administration tasks, such as managing trusts, liquidating property, and paying creditors
- Obtain valuations for any property belonging to the estate
- Handle probate litigation in case of a contested will
- Prepare and file all necessary court documents
- Retitle assets in the beneficiaries’ names
Working with a probate lawyer is especially important if the decedent passed away without a will, if the will may not be valid, or if the estate is complex and of high worth.
Jordan & White: Trusted Probate Attorneys Serving the North Shore of Massachusetts
When probate gets complicated, working with a reliable probate attorney can save you time, hassle, and money. Jordan & White, experienced probate lawyers, will ensure you comply with all Massachusetts probate laws. We handle everything from communicating with creditors to handling probate disputes. For a consultation with a probate lawyer serving the North Shore of Massachusetts, call (978) 744-2811 today.