WHAT IS PROBATE
Probate is the Court process which oversees the administration of a decedent's estate. Probate in Massachusetts takes a minimum of a year to complete, it is a public process, and can be expensive in terms of legal fees and Court costs.
How does it work?
The first step in the process is to file a petition in the Court requesting that the Will be proved and allowed, and that a Personal Representative be appointed. This can usually be completed "quickly" in only a couple of months.
From here the real work begins. After your Personal Representative is appointed, he can then begin to collect your assets - meaning he can close bank and brokerage accounts, open accounts in the name of the estate, and can list your home for sale with a realtor.
There are several more steps involved, including filing an Inventory and Accounting. If all beneficiaries are of age and are not in dispute, the process will go relatively quickly (a year or so). Needless to say, disputes between the beneficiaries will cause significant delays.
how can we help you?
We can prepare all legal filings needed for the Probate Court. We can also provide guidance for the Personal Representative, to help him get his work done quickly and efficiently, and keep him out of Court.
We ask that clients fill out a Client Intake Form before their scheduled appointments. You may print this form here, or request that one be sent to you in the mail. This form is used to collect the important information needed to complete the Probate process.
Please bring the form with you to your appointment, and the attorney will review it with you. Other documents you should bring if possible include: a certified death certificate, the original Will, a copy of the deed to the home, and other financial documentation.