Estate Planning Lawyer in Hingham MA
If you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one, you should be able to have time to heal instead of worrying about settling their estate. Not to mention simply not knowing what the deceased would have wanted to do with certain assets or dependents. This is why it is a good idea to have all affairs settled during one’s lifetime.
Settling the Estate of Someone Who Has Died Without a Will
When a person passes away without having created a Last Will and Testament, they are considered to have died intestate. The state laws will determine how their assets are distributed to their heirs and beneficiaries, which typically means a spouse, a child or another living blood relative. The court appoints executor of the estate and a legal guardian to any minor children.
A family member of the deceased can file a petition with the court and request to be appointed the state executor.
The term “probate” refers to the legal process of settling a person's estate and affairs after their death. The probate process will usually involve these steps:
- Proving that the Last Will and Testament is legally valid
- Inventory of the deceased person's assets
- Obtaining appraisals of valuables, such as art or collectibles
- Paying any outstanding debts
- Paying state and federal taxes
- Distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will
Certain assets like investment accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance proceeds, do not need to go through the probate process. They are handled and distributed in accordance with their pre-determined beneficiary designations.
The executor of the estate is not expected to handle the probate process on their own. In some instances, the procedures are straight forward enough, but remember that you can hire an attorney who can guide you through the process and handle the paperwork when it comes to the probate court.
Consult a Lawyer:
If you need an estate planning and probate lawyer in Hingham MA, contact me at Gemma Law. I provide personal attention to all clients – when you retain me, you’ll be working with me directly on all aspects of your matter. I maintain a caseload that allows full attention to all clients, and to answer your questions at your convenience.
My practice is focused on helping individuals with the probate of estates and related litigation (such as will contests), estate and trust planning, and conservatorship and guardianship matters.
As an estate planning lawyer in Hingham Massachusetts, I provide personal attention to all clients – when you retain me, you’ll be working with me directly on all aspects of your matter. I maintain a caseload that allows full attention to all clients, and to answer your questions at your convenience. Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation. 781-380-8183.