Boston Area Probate Attorney
Estate Administration & Probate Lawyer
When it comes to the transfer of large sums of money upon someone's death, the state wants to monitor for possible fraud. To do so, it created a series of rules and regulations that need to be followed to ensure that all property passes to heirs as intended or, in the absence of a will, as mandated by law.
This is the probate process; in Massachusetts we call it probate of will (if there is a will) or administration (if no will exists). Massachusetts is a consanguineal state, meaning the state will make descent and distribution decisions based on blood relatives.
If you need to challenge a will, we can help. Disputes over last wills and testaments are not uncommon. Red flags that a will contest is in order include:
- Last minute changes to a will (a deathbed will)
- Changes made when a person is in a skilled nursing facility (SNF)
- Changes made while a person is under court guardianship or changes made by a new attorney rather than the family's long-standing attorney
- Inheritance of everything by a second spouse while the children from the first marriage are excluded.
If you decide to contest a will, quick action is necessary. Get the legal help you need. Call John Gianino of Center for Elder Law and Estate Planning, at 888-784-0864 or contact us online.
Why Avoid Probate?
While probate sounds innocuous, it actually has many drawbacks:
- It is administratively complex, creating a hassle for the family that draws out over a long period of time
- It is a lengthy process — involving a minimum of one year from date of death until the estate can be formally closed.
- Because it is a public record, it invites objection and scrutiny
- It is expensive because state administrators and attorneys must handle it
Avoid Probate Through Proper Estate Planning and Trusts
Trusts can help you avoid probate. They direct who should be the beneficiary to inherit your estate, name the trustee and may contain tax provisions. Learn more about irrevocable and revocable trusts.