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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

What do you need to know about personal representatives?

Whether you have a will or not, when you die, someone has to take over the duties related to legally closing your Massachusetts estate (unless all your assets are jointly owned or distributed to beneficiaries named in, for example, life insurance policies, retirement accounts or trusts). This estate administrator, known as your personal representative, has many responsibilities while probating your estate. 

What should I know about formal probate petitions?

When it comes to probate, a plethora of questions may be on your mind and you may need to focus on various facets of the law. For example, many people move forward with filing an informal probate petition, while formal probate is necessary for others. Moreover, you may need to take a different approach depending on whether your loved one died with a will or without a will. If you are filing a formal probate petition, there are a number of pointers that may be helpful for you to go over.

The breach of fiduciary duties

Many probate issues can complicate life for beneficiaries and executors alike, but allegations that an executor has breached their fiduciary duties are very serious. Some of the time, these accusations are true and an executor did fail to respect his or her fiduciary duties. For example, an executor may have intentionally chosen not to distribute the assets of an estate appropriately. On the other hand, there are times when these allegations are altogether false, whether a beneficiary does not understand what was put forth in the estate plan or intentionally launches a false accusation. Curley Law Firm knows how hard these standoffs can be for both sides and the impact these disputes can have on families.

When disputes arise among beneficiaries

All sorts of complications may arise when it comes to estate matters, but those involving disagreements with beneficiaries can be particularly complex. Whether you are setting up a trust, have been named an executor, or are a beneficiary of your loved one's estate, it is vital to handle any disputes appropriately. In Wakefield, and other cities across the state of Massachusets, these disputes have created all sorts of problems for entire families. Our law firm knows that in some instances, disputes between beneficiaries and executors have even torn families apart.