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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

Death during a divorce and claims to an estate

Some of the most challenging and turbulent difficulties that people may encounter in life are the loss of a spouse, the divorce process and figuring out how an estate will be distributed after someone passes away. In some instances, someone may find themselves facing all of these challenges at the same time, and they may have a lot of legal questions. For example, someone may have split up with their spouse, and their ex may pass away before their divorce is finalized. This can raise many questions, such as how his or her estate will be split up and whether their spouse will be entitled to any portion of their estate.

What kind of problems might I run into when choosing an executor?

When it comes to finalizing your affairs in Massachusetts, choosing a good executor may not be as easy as you think. Forbes describes your executor as the fiduciary responsible for managing your estate at the time of your passing. Being an executor is no easy task, so many people who have already served as an executor in the past may decline to do it again.

Detailing Massachusetts' intestate succession guidelines

If you have a loved one who recently passed away in Wakefield, then you and others who were close to them may be justly concerned about how their estates will be handled. Given a majority of American adults do not have a will, then there is a strong possibility that no provisions are in place dictating how your deceased family member or friend's assets are to be distributed. Many come to us here at the Curley Law Firm LLP in the same situation thinking that when one dies without a will, their descendants are free to determine how their estate is to be handled. Unfortunately, that is not the case. 

What is probate?

When it comes to wills and estates, there are always people talking about probate. Probate gets a bad connotation because so many people talk about instances where it takes a long time and causes a lot of disruption. In reality, this is not true of most cases. It greatly helps to understand a little more about probate, so if you have a loved one who's estate will go to probate, you will then know what to expect.

Lawsuit over Mockingbird stage production resolved

One important element to remember about estate planning is that it is rarely a singular process. Wakefield residents asked to serve as executors or personal representatives may be asked to continue to serve in (or return to) the roles over a period of months, years or even decades. This is especially true in cases involving intellectual and artistic assets, as the future use of those assets will have to be done with the permission (and at times, the oversight) of the estate. In certain cases, litigation may even result of an estate-protected element's representation. 

Estate issues following the loss of a loved one

Losing a loved one can make daily life very challenging or even seem unbearable. Entire families may be overwhelmed with emotional pain and other hardships that surface in the wake of a loved one's passing, such as financial difficulties and estate matters. Whether you are the executor of your loved one's estate or you are a beneficiary, this may be a difficult time. However, it is critical for you to make sure that you properly handle any responsibilities you have and do what you can to make this tough time a little bit easier.

Becoming the voluntary administrator of your loved one's estate

At Curley Law Firm LLP, we understand that the Massachusetts laws regarding the estate of a person who died without a will can seem complex. If your loved one did not designate someone to take care of his or her financial and personal property, the responsibilities of probate administration fall to the spouse. However, you may want to step in and take care of these responsibilities to lessen the stress for the spouse during this time of grieving. 

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.