Creating an estate plan is becoming more widely recognized as a necessity as the consequences of not having one are made evident by several famous people who died without having a will or other documents in place. In addition to having an estate plan, a person may be called upon to be an executor of a will in Massachusetts. Estate administration comes with its own set of responsibilities.
Especially when it comes to larger inheritances, valuation has the potential to be one of the most important steps when distributing an estate. That is because Massachusetts has an estate tax.
When people have an inadequate estate plan in Massachusetts, their case may be turned over to a probate court where officials will determine what will become of their remaining assets. Depending on the size of the deceased's estate, probate could be costly and time-consuming. People can avoid having to resort to probate by determining that they have clearly written and legally signed plans for what will happen when they pass away.
Like many other people in Massachusetts, you are beginning to think about your future and are interested in creating an estate plan that conforms to the needs of your family. However, your family has a unique dynamic in that it is blended. At Curley Law Firm LLP, we are experienced in helping families of all different backgrounds to develop a beneficial estate plan.
The probate process can indeed prove costly the longer it takes an estate case in Wakefield to be resolved. Yet the court does not want to see one' assets eaten up in probate, leaving nothing to settle a decedent's debts and liabilities or to pass on to their heirs. Thus, special circumstances exist that may allow estates with lower overall values the opportunity to expedite the process and settle their cases faster.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.