When a loved one passes away, you will likely have many questions concerning the estate administration and probate process. These matters can be complicated, and if they are not carried out according to the law, long delays may result. The following are some of the frequently asked questions I encounter at the Law Offices of Nelson Chang. It is important to remember that nothing can replace personalized legal advice. To schedule a free initial consultation with me, attorney Nelson Chang, call my office in Saugus at 781-816-8877.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of distributing the assets of an estate. The process requires identifying and collecting all of the estate’s property, debts and taxes. Any remaining assets will be distributed according to the terms of a will, if one exists, or according to the law in Massachusetts if a person dies without a will.
Is all property subject to probate?
No. Property that is held jointly will automatically pass to the surviving co-owner(s) and property designated to a named beneficiary will pass to the beneficiary. In addition, assets that are held in a trust will not have to pass through probate.
What are the duties of an executor/administrator?
A person may name an executor in a will, or an administrator may be assigned if a person dies without a will. An executor or administrator is responsible for publishing a notice of an individual’s death, provide notice to potential heirs, identify and gather the assets of an estate, file tax information, distribute property and to provide a final account to the probate court. An experienced lawyer can help guide executors and administrators through these processes.
How long will the process take?
It depends on the size of an estate. For an estate consisting of few assets, the process can often be taken care of in less than 60 days. Larger estates can take months, and creditors have the right to sue for recovered funds for up to one year. Will contests and other difficulties can also prolong the process. That is why retaining skilled legal counsel is so important.
Contact My Law Office With Your Probate Questions
Everyone’s situation is different and the answers to the above questions may change depending on the facts of your case. To schedule a free initial consultation, call me at 781-816-8877. You may also contact me online.