Burlington Probate Lawyer for Personal Representatives
Helping Personal Representatives in Burlington, Arlington, Cambridge, Lexington, and throughout Greater Boston
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal term used to describe the process for winding up the affairs of a decedent. It applies to the estate administration for those who have died with a will and those who have died intestate (without a will). Probate also applies to those who have died with a trust, but only to those assets that are held outside of the trust.
How We Help Personal Representatives in the Probate Distribution Process
A personal representative is charged with administering an estate. Typically, a personal representative is named in the will. If there is no will, a family member may seek to be designated as the personal representative. In either case, the Probate and Family Court of the Trial Court where the decedent lived must formally appoint a person as the personal representative, who thereafter will act to administer the estate.
If you have been named as a personal representative in a will, or if you seek to act in such capacity, we can assist in seeking such appointment.
Thereafter, the personal representative will have the authority to administer the estate and to distribute assets therefrom in accordance with the decedent’s will (if there is one), or in accordance with Massachusetts intestate distribution law (if no will exists). The estate distribution steps generally include:
- Securing and accounting for all of the decedent’s assets
- Ensuring that the decedent’s final tax returns are prepared and filed
- Paying all legitimate debts of the decedent from the estate assets (to the extent that assets are available to do so)
- Distributing the remaining assets in accordance with the will or intestate distribution laws
- Filing the appropriate documentation with the court
How I Help
In most cases, those serving as a personal representative will be doing so for the first time, and likely will have many questions. We understand.
If you’re serving as a personal representative, we can help you with nearly all of the tasks that will need to be accomplished, including preparing and filing the final tax returns and any estate tax returns. We will be there to answer your questions, provide advice concerning any issues that may arise, and to prepare documents that may be necessary (such as deeds of trust and other documentation to transfer real property). In short, we can help you during what may be a very difficult process following the death of your loved one.
Please call me to learn about how we can help you.