If you are recently dealing with the process of managing a will, you likely have plenty on your plate and are looking for information to help you deal with the process smoothly and efficiently. It can be a difficult time and you’ll likely appreciate easy and straightforward answers to all your questions. The answers provided here are not meant to replicate legal advice so if you have any specific questions about your unique situation, it’s best to consult a lawyer who can give you more specialized information.
What happens when a will goes to probate?
The entire process of administering a deceased person’s estate is known as probate. It also refers to the process of authenticating the will and making sure there are no unanswered questions that need to be addressed prior to administering the will. After paying any taxes and debts, the person who is primarily responsible for the will must account for the deceased person’s money, assets, and possessions and distribute them as inheritance. Usually the will specifies who this person will be.
The process of authentication might seem daunting, but you can either hire a lawyer or fill out a form provided by the courthouse on your own. If the will in question is fairly straightforward, you can likely get by just by filling out the form.
Is it a bad thing when a will goes to probate?
It’s not a bad thing or an inherently good thing. It’s just a natural step of the process which might have a reputation as being intimidating as it’s a legal process that often requires hiring a lawyer which may be costly.
When is it necessary to probate a will in Massachusetts?
Most estates in Massachusetts will need to go through probate because they do not meet the requirements to avoid it but that doesn’t mean the process will be long or complicated for everyone. Those who have named beneficiaries or who meet the other requirements to avoid formal probate will not be required to go through the process.
Do I need a lawyer for probate in Massachusetts??
You might not need to hire a lawyer, but it won’t necessarily hurt, especially if the will in question is complicated in any way. It also may help you avoid stress dealing with various aspects of the process that are time sensitive. For example, within nine months of the death, the estate tax return must be filed. This process is one where a lawyer’s knowledge and careful attention to detail will help as you want to avoid mistakes on the forms. Mistakes can be correct but they will slow down the process significantly.
It is not always necessary to go through the probate court process. They are usually only required if the deceased person owned assets solely in his or her name. There are some assets that can be transferred without going through the probate process in the state of Massachusetts.
How much does it cost to probate a will in Massachusetts?
The costs can vary but the cost to file a probate in Massachusetts in 2021 is $150 so that will be the minimum. If you choose to work with a lawyer, you will also have to pay the legal fees and any expenses that arise from that. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, the costs when hiring a lawyer to assist during the process will typically range from 7-10 percent of the total gross estate, or around $1500-$2000 on average. According to other sources, the average cost of probate in Massachusetts could be as low as 5%.
How do you avoid probate in Massachusetts?
In the state of Massachusetts, if the deceased person co-owned assets. In that case, the assets in question would automatically transfer without any kind of lengthy legal proceedings.
There are also specific assets that will not be subject to probate. These include but are not limited to:
- Retirement accounts that have a beneficiary named
- Life insurance proceeds
- Co-owned U.S. savings bonds
- Wages and salary that are due to the deceased person, up to a certain limit
If the deceased created a living trust while they were still alive then the probate process may not be necessary. In this case, the deceased person would have decided which assets go to which family members or friends and the process of addressing and administering the will would be far more simple and would require less fees.
What do you do if one of the assets in question is a house or property that you do not want to keep?
If you find yourself inheriting a home or physical property that you do not want to keep, you could also consider selling your home for cash – and that is something we can easily help with. At Pavel Buys Houses, we have created a straightforward and transparent process that creates an outcome that is mutually beneficial. We will commit to open and honest communication throughout the process and give you all the information you need up front so that you can make the best possible decision for your situation. When you work with us, we will take the information we gather from your free consultation and determine what the best possible cash offer is and deliver it to you. The best part about it is there’s absolutely no obligation to accept – you will get all the information before you make a commitment.
Contact us today to get started on your free consultation. We will get to know you and your situation and we will give you the best possible offer for your home.
At Pavel Buys Houses, we buy homes in Massachusetts and even in some parts of New Hampshire. We are a local company, and we aim to support the local communities we work in. We are also a Better Business Bureau accredited cash home buying company, with an A+ rating. Contact us today for a free consultation to receive your no-obligation cash offer. You can fill out the form on the website, or for faster service call us at 781-309-7085.