If you are going to inherit money when someone passes away, knowing the rules for probate or trust administration is very important to protect your right to the gifts the deceased has provided to you. Those who are named as executors of an estate or who are trustees also must understand the important role they play in making sure the wishes of the deceased person are respected.
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. provides assistance to people who will inherit money or property, as well as to executors or trustees. The formal processes which must take place after a death, which are called either probate or trust administration, are complex processes which are designed to ensure legal ownership transfers appropriately to new owners. We guide you through these processes in Worcester and Burlington, MA as well as in surrounding areas. Give us a call at 866-417-4566 or contact us online for personalized assistance with legal issues after a death and to get answers to some questions you may have including:
- What is probate in Massachusetts?
- What is trust administration in Massachusetts?
- How can a Burlington trust administration lawyer and probate lawyer help?
What is Probate in Massachusetts?
The probate process occurs after someone has passed away. Probate is required to facilitate the transfer of the deceased person’s assets to the new owners of the property. There is usually an executor who is named in the will by the deceased. If no executor is selected, the court can appoint a personal representative.
The executor or personal representative has numerous responsibilities, including filing all appropriate paperwork with the court. Notifying creditors and taking care of property until it is transferred to the new owners are also part of the job of the executor as well.
Executors should be sure to consult with a probate attorney for help to fulfill their responsibilities and to ensure they meet the legal requirements that are imposed during the probate process. An executor has a fiduciary duty and failing to fulfill that obligation can have consequences.
An attorney can also provide guidance and representation to heirs who stand to inherit, as well as to anyone concerned that a will being probated is not legally valid because of a problem when it was created. If you want to ensure the deceased person’s wishes are respected, that the property you are going to inherit is protected, and that probate goes smoothly, you should have a lawyer looking out for you.
What is Trust Administration in Massachusetts?
Trust administration is also a process where assets are transferred to new owners after a death. It is, however, a different process. Trust administration occurs if a trust was created while the deceased was alive.
A trustee is named in the trust document and the trustee is going to fulfill a similar role to an executor or to a personal representative. The job of the trustee is involve protecting and managing the property of the deceased and taking necessary steps to follow the instructions in the trust document and facilitate the timely and efficient transfer of assets.
A trustee, like an executor, has a legal duty to make sure that the property left by the deceased is kept safe until it is transferred to its new owners. The trust administration process, unlike the probate process, is not overseen by the courts. However, if the trustee fails to fulfill responsibilities, beneficiaries of the trust can take court action and pursue a claim against the trustee.
The trust beneficiaries and the trustee should strongly consider consulting with a legal professional to get help with the entire trust administration process. A probate and trust administration lawyer can help to determine if trust administration is the right process and can serve as a guide during this process, advising the trustee of his role and helping the trust beneficiaries to ensure their inheritance is kept safe until it comes under their control.
How Can a Worcester Probate and Trust Administration Lawyer Help?
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. understands how frustrating and stressful it can be to be faced with legal issues and forced to go to court or comply with complex regulations after someone you care about has passed away. We aim to make the entire process of probate and trust administration as easy as possible. Give us a call today at 866-417-4566 or contact us online to find out more about the assistance we offer in Worcester, Burlington, and surrounding areas throughout Massachusetts.