If you will be receiving an inheritance, you need to make sure you understand the process by which your new assets will transfer to you. You want to know Massachusetts laws on wills, trusts, trust administration, and probate so you can avoid any potential loss in value of your inheritance.
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can help. We assist people who will inherit through trusts, through wills, and under Massachusetts intestacy laws.
Our legal team will assist you in determining what protections exist under Massachusetts law and in making sure your right to your inheritance is respected after a loved one has passed away. Give us a call to learn more.
How To Make Sure Your Inheritance is Managed Appropriately
If you are going to receive an inheritance through a will or through a trust, you need to make certain that the money is appropriately managed if something happens to the person who is leaving you the money.
If the individual who owns the property becomes incapacitated and unable to manage assets, you will need to promptly initiate Massachusetts guardianship proceedings unless a power of attorney has been created. If a power of attorney has been created, this means the incapacitated person named someone to act as an agent and manage their property in case of incapacity. Those who stand to inherit that property should make sure the agent acts appropriately in protecting it. If there is no power of attorney, guardianship proceedings allow the court to name someone to manage the assets and protect their value.
You also need to protect the value of your inheritance after the death of the person who has given you the gift. You do not just receive the money or property right away when you have been left assets. Instead, either probate or trust administration must generally occur. In probate, an executor is responsible for winding up the affairs of the deceased and for distributing property. In trust administration, a trust administrator has that responsibility.
Executors and trust administrators have a duty to file appropriate court paperwork, take steps to transfer property to new owners, and manage the property until it changes hands. If it is your inheritance which is being managed by the executor or trust administrator, you may wish to have a lawyer on your side who is looking out for you. Your attorney can make sure the executor or trust administrator are following Massachusetts rules and following the deceased person’s instructions. Your attorney can also help you to take action if any of the value of your inheritance is improperly diverted by the executor or administrator.
How to Protect Your Inheritance from Will Contests
As you try to protect your inheritance at the end of the life and after the death of the person who gave you the gift, you also need to be aware that not everyone may be happy about you receiving money or property. There may be circumstances in which someone contests a will or contests a trust and argues that either or both documents are not actually legally valid in accordance with Massachusetts law.
If a will or a trust is challenged and the challenge threatens to reduce or eliminate your inheritance, you should think about hiring a legal professional as soon as possible. While the executor or the trust administrator should take on the role of defending the will or defending the trust, it is still your money and property at stake. You deserve to have your own advocate who can help you during the proceedings to assert your interests and fight for the right to inherit.
Getting Legal Help Protecting Your Inheritance
A Worcester, MA estate planning lawyer can help you to understand the types of things which can put your inheritance at risk. We also provide assistance throughout the probate or trust administration in monitoring the actions of executors, personal representatives and trust administrators. The goal is to make sure they fulfill their obligations so the value of your inheritance does not decline. Finally, if there is a will contest, we will help you to understand how to fight for your inheritance.
To learn more about protecting the property and assets that your loved one has left to you give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team. You can also join us for a free seminar to find out more about the different ways in which an estate plan can be designed to protect an inheritance.
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