Estate Administration Lawyer in Salem, MA
If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you should be focusing on your grief and mental health, not on the tedious legalities of administering their estate.
Our attorneys at Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., can guide you through the Massachusetts estate administration process and take care of the legal legwork for you. Call (978) 878-3519 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with an experienced estate administration lawyer.
What Is Estate Administration?
Estate administration is the process of winding up a deceased person’s legal and financial affairs, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property and assets to their heirs and beneficiaries.
What Happens During a Massachusetts Estate Administration?
Some of the decedent’s assets will also have to go through a probate process before they can pass on to the heirs. Probate is a legal process in which a special probate court determines whether the decedent’s will is valid and distributes their assets accordingly.
As the first step in this process, the court appoints a personal representative to represent and manage the estate. If the decedent left a will, the person named in the will serves as a personal representative. If the decedent died without a will, the surviving spouse or one of the heirs usually assumes this role.
The personal representative is personally and legally responsible to the heirs and has a long list of duties. If you were appointed as a personal representative, you may have to:
- Create an inventory of all of the decedent’s assets and debts
- Find out what they owned and how it was titled
- Obtain a death certificate, typically from the funeral director
- Notify Social Security if the decedent was receiving government benefits
- Liquify estate assets and transfer the sale proceeds into the estate’s account
- Satisfy any outstanding debts and taxes
- Distribute the remaining assets to the heirs and beneficiaries
There’s a lot more that goes into the probate process. A single mistake can set you back by months and even years, so you don’t want to go through the process without seeking legal advice from an estate administration lawyer.
Keep in mind there may also be assets that aren’t part of the probate estate and don’t need to go through probate. These include assets held in a trust, properties titled as joint tenants with right of survivorship, and assets with a beneficiary designation, such as life insurance policies and retirement plans.
How We Can Help
At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we take the stress out of estate administration and probate. We can help you by:
- Ensuring a smooth and speedy estate administration
- Avoiding costly delays in the probate process
- Preventing misunderstandings and unnecessary family conflicts
- Handling issues such as unexpected creditors or beneficiaries challenging the terms of the will
- Advising you on tax consequences
Consult With an Experienced Estate Administration Lawyer in Salem, MA, Today
At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we have over 90 years of experience advising personal representatives in Massachusetts on each stage of the estate administration process. Call (978) 878-3519 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with an estate administration lawyer.