Probate and Estate Administration describes the legal process that takes place after an individual dies in order to transfer the title of an asset, such as a home or investment account, to his or her beneficiaries either designated in a will or, if no will exists, under the Massachusetts intestacy laws. The Massachusetts probate statutes provide for the determination of who qualifies as an heir to the deceased and what portion of the assets his or her position in the family entitles them to receive. During the probate process, a personal representative (also known as executor) will go through many routine tasks, such as
- Identifying and inventorying estate property;
- Paying the deceased’s debts;
- Paying estate debts and taxes;
- Distributing property as directed by a will or state law; and
- Accounting for his or her actions to the Probate Court.
As one may suspect, many times probate matters are contested and result in litigation. Many probate attorneys, although highly skilled in the probate and estate area, find themselves overwhelmed when a matter is contested. At Tamkin & Hochberg, we have extensive experience assisting individuals with contentious matters, such as:
- Will contests;
- Undue influence and incapacity claims;
- Interference with inheritance rights;
- Creditor disputes;
- Trust disputes;
- Family partnership disputes; and
- Fiduciary or trustee misconduct.
In addition, we have extensive experience in guardianships and conservatorships for elderly individuals, developmentally disabled persons, minors, or those with special needs.