Estate Settlement and Probate

The loss of a loved one is a painful, difficult time in our lives. The last thing many of us want to do is tend to legal issues related to our loved one's estate. With a long history of assisting families during these trying times, McManus Estate Planning LLC understands the emotional, sensitive nature of such personal matters. So we work with care and diligence to treat each client with the respect they deserve so that their loved one's estate is settled as quickly and as efficiently as possible and without any unnecessary expense.

This means avoiding probate court administration. The last thing we want is for clients to carry the burden of engaging attorneys for probate court or litigation.

Even if an estate is not remanded to probate court, the process of transferring an estate's assets and property can be complex. As long as your plan meets the requirements of McManus Estate Planning, you can be confident that our staff will use our financial and legal expertise to work diligently on your behalf. In doing so, we are committed to ensuring the process will be both swift and thorough.

That process can be complicated by probate which can be time-consuming and costly in Massachusetts. Probate occurs when a court supervises the transfer of legal property of an estate from the deceased to beneficiaries. It should be noted that not all property goes through the probate process after someone dies. Non-probate estate is a prime example, referring to assets transferred to heirs outside the probate court process. Probate estate is subject to the authority of a probate court.

Once an estate enters into probate court, costs can rise as there could be appraisal fees, executor's fees, court filing fees and accounting fees attached to the process. Additionally, the estate would be responsible for the hourly rates of any attorneys involved. Estate planners work to minimize their client's involvement in the probate process.

Probate can be avoided with Trust-based estate plans or for smaller estates. This does not always hold true, especially when there is a dispute involving heirs or doubts to the validity of documents.

When it comes to life insurance and retirement benefits, probate is typically not needed. Those benefits can be paid directly to the beneficiaries. Additionally, retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans, IRAs and Keoghs automatically transfer to named beneficiaries. Other assets, including bank accounts of the "pay-on-death" (POD) type, also avoid the probate process.

We encourage you to contact McManus Estate Planning LLC for more information to see how our office can assist you in navigating the estate settlement process.