At Mahoney Law Office
We understand through personal experience that dealing with a death in the family can be an overwhelming and emotional time. We are here to help clients navigate the intensive paperwork involved with an uncontested, informal Probate.
Probate is the legal process which establishes the validity of the Will and oversees the actions of the Personal Representative. The Personal Representative is responsible for wrapping your estate up and making the distributions according to the terms of your Will, if you have a Will, or according to the laws of intestacy if you died without having a Will. In essence, the Personal Representative is signing on behalf of the deceased to transfer the titles and deeds and other assets to the beneficiaries or heirs.
Probate is necessary not only to facilitate distribution of property from the Last Will and Testament, but also to allow objections to the Will by other parties. Objections can arise for a variety of reasons, and investigations may also be required for such reasons which include: the possibility that the deceased was not of sound mind when the Will was made; the possibility that another Will was made at a later date; the possibility that the Will was forged or that the decedent’s decision was improperly influenced.
What happens if a person dies without a Will?
If a person dies without a Will ("intestate"), the Probate Court appoints a person to receive all claims against the estate, pay creditors and then distribute all remaining property in accordance with the laws of the state. The major difference between dying testate (with a Will) and dying intestate is that an intestate estate is distributed to beneficiaries or heirs in accordance with the distribution plan established by state law; a testate estate (after payment of debts, taxes and costs of administration) is distributed in accordance with the instructions provided by the decedent in his/her Last Will and Testament.