Your Guides Through The Probate Process

Probate is complex. It can be lengthy, costly and stressful. Disputes among family members can arise during the process. It can be difficult to navigate alone. Thankfully, you do not have to. If you are the executor or administrator, you can enlist an experienced lawyer from Howie Law Office, PLLC, to guide you and your family through the probate process.

More Than 25 Years Of Probate Experience

We have been providing probate representation to people in New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1992. Our goal is to take the stress off your shoulders and to minimize the time and costs spent going through the probate process. We can work proactively to prevent estate disputes and address them if they arise. We can also assist with trust administration and all other estate administration issues. We are committed to personal representation, so we will be by your side at all stages of the probate process.

How Assets Are Passed On

Assets can pass to loved ones at death via one of the following:

  • Joint ownership
  • Beneficiary designation
  • Trust
  • Probate

A jointly owned bank account or other asset passes to the surviving joint owner by operation of law; probate is not necessary. Joint ownership is typically with a spouse.

The designated beneficiary of a life insurance policy, IRA, 401(k) or annuity will become the owner of that asset at the death of the principal, without the need for probate. If beneficiary designations are not up to date, issues may arise and probate may become necessary.

Beneficiaries of a trust receive the trust assets without the need for probate, but the assets have to be titled in the name of the trust at the time of death.

All other assets of a decedent that do not fall into the first three categories cannot pass to loved ones without probate administration. What is probate administration? It is the legal process by which the probate court oversees the administration of those assets. The probate court determines whether a will is valid, appoints the executor or administrator, entertains will contests, determines whether the executor/administrator should be bonded, inventories the estate and reviews and approves accountings filed by the executor/administrator. It is the same whether or not there is a will. Our attorneys can help.

Contact Us About Probate

Are you the estate executor or administrator, or simply a concerned family member? Get in touch. We have a law office in Salem, New Hampshire, which you can reach at 603-893-8008. We also have offices in Andover and Woburn, Massachusetts, and you can reach either at 978- 853-0982. You can also get in touch with any of our offices by email.