Blog

What does probate centrally require, entail?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2019 | Estate Planning

Probate is a closely similar process whether it proceeds in New Hampshire, Massachusetts or any other American state. It essentially provides for the lawful administration of assets upon a decedent’s passing. That equates in many instances to court oversight of property earmarked for stated individuals in a will.

We note at the established Howie Law Office (with locations in both Salem and Andover that have provided knowledgeable estate planning assistance to valued clients for more than a generation) that probate is far from being an automatic event following an estate holder’s death.

That is, asset disposition to heirs, beneficiaries and other loved ones can be structured in such a way that it bypasses the probate process. Probate is a public matter, takes some time and often puts a financial onus on those involved in its final accounting.

We stress on our website, for example, that joint ownership of an asset like a bank account passes automatically by law to a surviving joint owner when a co-owner dies. That is similarly true for beneficiaries of insurance policies, retirement plans and other savings vehicles. And trusts are purposefully structured in a manner that allows them to successfully operate outside of probate.

Where a will is involved and/or any of the above property-passing schemes do not feature, a court will step in to oversee asset administration via the probate process. Among other things, the court will weigh in on a will’s validity, assign an executor or administrator if necessary, evaluate estate tax duties, distribute property and attend to related matters.

We welcome contacts to our firm from individuals having any probate-linked or other estate planning questions or concerns. Our deep legal team focuses unwaveringly on optimally promoting the interests of our valued clients in every matter we handle.

FindLaw Network

Serving New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Since 1992