Guidance from Massachusetts Probate Lawyers
Do You Feel Like You’re Stuck in a Legal Maze?
Probate is not always straightforward. If a loved one died intestate – without a will – or with a disorganized and overly complicated estate, a lot of time and money can be spent in court trying to administer everything. Things can get even more complicated if a family member contests a will or brings up other legal challenges.
Suffice it to say, there can be many legal complications when it comes to probate. Our attorneys at Gelb & Gelb are dedicated being the legal representatives clients need most when it comes to dealing with a loved one’s estate. When you need a guide through the legal maze, our probate attorneys can be there to help you deal with each step of the process.
Making Sense of Estate Administration
If you were named in a will as the executor of an estate – or appointed to administrate one by the court – you may find yourself in unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. Estate administration is no small task, even when the deceased left behind clear records of their assets and property. If they did not leave behind records or instructions for distributing assets, you will be left to sort everything out on your own.
When you work with one of our estate and probate attorneys, you will not face this process alone. We have more than 30 years of experience helping clients make sense of estate administration.
Important tasks in the probate process we can assist you with include:
- Identifying assets and property belonging to the estate
- Performing valuations of assets and property
- Fielding the deceased’s creditors’ claims against the estate
- Liquidating property as needed to afford valid debts
- Preparing and filing the deceased’s final tax return
- Dispersing property according to the will or intestacy laws
Our team can identify all of the details that need to be ironed out before an estate can be distributed and closed. We can offer this expertise to handle and resolve even the most complex probate concerns.
We Can Help with Probate Litigation
Any estate can be subject to legal issues, particularly those with unclear and spare documentation from the decedent. Legal disputes during probate can complicate an already difficult legal process. You may be an executor faced with accusations of incompetence. You may also be a beneficiary seeking to protect the final wishes of your loved one.
Settling probate dispute matters in court may not always be necessary. When parties can reach a settlement out of court, the time and money can be saved during probate. Gelb & Gelb LLP is prepared to assist clients who wish to seek dispute resolutions by alternative means, such as mediation. However, if necessary, we can pursue your case through litigation.
We can assist in probate litigation matters such as:
- Will contests
- Recovery of estate property
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Creditor disputes
- Elective share contests
Whether you need to defend against a legal challenge or find it necessary to prosecute your own, our attorneys are prepared to help you fight for your interests in court. We represent beneficiaries, heirs, and administrators in probate disputes. We know how to pursue effective solutions while remaining compassionate.
Contesting a Will
Wills can be contested by beneficiaries mentioned in the current or a previous will. There are specific legal reasons for a valid will contest.
The four main aspects that can be cause for a legitimate will contest include:
- Problems with how the will was executed, or signed and witnessed
- Concerns over the decedent's mental capacity when signing the will
- Potential fraud in signing the will
- Potential undue influence in signing the will
If a will is successful contested, a previous will may be followed instead if one exists. Without a previous will, the estate's assets can be distributed according to Massachusetts intestacy law.
Need Help with a Probate Problem?
If you find yourself confused, overwhelmed, or challenged by anything regarding probate, it’s advised to seek legal assistance to make things easier on you.
Gelb & Gelb LLP has more than 30 years of experience helping people make sense of estate administration and deal with legal challenges involving a loved one’s estate. We can help you understand your rights and duties during probate and make the process as easy as possible.
For help and legal advice regarding probate, contact our law firm online today and request a consultation.