Planning for Life

What is Probate and Should You Avoid It?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 15, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Probate is the process through which after death your possessions are passed on to whichever individuals and charities you name in your will. If you don't have a will, your property passes under what are called the rules of "intestacy" which means that state law determines who gets what -- essentially your closest relatives.

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Topics: Estate Planning, will in massachusetts, probate, Probate Estate Administration

How to Fleece an Estate . . . or Giving Lawyers a Bad Name

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 6, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

A Boston estate planning attorney recently received a public reprimand from the Board of Bar Overseers (BBO) for overcharging an estate and stretching out its administration for more than seven years. In 2003, Kenneth L. Harvey, an attorney with Holland & Knight in Boston, met with an elderly client and two of her sons. The client executed a will and a trust naming Attorney Harvey as trustee and executor. She passed away later that year.

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Topics: Legal profession, Estate Planning, probate

Is a Probate Proceeding Always Required After Someone Dies?

Posted by Jeffrey A. Bloom on February 18, 2015

By Jeffrey A. Bloom

Probate is a legal process by which an appointed individual -- usually a spouse or family member -- is given the power to identify and gather a deceased person's ("decedent's") assets, pay any debts or taxes the decedent owes, and eventually transfer any remaining assets to the people who will inherit them, either according to the terms of the decedent's will (if one exists) or according to Massachusetts law (if one does not).  In 2012, Massachusetts adopted the Uniform Probate Code ("MUPC") in an effort to simplify the state's probate and estate administration process.  Below are some key points to keep in mind regarding the probate process:

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Topics: probate

Will an iPhone be Admitted to Probate?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 1, 2014

As you no doubt know, your will governs who will receive your probate property when you pass away. Probate property essentially means property in your name alone as opposed to property you own with someone in joint names, property in trust, or property with a named beneficiary, such as a retirement plan.

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Topics: Estate Planning, probate

Wisconsin Court Permits Challenge to Marriage Based on Incapacity

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 8, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: incapacity, Estate Planning, second marriage, probate

Beware Engaging Banks as Executors - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 9, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: probate

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