What is Probate and How Does it Work?
Understanding the Probate Court Process and Your Estate
Probate is the process by which your assets are distributed after you die. Some assets will pass automatically- your home, for example, if it is jointly owned with your spouse, life insurance proceeds, certain financial accounts if you have designated beneficiaries, and anything you have already put into a trust.
Everything else must go through the probate court. It is also important to remember that you need the probate court to appoint a personal representative for your estate before anyone has the legal authority to access bank accounts, sell property, or pay bills while the estate is pending.
Having a will alone does not take your estate out of probate court, but it can simplify and expedite the process.
Learn more here about the Probate Court process in Massachusetts.
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