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Questions Answered by Peter C Herbst Jr

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on

Q: Can you set up a trust for a pet? A friend is trying to make sure his pets are taken care of.

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on Jun 15, 2018

Since 2011, Massachusetts has allowed for the recognition of pet trusts. Your friend will need to think of the appropriate caretaker for the pets but the pet trust can allow for financial funding of the pet's needs. As with any trust, your friend want to make sure it is integrated with his estate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: masscourts.org Case now "closed" but "Decree & Order of Formal Probate 4/8/18 Magistrate [Name]. Where is this process?

Thanks.

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on May 11, 2018

Without seeing the actual docket of the case I can only speculate, but the terminology "closed" can be confusing since the probate estate could certainly still be active, it just means generally that no petition is pending before the court since that Decree was entered on April 8. If you have... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: Probate closed on moms estate over 3 years ago. We pay mortgage under her name. We close on a sale of home this month.

How do we pass the deed to the new owners? Mortage will get paid first. We own the house but couldnt put our names on the deed till we pay mortgage off.

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on Nov 22, 2017

Title to real property descends to heirs or devisees upon death. Its very important to hire an attorney now to make sure the probate process was completed three years ago to show that either the heirs or the devisees have good title to convey at closing. If the probate estate is still open, the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: Family probate question

My great uncle passed away in '06. His brother, my other great uncle became the sole heir & executor of the estate . Subsequently, he passed away in 2009. Recently, I discovered online that there is about $3,400 of unclaimed money being held by the state . The state told me I need to become the new... Read more »

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on Sep 12, 2017

If the $3,400 of unclaimed property belongs to the Estate of your Great Uncle that passed away in 2006, the Executor, now called a Personal Representative, of that Estate would need to file the claim paperwork. Since the original Executor passed away someone with priority of appointment under the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: my grandfather passed with out a will and I am the only heir how do I access his accounts?

there is a life insurance policy that I am the beneficiary to but they will not give me any information about it until I can prove power of attorney.

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on Aug 30, 2017

I'm sorry for your loss. With bank accounts in his name that do not have a joint owner or a beneficiary designation you would need to obtain probate court authorization to get access. There are a couple different types of probate depending on the size of the estate and whether there is real... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: My mother passed away in December of 1999 with no will and no executor. The State of MA Treasurer has funds in her name.

As her daughters/sole living heirs (my father is now deceased - he had a will) we have filed a claim but they've asked for additional paperwork in the form of "Original appointment from probate court date stamped within the last year." When I look at the forms online it says you cannot probate an... Read more »

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on Jul 2, 2017

The three year statute of limitations doesn't apply to the probate of an estate for someone who passed away in 1999. The three year rule started March 31, 2012 when Massachusetts adopted much of the Uniform Probate Code. You should speak with an attorney to see if the facts of your case would allow... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on

Q: My father would like to give a bunch of land to his town - should he do it now, or when he dies?

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on Jun 16, 2017

Generally speaking, if it qualifies as a charitable contribution the advantage of lifetime gifting is that you get an income tax benefit and the property is not in your estate for estate taxes. Plus he might get satisfaction from seeing it put to public use during his life. Everyone's situation is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: Am I entitl My granfather's estate he left to second wife ( not my grandmother). She died and had no heirs.

My father was an only child and has passed on.

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on May 23, 2017

You should review this with an attorney. A lot can depend on the sequence of deaths. The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code recently changed these rules and in cases of a second marriage, children & descendants of the first marriage are in fact entitled to a portion of the estate. See Share of... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on

Q: If I don't specifically bequest property in my will, does it all go to the executors?

Peter C Herbst Jr answered on May 16, 2017

Executors (now known as Personal Representatives in Massachusetts) are the people you nominate to locate your assets, pay debts, and distribute your property to your beneficiaries. If you fail to designate a beneficiary under your will the property does not go to the executors: it's called partial... Read more »

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