Pepperell, MA asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts

Q: What are the responsibilities and legal liabilities of an appointed agent relative to probate law in Mass. /

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1 Lawyer Answer
David E. Peterson
David E. Peterson
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Burlington, VT
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Regarding the probate of the estate of someone who has died, the Probate Court appoints either an Executor (if there was a will) or an Administrator (if there was no will). Executors and Administrators are generally tasked with the role of gathering the assets of the decedent, determining and paying valid claims against the estate, filing tax returns, and distributing assets according to the will, or laws of intestacy (if there is no will). Once someone has been appointed Executor or Administrator, then they will only be held personally liable for the debts of the estate, to the extent that they mismanaged the assets of the estate. Of course there are several administrative processes and red tape to maneuver in the probate process, so it is best to seek help from an attorney that specializes in this area.

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