Q: In Massachusetts, are legal set-offs allowed for settling loan from the estate prior to filing for voluntary probate?
A Massachusetts parent provides an unsecured loan to one son, the remaining principle of which is more than the voluntary probate estate value ceiling of $25K. The other son is executor. The parent's will specifies that the remaining loan should be subtracted from the debtor son's share of the, otherwise equal, inheritance. The other probate estate assets are below $25K (not counting a car). There is enough money in an equally-divided POD account for the son to pay the debt. There is also enough money in a POD-to-executor account to cover the debt (as well as final estate expenses). There are no estate debts. What is the best plan for settling the loan after death of the parent? Can the loan be settled before filing for voluntary probate? How is this done? -- Or must the loan be settled by informal probate? In either case, is legal set-off allowed in Massachusetts probate? What MPC forms are used for the set off?
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