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Massachusetts Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: As executor of estate, can I start an estate account ? I have the TIN number.

Probate attorney says I must give to him, checking on my rights.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 2, 2018

You also need your appointment letter along with the Tax payer ID #

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Consumer Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have to allow the lawyer to take the estate funds or can I create an estate account myself, is there a law?

Informal, under 450,000. Assets ( house sale, insurances, property) no contest. One credit card and he already lost track of a disbursement, can I as executor pay what’s owed to who?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 2, 2018

You would be setting up an estate bank account with an estate tax payer ID and you can arrange to have the attorney copied with bank statements.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: My uncle passed away and is there a certain length of time for the attorney handling the estate to file the paperwork

To appoint the executor to the estate

The state is Massachusetts

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 25, 2018

The limit would be a limit imposed by Massachusetts law and Massachusetts bar rules of professional conduct.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: I have been married 40 yrs this year. I am on SSDI. We had to sell the family home in 2006.

I now live in my wifes mothers home. It is in my wifes name and my sister in laws brothers name. Am I entitled to any $$ when this home is sold. I have lived in this home for 10 years, My sister in law has been deceased for 7 years this month.

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 23, 2018

Assuming your wife is still living, then no you have no direct ownership rights save as to perhaps your limited rights under CHAPTER 189 DOWER AND CURTESY. If the property is titled as joint tenants and your wife predeceases you, then you probably have no rights. if the property is owned at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I bring my grandmother, who resides in Puerto Rico, against her will and her husbands will to the United States?

She is 77 years old. She suffers from advanced rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, diabetes, hypertension and possibly a number of other medical concerns that we are unaware as she refuses medical care, refuses all medical appointments, refuses to eat more than 1 full meal a day. Her husband who lives... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 19, 2018

You will need to engage an attorney who practices elder l;aw/guardianship in Puerto Rico and you likely will have to attend court there to obtain guardianship with authority to move her to Massachusetts. This is really a Puerto Rican law question.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Will my step-mom receive all of my dad’s assets & life insurance if he dies before her without a will? Can I contest?

As a child, my biological mother passed away and dad since remarried. I am now an adult and my step-mother and I have a distant relationship. Am I entitled to any benefits if there is no will?

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 15, 2018

If there is no Will, your father's estate will be divided 50% to your step mother and 50% to you and your siblings. However, as I recall the first $200K goes to the spouse before the division. However, things held in a joint account will go directly to your step-mother as they are not part of the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I protect my inheritance from my grandmother? There's no will.

I was left $28,000 by my grandmother who has died. She left it with a drug addict who threatens to take it every chance he gets. This happens to be her son. He is saying that the stipulation was that I have to go to medical school. I don't believe that was a stipulation. How can I make sure the... Read more »

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Jan 14, 2018

If there is no will and no trust then you may not actually have any inheritance from your grandmother. If you do in fact have some claim to an inheritence as an heir of your grandmother's, then you could intervene in the probate court case for administration of the estate. You should consult with... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need to have my will notarized?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 12, 2018

Massachusetts requires two witness signatures but it is recommended that you have the Will notarized so there can be no challenge as to whether it was you who signed it. So I would have my Will notarized which you should be able to do at your local bank branch or a local office supply store, et... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: My question pertains to my deceased husband who died without a will but has 2 children of his own (not mine).

He died in June 2013, leaving a large mortgage behind and there was no equity in house at that time either. My name is not on the mortgage but i have continued making all the mortgage payments all this while. I was advised by a lawyer quickly back when he died that I had no estate to split because... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Dec 28, 2017

In whose name is the property. As his wife you can assume the mortgage so long as you live in the property. Under MA law, the first $200,000 of equity in the estate passes to you and the balance of the estate is split the remainder of the estate.

If you are not the guardian for the...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: My son is 17, his dad passed away 5 days ago without a will. I was not married to his dad. His dad has real estate.

He was survived by a sister and his mom and dad. How do I become administrator of his estate?

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Dec 25, 2017

First, read the part of the law that explains how heirs work without a will: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartII/TitleII/Chapter190B/ArticleII/Section2-103

Then, read the instructions for a formal probate petition without a will:...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a will need to be written down, or can an audio recording count?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Dec 14, 2017

A will has to be in writing.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed away last year and my sister who was appointed executor of his estate claimed to be an only child!

Can I do anything about it? I was in his will

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Dec 13, 2017

Yes, contact an attorney immediately and file a complaint in the probate court, if the matter is still pending their or in Superior Court if the probate matter is closed for fraud. A great deal of additional information is necessary. However, lawsuits are expensive.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: QUESTION CONCERNING A FAMILY ISSUE, ESTATE, AND INHERITANCE

MY MOTHER OWNS A HOUSE WORTH AROUND $500,000. SHE CURRENTLY HAS A $100,000 MORTGAGE ON THE PROPERTY. THE EXTERIOR OF THE HOUSE HAS RECENTLY BEEN DONE, NEW WINDOWS, ROOF AND SIDING. THE INTERIOR OF THE HOUSE NEEDS A LOT OF WORK. MY BROTHER WANTS TO MOVE IN WITH HIS WIFE. HIS PLAN IS TO GET A... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Nov 27, 2017

The only way your brother can get a new mortgage on the property is if he takes an ownership interest in the property or he enters into a rental agreement with your mother and she gets the mortgage and he can guarantee it. The issue is how the $400K in current equity is split between your brother... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Mother was left our home in grandmothers will, she will only have to split profits of the home if sold with ctd..

Living siblings. Executor asked for rent monthly to pay taxes and such for other apartment. (2 family dwelling). Executor has passed away now another sibling has said they are raising rent to repair home (which we live in) and we were not notified by deceased siblings wife nor given option to pay... Read more »

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Nov 25, 2017

From your description it sounds like the property is co-owned in some way by your mother and her siblings/their heirs. All co-owners of a property are legally responsible for the expenses like property taxes. That is not "paying rent" in a legal sense since it is between co-owners, it is simply the... 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.

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Nov 22, 2017

If the deed is still under her name then only the Personal Representative of her estate can transfer the property. Depending on several factors the Personal Representative may first need to petition the Probate Court to obtain a License to sell the property.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello! I didn't explain in detail my last question. My house is set up in a real Estate trust, and their is an executor

In charge of it. The trust states that the executor has the power to sell my home, and the proceeds r to go to me, as the beneficiary. But, as I said, he has not reached out to me & is not fulfilling his duty as executor, or administrator. The bank started the foreclosure process, due to a reverse... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 8, 2017

You can file a Removal Petition and Request to be appointed successor and also file an Equity complaint which would include the Trustee and the Foreclosing bank explaining to the Court that the Trustee should be ordered to pay the mortgage or act to sell so as not to loose the corpus. These are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi! My gramps passed away a year ago, and in his trust, he put me down as the beneficiary for the home I live in. The

Executor refuses to sell the home bc the proceeds will go to me instead of him. Because he hasn't dealt with the bank either, they r trying to foreclose on my home now. Can I petition the court to remove him before it's too late? Or, do I need an attorney to do that? Any advice would b greatly... Read more »

Inna Fershteyn
Inna Fershteyn answered on Nov 8, 2017

Hi, why do you need an executor when you have a trust? Trust governs distribution of the house of house is part of the trust.

You need an attorney to review the trust document. I suggest you get a phone consultation at least. Feel free to call my office.

Sincerely,

Inna...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I know if I need to create trusts or if a will is sufficient for my estate?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Nov 3, 2017

A Will states how your estate is to be disbursed upon your death. Trusts are created for a variety of reasons, to avoid probate and the costs associated with probate, for tax purposes if needed, and finally to make sure the proceeds of your estate are passed over more than a single generation.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Probate and Securities Law for Massachusetts on
Q: All bank accounts have both me and painters SS # on it. How does it get split on ones death with a will?

So all our bank accounts have both my SS # on it and my partners. ON my money and bank account, my name is first with my SS # and then my partners name is on it with partners SS # on it. We each have access to accounts and either one can take money out. They are owned jointly. But we each... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 13, 2017

Generally the survivor becomes the owner of the account and it is not part of the probate estate which is governed by the Will, but you should consider clarifying that this is the case in your Will by so stating that the account is not intended to be divided as part of the estate but is a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Health Care Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am on a quitclaim deed for my mothers house, does this mean I own the house. She is going onto long term care.

I do not want the nursing home going after the house.

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 26, 2017

I assume the title is as joint tenants. Until your mother dies you both own the home. The fact she temporarily is not living there does not mean you own the home. Assuming your title is as joint tenants, when your mother passes you record her death certificate and at that point the sole title to... Read more »

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