I assist clients with estate administration (probate) in the Probate Court and post-death matters. When an individual dies leaving assets exceeding $25,000 in his or her name alone, it is necessary to petition the court to have a Personal Representative appointed and to administer the assets of the estate. If the assets are valued at $25,000 or less, excluding the value of an automobile, then it is necessary to file a Statement of Voluntary Administration with the court to gain access to these assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate.
Even if an individual dies leaving all assets to a surviving joint owner or beneficiary so that no probate proceeding is necessary, there may still be some matters to take care of such as clearing title to the real estate owned by the decedent, filing life insurance claims and claims for retirement assets. I advise clients regarding these important steps, as well as any additional planning which the survivors might need.