Estate Administration

Frequently Asked Questions

Some Stages of Estate Administration

Account for Your Family’s Needs

Losing a loved one is emotionally challenging, and making rational decisions during this time can be difficult. However, ensuring you meet your family’s immediate needs is vital before moving forward with Estate Administration. This includes covering funeral expenses, paying bills, and settling outstanding debts.

Establish Beneficiaries

The next step is identifying who will inherit your loved one’s assets. This can be done through a will or trust. If your loved one did not have a will, the state will distribute their assets according to intestacy laws. It is essential to ensure that the distribution of assets is fair and reflects your loved one’s wishes.

Know Your State’s Estate Tax Laws

Many states have their own estate tax laws, which can be complex and vary widely. Massachusetts is one such state, and it is crucial to understand the applicable tax laws to avoid any surprises during the Estate Administration process. Consulting with a Massachusetts estate attorney can help you navigate the state’s specific requirements.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

While it may be tempting to handle Estate Administration independently, hiring an experienced attorney can help ensure a smooth and efficient process. An attorney can help you navigate complex tax laws, ensure that you file all necessary documents, and help protect your family’s assets.

Topics in Estate Planning and Administration

Taxes

Estate taxes can take a significant chunk out of your assets, and proper planning is key to minimizing this burden. Our team can help you understand the intricacies of estate tax exemptions, deductions, and credits. We can help you develop a strategy that preserves your wealth and ensures your beneficiaries receive the most significant benefit.

Power of Attorney

Unexpected events can happen, and we can not predict our health and well-being. Granting power of attorney to someone you trust can ensure they handle your affairs smoothly, should you become incapacitated. Our team can counsel you on the different types of power of attorney and help you select the most appropriate for your needs.

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts

Trusts can effectively protect and manage your assets, allowing your beneficiaries to avoid probate and lower estate taxes. Our team can help you understand the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts.

Guardianship

If you have minor children, appointing a guardian is crucial to ensuring their care if something happens to you. Our team can guide you through the legal requirements for selecting and naming a guardian, ensuring we follow your wishes.

Advance Directive

If you can no longer make decisions about your healthcare, an advance directive sets out your treatment preferences and specifies your wishes. Our team can counsel you on the different types of advance directives, how they function, and how they can protect against unintended consequences, and outline the benefits of having one in place.

Managing Assets During the Estate Administration Process

Here are some tips for managing assets during the estate administration process:

Identify and Gather all Assets

The first step is to identify all the assets the deceased owned. This may include real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal property, and business interests. Once you have identified the assets, you must gather documentation and information about each item, such as account numbers, appraisals, and ownership records.

Value the Assets

With the help of an appraiser or other professionals, you will need to determine the fair market value of each asset. This is important for tax purposes, as well as for distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. It is important to remember that some assets, such as artwork or collectibles, may be difficult to value.

Pay off Debts and Taxes

Before distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, you will need to pay off any debts and taxes that the deceased owed. This may include credit card debt, mortgages, and income tax. You will need to file a final tax return for the deceased, as well as any estate tax returns that are required.

Distribute the Assets

Finally, you will need to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or state law. This may involve selling some assets, such as real estate or investments, in order to divide the proceeds among the beneficiaries. A good suggestion is to keep detailed records of all transactions and distributions, as you may be required to provide an accounting to the court or the beneficiaries.

Strategies for Effectively Handling Your Estate

There are specific strategies that can help you manage your loved one’s assets effectively:

Open an estate account to hold the assets. This will help you keep track of all the funds and property you are responsible for distributing.

Identify your loved one’s assets, including personal belongings, real estate, bank accounts, and investments. This can be a time-consuming process, but ensuring that you are distributing everything fairly is essential.

Once you have identified all the assets, you must distribute them according to your loved one’s wishes or state law. This is where our team of estate attorneys can be invaluable, as we can meet all legal requirements and help distribute everything fairly and efficiently.

Choosing Your Massachusetts Estate Attorney

If you are looking for an experienced and knowledgeable Massachusetts estate attorney to help you navigate the estate administration process, look no further than our team at Daigle Law Office. We have years of experience assisting clients in Eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod with their estate planning and administration needs, and we can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this difficult time. Contact us today if you want your estate plan to be in the best of hands.

What our clients think about us

Daigle Law Office
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Brian OBrian O
10:37 13 May 24
From my initial phone call and talk with Atty Daigle, to working with Ann Marie and Tracey, my experience with Daigle Law Office has been great. They walked me through everything and got me started back on the right track. I would highly recommend Daigle Law Office for those seeking to get themselves back on track financially.
Yuliya MalinkovichYuliya Malinkovich
21:42 10 May 24
Working with Ann Marie and the entire team was a fantastic experience
Abby MoralesAbby Morales
21:03 21 Mar 24
BEST OF THE BEST! staff always friendly and attentive, process was so easy and they help all the way through. would recommend to everyone.
Chris ManchukChris Manchuk
00:03 21 Mar 24
Ryan BrownRyan Brown
23:22 19 Mar 24
Susan BrownSusan Brown
19:16 23 Oct 23
They get right to work on your file & are very pleasant. Helped me not to stress. Very nice group. I worked with Ann Marie Ellis super nice to work with. Everyone in the office are great. Very knowledgeable & compassionate.
Mary BarbozaMary Barboza
02:22 14 Sep 23
Karyn Lukas is a terrific bankruptcy lawyer! She is very knowledgeable and passionate. She helped us with all our needs and was quick to respond. Such a wonderful person when I met her face to face. Very organized and attention to detail lawyer. She always double checks her work and never assumes anything. It was such a pleasure to have her as my bankruptcy lawyer. The Daigle law office team is amazing and I would highly recommend them!- Denise
JoeJoe
13:36 12 Sep 23
Daigle law firm is fantastic and very professional, courteous and polite. Very helpful throughout the process for my situation. I thank you all for everything. Briana, Jessica and especially Karyn Lukas. Karyn helped me through this ordeal and helped calm my many anxieties. I appreciate her. Also, I thank Peter Daigle for taking the time to call me himself and oversee everything. I will recommend Daigle always. Thank you again.
Jeff KellyJeff Kelly
02:47 20 May 15
Peter Daigle is a great guy. He is easy to talk with and he will fight hard for you. If you need an attorney in the Cape Cod area, you need to call Peter.
Jeanne WalshJeanne Walsh
02:02 03 Apr 15
Excellent experience, Peter Daigle and his office people were professional, sensitive and caring about their clients. Carla Roy is extraordinary.
suzanne rohanesuzanne rohane
22:20 26 Feb 15
Peter and Karen were both helpful, kind, and courteous to us during the whole process of our bankruptcy. I would strongly recommend Peter and Karen to anyone having any issues with bankruptcy.
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