Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today on “This needs to be said”, our friend, attorney Peter Daigle is here with us and we’re going to talk about probate. And I was telling Peter that this is a topic that I thought only celebrities were affected by, and it’s not welcome back, Peter, how are you?
Hey, Katherine! Nice to hear your voice and thank you as always for inviting me on your program!
I always look forward to speaking with you, because I know I’m going to learn something new. I’m spending time with you. So probably like I was sharing with you before we began today is something I thought that celebrities have like I’m a prince fan and his family just got his estate settled, like a couple of weeks ago and I’m thinking, wow, you know, if I pass away, I won’t have seven, 17.7 million for my family to, you know, spend five years trying to figure out who gets what, but for those of us who aren’t making 17.4 million or have that money left over, what, what do we have to be concerned about Because it’s not just for celebrities. Right! Okay!
No. Alright! Everybody well, everybody’s going to die, right. It’s just a, it’s not a, it’s not if it’s when. Right so you know? When somebody passes away in your family and let’s, let’s look at, let’s look at some of the unexpected ones. Okay. All of a sudden, you know, someone’s of health immediately got a car accident or they get cancer, they get something and they maybe they died before their time. So it didn’t have a chance to draft the will and, and do all kinds of estate planning. Okay. So let’s talk about that for a moment. So let’s say, you know, hypothetically, somebody in your family or somebody very close to you, passes away suddenly what happens to their car what happens to their debt what happens to money that they have in the bank, Okay. So if you’re very, if you’re close to that person, then you know, you even might want to be given a hand, settling all those affairs or you might, be able to benefit somehow and assets that they have.
Okay, so there’s, let’s assume from that, that, that the person that passed away did not have a will. Okay. Which happens a lot in some of the younger people, they just never get around to it. So if a young person dies, okay, what happens to their car or their house, the money in the bank, the jewelry and all that, so in all states, well they call them the laws of intestacy and test to see you die without a will. So you might have seen that before. So when you die without a will, what happens is that, who inherits your estate, go something like this. If you have children, your children would benefit by, what you, have left. If you have mother and father, that’s still alive, and no children, then your mother or father would benefit.
And if your mother and father are not alive and you have no children, then it would go to your brothers and sisters. Okay. So it goes sideways. Now, if you, if you have a spouse, every state is different, but generally they’re around you get around, the spouse gets about half of your state, if there’s no will. So the state gets half the spouse gets half. And then if the children, the children get the other half, no children, the parents get here now. Okay. So, but every law is different. Sometimes if a husband gets up to everything, if it’s less than a hundred thousand dollars or whatever, I’m not going to quote different states, but essentially speaking that the husband would then share, some or all of the money with the surviving blood relatives all right so if, if the person who died doesn’t really have a lot of assets, like let’s say they have just a car, you know, a few dollars in the bank, you know, a bicycle.
And so, you know the computer and things like that obviously the legacy of motor vehicles has a name, has a name on the car title, for someone that’s passed away. So how do you, how do you get that car out of their name, or if there’s a bank account that they have, how do you get that bank account changed So that it goes to the person who inherits, okay, now it’s in, in every state is different. but most have states have a minimum amount, for which, you can open up a, basically a simple or administrative probate, which is, which is a page or two that you would go over to your local family and probate court and you fill it in. And in Massachusetts, for example, it’s less than $25,000. So if all you have left is a car, a used car, a computer, some clothes, and some basic things, you know, whoever the person would be that would be either children.
The husband, the parents, the brothers and sisters, whoever would be the person to take Google over to the court, fill out a one page form, and the court will sign off on it. And that’ll allow you to go to the registry to get the car title changed. It will allow you to get money from the bank account. and then, you know, settle whatever bills that are owed, now, if, if the ma if the amount of the estate is more than that, let’s say they had a house unless they had a brand new, beautiful car with a value worth more than 25,000. Then there’d been a simple one, two page probate, administrative probate, is not going to be enough. Okay. So then you really have to hire an attorney, which is the best bet. Or you have to open up a probate or an estate, on the person who’s deceased and then has to go through the court could be decided, but it’s decided in the same way, if you’re going to get first, then parents and brothers and sisters, this is a husband.
They get half. Okay. So that’s sort of basically what you would do. So someone passes away to you. The first thing you’d do is size up the size of the asset and look at the rule in the state. Okay. So an attorney, and then that would determine whether or not, you need to, open up a full probate or whether or not you get a school over the court. And the Massachusetts, that fee is $90 go over the, you pay $90. You walk out with a form and then you can get the car and the money in your name. Okay. So how does that sound.
Would you say the whole process could take?
Well, when you go to the probate court, all you need is an original death certificate, and you can fill out the form. The clerk will help you fill out the form and you can walk out with the certificate, appointment and you go right over the drywall to the bank of America and withdrawing the money. Or you can go back to the registry, malleability vehicles and get the car swish. So you can do it. You can do it fairly quickly.
Well, what makes it, complicated then so the probate court and correct me if I’m wrong, but it is probate the area where you live when your loved one who passed away, didn’t leave a wheel.
Well, both wheels or without a well, but I just gave you one example, someone, someone who does not have a will. Okay. Let me just give you a few points of number. Each state has a minimum threshold that you open. It has to open up a full probate. If the, if the value of the probate in Massachusetts is over $25,000, you have to advertise. You have to get a point that you have to go through this whole legal process, dispose the assets, file a report. If there’s less than $25,000, you don’t have to do any of that. You just go over, bring the desk to give it, fill out a form and walk out with the appointment. And then you just go ahead and dispose of the assets. And that’s that, that is whether or not you have a will or not a will, as long as they follow that again, the 25,000 now, but probate is for people.
Basically the people that die, If you die with a will, then whoever your personal representative is, or executives that could just follows the rules of the will, to the supervision of the court. Okay. Okay. It is a, well, this is no. Well, I’ve told you, you know, who gets, what, if you, if they have an estate that’s worth more than $25,000 and there’s no, no, no. We’ll, you know, again, you should really hire an attorney to help you draft documents because it has to be advertised and you have to be appointed to the county involved somewhat of a process that you really should have the systems of an attorney for that. Okay.
I wonder why probate is being so like, out of people’s reaches, it is something that’s fairly common or not.
Well, again, everybody dies. So it’s a matter of time before, before it’s dealt with. Okay. so some people died, penniless, if nothing, I mean, they have, you know, they have always lived off if social security check and they rent and there’s really nothing left, you know So,
So this is this would be a tough conversation before your loved one passes away. I remember when my dad, was not doing well and I was talking with him and I just may have not been asking the right questions. Cause I didn’t get any answers, but I wanted to know, did he have life insurance And I don’t know if I came across as too eager for him to die, but I was trying to see, what do you have for us to work with if you do pass away Because I didn’t know about a wheel or life insurance policy or any savings. Like I didn’t handle my dad’s his fears. I didn’t come into his life until he was really sick and his family and not my, our family thought that he was not going to do well. And if he went to the hospital and stopped breathing, you put a, do not resuscitate order on himself. However paperwork needs to be filled out so that made me feel the urgency. Hey, why you still have your eyes open, what do you want done?
He didn’t give me any answers. So I’m asking you, what’s some questions that people can ask loved ones and unexpected deaths. I get, we may not be able to catch that, but for us, we know that someone was all going to die. So if, if we could all die in proper order in my head would be, you know, the older people go before the younger people, the younger person have the conversation with the older person to see what they have for the sake of a, when you pass away, I want your wishes to be honored. How would you, how?
Okay, so, it’s, it’s, it’s basically honestly, selfish of a person who’s going to pass away. Not that Clint did not to set forth their affairs cause you’re leaving the person, your family, a mess, okay. They’re already grieving you because they lost you. Now they’ve got, you know, clean up a mess of bills and properties and stuff. And so, you know, you, you really want to be you hopeful, hopeful that most people are responsible. So you could approach it with, listen, you know what This is going to be a problem for me, meaning that son or daughter or a wife, when you go, because I’m going to have to clean this up, you know, he’s been better that’s not the right word, but settle your affairs. And it would make it so much easier if we could put your wishes down on paper and have it done properly. I’d like, you know, say, I’d like to make an equivalent. He’s an attorney. He has son and a will, you know, and a lot of people just put it off. That’s what happens. But I think you have to just put it with the sense that you’re going to be leaving, that your, your survivors with, you know, something they have to deal with when they’re grieving your loss. And that’s kind of not too cool, you know Okay.
And you can praise them hot in however way, which you like to phrase it, you know
But I think that that is, I think that it’s just a tough conversation to have and finding the words that your loved one would understand in the category of, Hey, I want to put your wishes down on paper, make it known what you want to have happen. You know, if you outlive this piece of paper and maybe, maybe not waiting until this and have the conversation, have a conversation maybe at a family reunion or me and my mom used to have a once a year conversation. So I wouldn’t know where her life insurance policy will. Wasn’t she with, never-mind behind and the kids thought that that is so morbid, but I want you to be comfortable having this conversation. I don’t want something to happen and you don’t know what to do cause when my dad passed, I had never buried any wall. I don’t know what needs to happen.
And no one was really stepping up to do it, but they had, they would tell him everything I didn’t do. Right! So I just really want people to look at what are the opportunities to, to pass away and leave less stress, for those who have to figure it out and I know that we don’t want someone to control us or our affairs. I get that. But if we could find a way to do it in partnership, and I want to make sure that your wishes are on paper, that every, you know, that everyone, my siblings, they also know what you want. And it doesn’t mean people aren’t going to argue or think something should go differently, but let’s start somewhere so that we have some idea and talk about what probate is. You know, talk about that. This, this is what we do in the event, that there is no written wheel because what it sounds like you’re saying to me is like, if, if North Carolina is the same way as Massachusetts and the threshold is $25,000 or below, or of $25,000, you don’t have to have a wheel.
Then, you know, that’s something people need to know just in case someone has put it off and they haven’t done a wheel for whatever reason my dad was in military, discharged from the military. And if I didn’t know that about my dad, I wouldn’t have been able to get, you know, him buried and, veterans, cemetery. And because he didn’t tell me, so this is what I figured out. And fortunately I had a way to get him buried because otherwise I was left not knowing what was there to have for him so I just want other people to, to know theater. That’s, that’s what I, I really want them to know what their options are and what conversations they need to be having. So I’m wondering, is there anything else that we need to add before we wrap up the probate conversation for today.
I think he did a pretty good job. I think we covered it.
We always do a pretty good job. Don’t we, we have great team.
I think we covered it. Why didn’t tell people how to get in touch with you outside, tell people how to get in touch with you out of this.
So Daigle law office, D A I G L E law office.com or at 5 0 8- 7 7 1- 7 4 4 4. You can reach me either at the website or the phone, and I’m happy to schedule a phone call and we can follow up more on the discussion we had today or any of the legal matters that you have. I’d love to talk to you.
Fantastic, Peter, as always, I’ve enjoyed talking with you have a super day until our next time.
Katherine, you too. Bye bye now.