What Happens if I Don’t Have a Last Will and Testament in Massachusetts?

Creating a Last Will and Testament is one of the most important things that you can do when developing an estate plan. Unfortunately, though, many people fail to make a Last Will andTestament before they die, either because they don’t think a Last Will and Testament is important or simply because they never find the time to make one. When a person dies without a Last Will and Testament, what happens to their estate and their assets? Here’s what you should know about dying without a Last Will and Testament in Massachusetts–to start the process of creating your Last Will and Testament today, call Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Attorney at Law, for your consultation.

What Happens When a Person Dies Without a Last Will and Testament in Massachusetts?

If a person dies without a Last Will and Testament, their estate will still be subject to the probate process, as well as the rules of intestate succession.

● Probate process. Probate refers to the process of transferring property and ownership of property through a legal court process after somebody has died. Last Will and Testament or no Last Will and Testament, the probate process is necessary after
person dies if the administrator of the estate needs to pay the decedent’s creditors, pay the decedent’s taxes, or/and change the title on real estate or personal property.

● Intestate succession. During the probate process, the decedent’s estate will be inventoried, which means that a list of all assets and possessions subject to distribution to beneficiaries will be made. Creditors will be paid. Then, any remaining assets will be distributed amongst beneficiaries. If a Last Will and Testament exists, distribution occurs per the terms of the Last Will and Testament; if no Last Will and Testament exists, though, then assets will be distributed per intestacy rules. Under the law, a surviving spouse will inherit everything if there are no surviving children or parents; if there are
surviving children, then the spouse will get the first $100,000 of the estate plus ½ of the remaining balance. And if there are surviving parents (but no children), then the spouse will receive the first $200,000 of the estate plus the remaining ⅔ of the balance–the parents will get the rest.

Avoid Probate and Intestate Succession By Creating an Estate Plan

By creating an estate plan, you can take action to mitigate the probate process and ensure that assets are distributed to your loved ones in the way that you see fit. For example, by placing assets in a trust, you will ensure that these assets do not have to pass through probate. Similarly, by creating a Last Will and Testament, you ensure that assets are not subject to
intestacy laws in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Start Creating Your Estate Plan Today

Creating an estate plan can seem like a daunting process, but with the help of an experienced Massachusetts estate planning lawyer, the process is straightforward. Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Attorney at Law, is available to answer any questions you have, help you to develop an estate plan that fits your best interests, create a Last Will and Testament, and more. To schedule a consultation with Attorney Patricia Bloom-McDonald, please call her directly or use the form on the website to send a message. We look forward to working with you.