ESTATE, PROBATE & TRUST ADMINISTRATION
Probate Administration is the process of petitioning the Probate Court to name a Personal Representative (formerly called an Executor) and to authenticate the Last Will and Testament of the deceased person. If the deceased had no Will, the Court will still appoint a Personal Representative to distribute the estate according to the laws of the Commonwealth. We can guide your beneficiaries through the process of probate. We have a dedicated paralegal, Julie Weeks, who assists with preparing, processing, and filing all the necessary paperwork through the Probate Court as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Estate Administration is required when a person dies owning property in his or her name whether or not the decedent died with a Will. Estate Administration includes filing an estate tax return, if needed, and assisting the Personal Representative with obtaining access to the assets of the estate including life insurance and retirement assets in addition to bank accounts, brokerage, accounts, and real estate. See also Probate Administration, Trust Administration, and Estate Tax Returns.
Trust Administration includes properly funding and managing a Trust during your lifetime and the administration of the Trust after your death or the death of a loved one. Often Trust Administration includes tax advice and the preparation of tax returns along with advice concerning when and how to distribute the assets held by the Trust. In some situations, our attorneys are able to serve as a trustee or successor trustee for our clients.
Fiduciary Tax Returns
A Fiduciary Tax Return is required under federal law and Massachusetts law whenever a Trust or Estate generates sufficient income. These are know as Form 1041 and Form 2. We work closely with a local accounting firm to prepare Fiduciary Tax Returns when requested as part of an ongoing Estate Administration or Trust Administration.
Estate Tax Returns
An Estate Tax Return (M-706) is required in Massachusetts for every person who dies with an estate in excess of one million dollars. Assets in an estate include the decedent’s interest in real estate and bank accounts plus the pay out value of all life insurance. We can prepare and file an estate tax return in order to obtain a release of lien for real estate and an estate tax closing letter to confirm the proper discharge of any tax reporting or tax liability.
As part of Estate or Trust Administration, we can assist you with selling any real estate and property reporting the sale on an estate or income tax return. If real estate will not be sold, we can assist you in clearing title to the real estate and making sure all estate tax liens are released and the property is properly titled in the name of the new owner or owners.