Probate

A Massachusetts estate planning attorney works to help elderly clients organize and plan for their future. Comprehensive estate planning can include the preparation of Wills and Trusts, the handling of all financial matters including long-term healthcare, and, the disposition of assets upon death. In this New England state, estate planning attorneys must be familiar with the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC).

The MUPC took more than twenty years to finally become law on January 1, 2009. At first, rules pertaining to guardianship became effective on July 1, 2009. The remainder of the Code was put into effect on January 2, 2012 and covers:

  • Intestacy or what happens to your property if you die without a will
  • Administration of estates including the role of the executor or guardian
  • Default rules when planning does not account for certain occurrences.

Intent of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code

The purpose of this newly created legislation was to create a simple and easy to follow set of rules that would facilitate the probate process. The focus is to assure that the decedent’s wishes are carried out in a clear and orderly manner.

Durable Power of Attorney

One of the important contingencies that should be included in your estate plan is what to do if you become incapacitated or unable to attend to the management of your affairs. Most plans will include a durable power of attorney where someone you name will have the authority to act on your behalf. A durable power of attorney allows your representative to act on your behalf when you are in a lucid state of mind or able physical condition and it also allows for representation when you re physically or mentally incapacitated.

Under the MUPC, Section 5-502, the common law rule that the agency ends upon the death of the principal, is modified to allow certain actions even after the principal has died. Acts occurring after the death of the principal, but before the agent becomes aware of the death are valid. It also avoids other individuals from going into court and having actions voided after the principal’s death for their own benefit.

Contact Us to arrange a free consultation with Attorney Adam J. Tobin to learn more about probate or to assess your personal probate situation.