In Massachusetts, there have been several recent changes to the probate law. These changes went into effect in early 2012 and makes a major impact on everyone who will be working with the will of a loved one or any aspect of elder law. Look at the top five Massachusetts probate law changes and find out how they may affect you now or in the future.
Introduction of New Probate Terms – For instance, the person who is in charge of overseeing the probate process for the estate is no longer called an executor but instead a personal representative.
New, Informal Probate Process – This new probate law allows an executor (personal representative) to be appointed in as few as seven days.
Intestacy Laws – When someone dies without a will, the old laws gave half the estate to the children and half to a surviving spouse. Now if the surviving spouse is the parent to the children, he or she gets 100% of the estate.
Exempt Property – There is a new concept of exempt property, which is not part of the claims of creditors. Certain family members are entitled to receive this property and a family allowance. A Massachusetts probate lawyer can help you figure out the eligibility requirements.
Time Limit Shortened – The time limit for probating a will is shortened from 50 years to 3 years. This is important as it can cause a will to more quickly move into Intestacy, even if there is an executor declared.