Probate

  • A Will is not effective until processed through court

    --- Conz Street Chronicle February 2021

    I have had clients call me saying “I was just at the bank with my deceased mother’s Will. I am the named Personal Representative. But they won’t give me the money in my mother’s account. They said I need to go to court.”. Exactly. A Will is essentially a nominating document. It has to be “allowed” by a judge.

  • New Probate Guardianship

    The Massachusetts legislature enacted, as of July, a sweeping new law regarding guardianships in the probate court. The changes were made at least in part because of perceived abuses highlighted in a Boston Globe spotlight article a while back.

  • Protecting Assets from Catastrophic Care Costs

    While it is always a good practice to have a will, a will does not protect your assets from catastrophic health care costs. Medicare, federal health in- surance1 pays for some nursing home stays, but not long- term care.

  • Reverse Mortgages

    When you don’t have cash to buy a house (and who does?) you go to a bank and borrow the money. You sign a Promissory Note to pay the bank back periodically. They in turn file a mortgage at the Registry of Deeds to protect their loan. T

  • Second Marriages

    There is a complex framework and formula for how much a surviving spouse inherits where the decedent left no Will. In order to avoid such complexity and potentially unfair disposition, it is critical that a second marriage elder engage in estate planning.

  • Transferring the House

    Many clients ask me, "Why can't I transfer my real estate (house) to my children? Ijust read in the paper that my neighbor did it for a dollar." The short answer is "yes, you can transfer to your children for a dollar." However, such a step should not be taken lightly, given that the house is often the elder's most significant asset.