Mrs. Costa passed away at the age of 95. She had five sons, a house in Taunton and $100,000 in the bank. Mrs. Costa had a will that left her estate to her boys in equal shares and named her oldest son, as the personal representative.
After Mrs. Costa’s death, the son brought his mother’s will to the bank. He told the bank manager that he was the named personal representative under the will. He then asked the bank manager to make out five checks to each of the five sons. The bank manager told him that he would need to go through the probate process in order to access the funds in his mother’s account.
The son called our office in a panic. The probate process? Why would I need to go through the probate process? My mother had a will! We told him that having a will does not prevent the probate process. A will simply outlines a decedent’s beneficiaries and names a personal representative to perform the tasks identified in the will. However, if the decedent has assets in her sole name, the named personal representative will need to go through probate in order to access the assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries identified in the will.
We told the son that we could assist him and his siblings with the probate process. We had the son come to our Raynham office to sign the court forms and filed probate for his mother’s estate. We handled each request from the court on the personal representative’s behalf and even published notice of his mother’s passing in the newspaper. After three months, the son was appointed personal representative and finally able to access his mother’s bank account. He distributed the funds to his siblings equally and eventually sold the home in Taunton. Robert called us after the sale to thank us for our help. “I was so devastated after losing my mother that the thought of having to go through probate was too overwhelming. Your firm made it so easy and took the burden off of me and my family. Thank you for everything.”