jannasaad

About Janna K. Saad, Esq.

Attorney Saad concentrates on family and probate matters and devotes herself to representing clients in divorce, custody, wills and trusts, Guardianships and Conservatorships, debt collection, and prenuptial agreements.

Probating an Estate in Massachusetts

In 2012, Massachusetts adopted the Uniform Probate Code.  This new code changed the way the Commonwealth probates estates.  The process has been changed to allow more leeway based on the complexity of the estate.  Estates with smaller proceeds may be able to probate through the “Informal” process by which the Court has minimal supervision.  Estates with more substantial assets may need to proceed through the “Formal” probate process.

The complexity of an Estate depends on many factors such as the value of the assets of personal property involved, whether there is real property to be distributed, the number of potential heirs, whether or not there is a valid will, and whether or not the distribution of the estate may be contested.  This list, however, is not an all-inclusive list of potential factors to consider.

The Informal Probate process allows minimal oversight by the Courts and is less costly to the Estate.  Estates with or without valid wills may file for informal probate.  In addition, it is advisable to have an agreed upon Personal Representative (formerly “Executor/trix”).  The Personal Representative is the person who will ensure the proceeds from the estate are distributed per the wishes of the decedent.  If there is no will or the decedent died “Intestate”, a Personal Representative needs to be appointed to ensure the distributions occur per the laws regarding distribution.  There are instances; however, where the informal process may not be used.  Such instances include but are not limited to: unknown heirs, minors as heirs, an original will cannot be produced, or there is not available death certificate.

The Formal Probate process becomes necessary when there are issues such as the ones listed above, as well as when there are contested issues […]

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

There are many reasons for hiring an attorney.  The law can be complex and confusing and it may be difficult to ascertain your rights amidst the barrage of advice from well meaning friends and family. The need for a lawyer can arise out of discrimination in the workplace, modification of a child support order, personal injuries, and assistance in securing unemployment benefits among other matters. In these and other situations there are distinct advantages to having an attorney who will fight for your rights.

Imagine a woman who has been mentally and possibly physically abused for years, shaking with fear while presenting her case to the Court.  On the other side, the husband is represented by an attorney who is able to verbalize the issues without emotion and present the facts in the light most favorable to the husband.  The wife, however, may be nervous and unable to verbalize her thoughts to properly convey her story and request the relief she is seeking.  The wife wants to explain how the husband has refused to get a job, managed to isolate her from her friends, filled the house with garbage, and convinced her that he would take her children away from her if she ever tried to leave.  While the situation may appear clear that information must be clearly conveyed to the judge who will make a decision based only on the information and evidence presented.  After losing some ground in an unsuccessful initial hearing, the woman was able to borrow money from a family member and secure her own counsel.

The attorney became the voice that this woman could not find. With the help of her newly hired counsel, the parties settled out of court and […]