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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55301
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My husband died with no will, his entire estate (although he

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My husband died with no will, his entire estate (although he owned no real estate) totalled about 100,000.00. What procedures/forms do I need to follow/file?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Did he have any children with you or with anyone else. And, can you tell me what the $100,000 includes? Does that include any i) joint brokerage and bank accounts; or ii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. He had no children with me or anyone else

2. The 100,000.00 includes one joint bank account with myself, an etrade account (with no beneficiaries) and a bank of america account (with no beneficiaries)

3. He had a life insurance policy which listed myself, his brother, and father as beneficiaries (I did not include this as part of the 100,000.00)

Thank you for following up. Since there is no will, your husband is deemed to have died intestate and thus the Massachusetts intestate succession laws govern the distribution of his estate. Under the applicable Massachusetts Statute, Chapter 521, you would inherit the entire estate. In order to access his estate assets and get them transferred to yourself, since the amount if over $30,000, you will have to file a petition with the Massachusetts probate court to be appointed the personal representative of his estate. Once appointed, you will be issued documentation evidencing that appointment and it's that documentation that you will provide the banks and etrade to access the funds. With regard to the insurance policy, which passes directly to the named beneficiaries, you need simply ask the insurance company to provide you a claim form, complete it, and then send the completed form with a copy of the death certificate to the insurance company.

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