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How does intestate law work in Massachusetts?

When a person does not make a will, or when a person's will cannot be legally validated, intestate law is the name for the procedure that is put in place in order to transfer the remaining estate to the appropriate beneficiaries. This can be very difficult to do, because the wishes of the deceased person are not known.

Therefore, intestate law has an answer for any possibility that could present itself in reality. If you have a loved one who died without making a will in Massachusetts, it is important that you understand how the intestacy laws will function based on their particular circumstances.

Will I be an eligible heir to my loved one's estate?

Whether you will be an eligible heir will depend on the relationship you have to the deceased person and the other relatives that he or she has. An intestate succession is a list of heirs in order of priority that are eligible to inherit the estate. For example, if the deceased person has a surviving spouse and children, they will be first in line to inherit the estate. If the deceased person does not have a surviving spouse or children, their parents will be eligible, and if there are no surviving parents, any living siblings will be eligible.

Will the estate have to go through probate?

Probate is still a required procedure, even when a person does not have a will. Therefore, it may take some time before heirs are able to successfully inherit the estate.

If you have a loved one who died without a will, it is important to take action to establish the heirs to their estate in Massachusetts.

Source: The Balance, "Learn the Basics of Intestate Heir Law," accessed June 08, 2018

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