How to resolve estate from 2013

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to resolve estate from 2013

About 5 years ago, my wife’s father died in another state, CA. My wife is the only beneficiary of the Will; we have it and my wife is named executrix. No legal paperwork has ever been filed. No tax forms have been filed since his death. There is no real property involved. I believe that the estate is worth more than $300,000 and less than $1,000,000. What steps do we need to clean this up and what is it likely to cost us?

Asked on February 2, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You are going to need help here so I would contact the local bar assocation in the county in which your father in law resided at the time of his death and ask for a referral for a Probate Lawyer.  There are filing fees (about $450) and fees for final distribution (another fee around the same amount) as well as fees for the certificates for the Executrix (these are nominal).  There are attorney's fees (which are a percentage of the gross value of the estate so the exact amount is important) and fee for the executrix (which she may want to waive since it is taxable income to her but not if she inherits it).  There are many steps to closing so it is important to find an attorney to help you since you are far away.  Ask for a consultation over the phone or via skpe so you can get a feeling for the person helping you.  Good luck.

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