Safe Harbor Law


Estate & Trust Administration

Our attorneys assist surviving family members or close friends of the decedent with the time-consuming, often overwhelming and sometimes expensive process of administering their loved ones’ estates, attempting both to reduce their stress and allow them to focus on their grief and loss at this difficult time of life.

Estate administration, or “probate” as it is often called, is the probate court process involved in allowing the decedent’s will (if there is one), appointing a personal representative (executor) to administer the estate, collecting the decedent’s assets (those in his or her name), paying the decedent’s debts and specific bequests, and ultimately distributing the balance of the estate to the decedent’s residuary beneficiary or beneficiaries named in his or her will, or to his or her heirs, if he or she died without a will (intestacy).

This court process typically takes a year or more to complete and commonly requires our attorneys to provide clients with advice and guidance on the duties and responsibilities of the appointed personal representative, the steps to follow with the probate court, the preparation of the initial forms involved in the administration of the estate, the analysis and payment of any wealth transfer taxes, and the transfer of assets out of the decedent’s name and into the names of his or her beneficiaries or heirs. Also, we assist executors and personal representatives appointed in other states with ancillary estate administration of property and assets located in Massachusetts.

Once the required time frame has elapsed for creditors to make claims against the estate, the debts have been paid and the assets have been distributed, our attorneys assist clients with the closing of the estate, including filing the personal representative’s accounting of the assets and petitioning the probate court to allow the account and close the estate in formal probate administrations (as necessary).

Some of the forms we commonly prepare in a typical estate administration process are as follows:

  • Petition for Formal Administration (probate of a will, adjudication of intestacy, appointment of personal representative, determination of heirs)
  • Petition for Informal Probate of Will
  • Voluntary Administration Statement
  • List of Devisees
  • Surviving Spouse, Children & Heirs at Law
  • Assent (allowance of will and appointment of personal representative and/or allowance of account)
  • Renunciation (rejects appointment as a named personal representative)
  • Bond
  • Military Affidavit
  • Inventory of Assets
  • Account (personal representative)
  • Petition & Order for Complete Settlement

“John was truly a life-saver. My father’s estate was complicated by the previous attorney who handled things. John took a complicated situation and made it right. He worked tirelessly to ensure that things were in order at the probate court so that the sale of my father’s home could take place. Being out-of- state and handling the estate was not an easy task. John made it much easier and I could count on him to have the estate’s best interests in mind. I would recommend him to anyone who is having to go through the probate process of dealing with the settling of an estate.”



Losing a loved-one or family member is difficult but facing the probate administration of the decedent’s estate or trust administration can be overwhelming without the guidance of a knowledgeable legal professional. Attorney John D. Shea and his team can help you navigate the “rough seas” of estate and trust administration.

Our attorneys can answer any preliminary inquiries and set up a meeting to uncover what your needs are.

CALL US TODAY 774-316-4724