All articles below are published in the South Shore Senior News.

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  • A common misconception about wills and probate
    on May 30, 2024

    By Alexis Levitt Many people believe that having a valid will allows their estate to avoid probate. This is not the case. In fact, the probate process focuses on authenticating a decedent’s will (if there is one) and approving the named “personal representative” so that he or she can settle debts and distribute assets to

  • Don’t spread your loot among lots of banks – here’s why
    on March 29, 2024

    By Alexis Levitt Lately I’ve been seeing clients who have spread their accounts over many different banks. My sense is that people do this over time, chasing good interest rates, and not exactly meaning to have so many banks in the mix. Maxing out interest rates is, of course, an excellent goal and a fun

  • The $2-million question: Do I have to pay estate taxes?
    on February 1, 2024

    By Alexis Levitt If a loved one just died, there are many steps to attend to; one very important task is to determine if their estate exceeds $2 million, and if so, you need to proceed carefully.To figure out if an estate is over $2 million, you need to look at everything that the decedent

  • What happens when there is not enough money to pay all the creditors of a probate estate?
    on December 29, 2023

    By Alexis Levitt This is an uncomfortable but frequent scenario: Someone dies, and there are simply not enough assets in the estate to pay all the creditors, never mind distribute anything to the heirs. There are clear laws covering this situation.  Bills of insufficient estates are paid in this order: 1. Costs and expenses of

  • How Do We Pay Bills When Our Loved One’s Bank Accounts are Stuck in Probate?
    on November 28, 2023

    By Alexis Levitt, Esq. This is a very common scenario: Someone dies, no one can get into their bank accounts, and yet there are bills to be paid. That includes home utilities, real estate taxes, medical bills, the probate attorney’s retainer, and more.Usually, there is someone in the family who will front the money. Later