The Importance of Writing a Will

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More than half of Americans die without leaving a will. Without a will or any legal arrangement state laws will control how your assets and finances will be passed onto you loved ones. But more importantly, without a legal plan in place, custody of your minor children will be left in the hands of a probate judge, who knows nothing about your hopes and family values for raising your kids.

I’m attorney Andrew Garcia of Phillips Garcia, writing a will right now could be the smartest decision for ensuring the protection of your assets but more importantly your loved ones.


What does intestate mean?

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1. Of or relating to a person who has died without a valid will.
2. One who has died without a will.

Remember: It is important to write a Will or Trust properly, in order to protect your child’s future. Email Andrew at to set up your will or trust today.

Massachusetts Probate Court to Lose 20% of Judges: What’s that mean for me?

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Before the end of 2011, 20% of judges in the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court will be stepping down. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports.

So what does this mean for me?

With significantly less Probate and Family Court judges, the Probate process will slow down dramatically, leaving your assets in probate for an extended period of time and in the hands of the remaining overwhelmed judges.

How do I pass down my assets to my children without being affected by the Probate Court?

Set up a Trust! Setting up a trust is the safest way to make sure your assets get to your children without entering Probate.

Why a Trust and not a Will?

A Will “comes to life” when you die and passes your property on through the Probate Court System. A Trust, or “living trust,” “comes to life” when your your still alive and after your death while avoiding Probate Court.

Who can help me set up a trust?

We can! At Phillips Garcia Law we specialize in protecting families by helping them legally pass down their assets in the safest and most precise way possible. Contact us using the Contact Form, call us at 508-998-0800, or email us at As always, you can find out more information on protecting your family and creating Trusts at our website,

What is Probate?

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Massachusetts Family Legal Planning Attorney, Andrew J. Garcia

I am asked this question frequently. “Probate” is the court-supervised process of collecting and then distributing a deceased person’s assets (their personal property such as bank accounts and mutual funds, and their real estate).

It usually includes some of the following:

  • proving in court that the deceased person’s Will is valid (if they had a Will);
  • identifying and then preparing an inventory of the deceased person’s real and personal property;
  • paying the debts and taxes of the deceased; and,
  • distributing the property according to the terms of the Will, or if there is no will then according to state law.

Probate involves paperwork and usually court appearances by attorneys (although lawyers aren’t required). Court filing fees and attorney’s fees are paid from the property of the estate.

If the deceased person left a Will, an executor will have been named. The executor is the person named to identify and collect all of the assets of the deceased person and to see that the terms of the Will are carried out.

Probate generally involves two things: time and money.   Between court costs, filing fees, and attorney’s fees, probate can be expensive. It can also take months or even years to wind through the Probate Court.

Probate is also a public forum. This means that anyone can look at the files which contain information about the property of the estate and its value. They can also learn the identities of the heirs.

For all of these reasons, probate is a process that many people want to avoid. And, it can usually be avoided by using a living trust.

To learn more about the probate process or living trusts, contact Family Legal Planning Attorney, Andrew Garcia of Phillips & Garcia at or call him at (508) 998-0800.