"The probate courts provide vital services to the people of our state in some of the most difficult times in their lives. I am committed to implementing reforms to strengthen the professionalism and improve the efficiency of the probate courts while ensuring that we maintain the high standards of service and accessibility that are the hallmarks of the system. I will endeavor to collaborate with all involved to craft practical solutions to the challenges facing our courts."
Judge Paul J. Knierim
"In their 300-year history, the probate courts have often been called "neighborhood courts" because of their informality and accessibility. Today, the courts are also known as "family courts" because, in addition to overseeing decedents' estates and trusts, they handle a wide range of sensitive issues affecting children, the elderly, the mentally retarded, and the mentally ill."
Judge James J. Lawler
Our Firm probate practice is generally limited to representing clients who are resolving the estates of loved ones. In particular, this can be a necessary part of a real estate transaction if the loved one was on title to the property that is being conveyed. In most instances the court simply needs to document the passing of the individual and make a finding as to whether any taxes are owed by the estate so that the transaction can close. However, the estate first needs an executor or an administrator in place to represent it in the transaction, and there can be surprises along the way. It is best to not wait until the end of the deal before starting the probate process and the possibility of an estate being involved should be mentioned to your Realtor and closing attorney at the outset.
We also assist clients with family matters that have to be handled by the Probate Courts, such as the determination of Paternity. While the majority of family law matters go through the family session of the Superior Court, the Probate Courts do handle several issues of family law, including paternity, name changes and guardianships.