My father-in-law passed away without a Will. My husband’s brothers think they can divide his property among themselves without going through probate. Can they?

My father-in-law passed away without a WillAny asset that your father-in-law owned jointly with another person, such as a bank account that is “payable on death,” or that names a beneficiary, such as a life insurance policy or IRA, will be payable automatically to the person identified in the asset.  Any property he owned individually must go through the probate process.  This means that someone must request that the Probate Court appoint a person, who will be called the “Personal Representative,” to act in your father-in-law’s stead in order to close out his affairs.  Because he had no will, the state has determined how his property will be distributed, and it may not be the way that your brothers-in-law plan on dividing it.  Attorney Harvey is thoroughly versed in the probate process, which was completely revamped in April 2012 by the adoption of the MUPC.  She regularly works with Probate Court personnel to facilitate the process of getting a Personal Representative appointed.  She also works to resolve disputes among family members, some of whom may believe they are entitled to things that they are not.