Massachusetts Probate



Informal probate is an administrative proceeding and is processed by a Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) Magistrate instead of a judge. Hearings aren't required or allowed by the court. Informal probate can be a faster process if all the requirements are met. A magistrate can issue an informal order as early as 7 days after the decedent’s (the person who has died) death. Informal probate isn't available if:


The original will can't be found


There is no official death certificate


The location or identity of any heir or devisee (someone who receives real property) is unknown


The person who will be appointed personal representative doesn't have priority for appointment. Priority for appointment is a way of determining the ranking of people who may be appointed personal representative.


There is a spouse, heir, or devisee that is incapacitated or a minor and not represented by a conservator, or a guardian who isn't the petitioner (the person filing for probate)


Supervised administration is necessary. Supervised administration is a proceeding to secure complete administration of a decedent’s estate under the court's authority, which extends until an order is entered approving distribution of the estate and discharging the personal representative or other order ending the proceeding.


A judge must sign an order or final decree for any reason.


Formal probate matters are typically heard by a judge and may involve 1 or more hearings before the court. Formal probate may be required for several reasons, including:


To object to an informal probate


If the will is a copy or has handwritten words added (interlineations) or crossed out (deletions)


The terms of the will aren't clear


Supervised administration is necessary. Supervised administration is a proceeding to secure complete administration of a decedent’s estate under the court's authority, which extends until an order is entered approving distribution of the estate and discharging the personal representative or other order ending the proceeding.


A Special Personal Representative needs to be appointed by the court


Incapacitated persons or minor heirs or devisees need representation


The personal representative doesn't have priority for appointment. Priority for appointment is a way of determining the ranking of people who may be appointed personal representative.


A creditor or public administrator is the petitioner.


Informal probate isn't available (see the list in the section above)


A judge must sign an order or final decree for any reason


Late and limited formal probate 


You may need to petition for late and limited probate for several reasons, including if:


The decedent died on or after March 31, 2012, and


No original proceeding related to the estate has happened within 3 years of the death, and

 

A formal testacy or appointment proceeding is needed only to confirm title in the successors to estate assets.


The court may accept a petition to:


Admit the decedent’s will to formal probate and determine both the heirs and devisees



Determine that the decedent died without a will and determine the heirs


Appoint a personal representative to administer the estate, including a person designated as a public administrator, in a supervised or unsupervised administration


Appoint a special personal representative pending the appointment of the personal representative in the formal proceeding


A late and limited appointed personal representative can't seek a license to sell real estate of the decedent. The personal representative can only confirm title to estate assets in the successors and pay administration expenses.


Voluntary administration is a simplified procedure  or an estate with minimal assets and no real estate. It's available whether or not the decedent left a will. To be eligible for voluntary administration:


The decedent must have been a resident of Massachusetts


The decedent must have left an estate consisting entirely of personal property valued at $25,000 or less (excluding the value of a car) 30 days or more have passed since the decedent’s death


The petitioner must be an interested person, but doesn't need to be a resident of Massachusetts. For voluntary administration, a creditor isn't considered an interested person. If an interested person is a minor, the minor’s parents can't file on behalf of the minor without authority from the court to do so. In the case of a person who, at their death, was receiving services from the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) or the Division of Medical Assistance (DMA), the petitioner may be any person designated to act as a VPR of the estate of the person by DMH, DDS or DMA.


Another probate proceeding can't be pending


The authority of the voluntary personal representative is limited and doesn't lead to an official appointment by the court.


We have experienced Real Estate  Appraisers that may be able to assist you with your  Real Estate Appraisal needs.


 Call for a no obligation consultation. 


This is not intended to be legal advice,  an Attorney should ALWAYS be consulted to discuss your situation..

image1