Stoughton, MA asked in Probate for Massachusetts

Q: Both parents on deed, one passes away, when the surviving spouse dies, can it be sold without probate if there is a will

children in will would like to sell house without going to probate, they are all listed in the will

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Some kind of probate process is ALWAYS required to change title to assets titled in the name of a decedent UNLESS an exception applies. Apparently you are expecting an exception to apply when the first parent dies, perhaps because the property is titled in their names as joint tenants with right of survivorship, but I am just guessing because you did not say and I have not reviewed a copy of the deed.

Upon the second death, again, probate will be required to retitle the house in the name(s) of the heirs unless some kind of exception applies, such as your parents having previously transferred the house to a trust, but you did not mention a trust, so most likely probate will be necessary. Probate is how wills are administered.

There are ways to avoid probate. If your parents are interested in providing that kindness to you, they should consult with an estate planning attorney.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Woburn, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The estate will need to be probated and the will offered for allowance by the Probate court where the decedent was domiciled.

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