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Massachusetts Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Is this possible and how can I fix this or what do I do?

My father passed away unexpectedly a couple months ago. June 12th to be exact and a month later after his funeral, I filed intestate probate as he had no will. He had debt and expenses, but his parents took care of it. After legally doing all the paperwork for probate it was done within 3 weeks... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 7, 2021

If you are appointed Personal Representative of his estate you can and should obtain information from the Registry of Motor Vehicles about the title and transfer information. If assets or monies were stolen from the estate then you may be advised to pursue the parents depending upon whether the sum... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My dad left an irrev. trust&my sister & I are co-trustees. Everything's split 50/50.Is it legal for her to take things

My father passed away and left an irrevocable trust. My sister and I are co-executors and everything is divided 50/50. She has gone behind my back and taken things (of significant value). Is that legal and if not what can I do to stop her? My sister and I have been estranged for many years so there... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 10, 2021

Your probate attorney can help you file a petition to require your sister to account for all assets or to have her removed as executor if she is engaging in malfeasance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an alternate designation written on a will (not a beneficiary) supersede the Heirs-at-law?

A second cousin is named as an alternate in a will. The first cousins are the heirs-at-law. The second cousin is contesting the will.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 28, 2021

If the devisees under the Will are all alive, then it would seem that an alternate designated or conditional beneficiary-devisee would not take under the Will. If the Will is disallowed the heirs under intestacy would take.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: If divorced parents were approved to withhold child support, can a support order be modified saying they did not pay?

If there is a uniform support order, and divorce was mediated and both parents waived having one pay child support, with notations by the Judge in the order, can another person modify the order stating that the parent didn't ever pay child support? The parent who supported is deceased.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 2, 2021

This is a very confusing question , particularly if a Modification is being sought against an estate? If there is not an order of child support, is there an order relative to life insurance?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: In writing a will that would include property in two states, NH and Mass, would I need an attorney licensed to practice
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 25, 2021

The will only need to comply with the laws of the state in which you reside when the will is made. HOWEVER, do understand that if you create a will-based estate plan, then your estate will have to undergo the probate process in two states (every state in which you own real property). You can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I own my home and have two children. My boyfriend is living with me, legally does he have any rights to my property?
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 20, 2021

It sounds like he is not on the title and did not pay toward its acquisition. Sharing living expenses should not result in an equitable interest. However, if he makes renovations or additions or pays for major pricey repairs, this could be problematic .

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I am setting up a irrevocable living trust with 2 properties do I just complete and sign in front of a notary?

I was wondering if the properties in Mass have to be reregistered at some point or is there anything about the trust setup thats common I have never done this before. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on May 18, 2021

If the plan is for the irrevocable trust to own the properties, and the properties are real property, you need to convey the properties by deed from whoever owns them to the trust.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I signed over my home to my grandson . Can I reverse this decision? Is there a time limit to do this
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 29, 2021

You have not supplied any details as to what the circumstances were and it is possible that you were victimized and coerced into doing so or not competent at the time and may be able to pursue an equity action. Pursuing action sooner is better than later and you don't want to run into any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Realty Trust and/or Family Trust?

My wife and I have 1 single home jointly owned, and a 2-unit rental in my name only (had it since before marriage). We agreed, since we have no kids, after we’re gone, our inheritance goes to my nephews and niece. Wills have been drawn up, if I go first she gets all, the same if she goes first... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 19, 2021

This is a very common concern and there are definitely ways to solve this problem, but this is not a do-it-yourself project. You should hire an estate planning attorney to help you with this. The attorney will explain to you the pros and cons of the various solutions.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a ‘use and occupancy right’ in a will entitle the beneficiary to also maintain all items in the residence?

Or would the items be a part of the remaining trust property and be distributed to the beneficiaries of the trust? Items in question are furnishings, paintings, clothing, family photos and jewelry. There is no memorandum in the will with these items.

Frederick Lewis Stoker III
Frederick Lewis Stoker III answered on Feb 12, 2021

Your question is confusing, the "'use and occupancy right' in the will" and a reference to "trust property" implies that there may have been a testamentary trust established. The items within the residence that are not "fixtures" are governed by the will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: I live in MA , my husband died last year, left no will, house in his name only and we have 2 adult children that’s all.

How do I proceed to put house in my name so I may legally sell?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 1, 2021

If all of the children are of your marriage to him or are yours and his, then you take all of the estate. However, you will need to commence an estate in the Norfolk Probate Court if that is the residence county and seek appointment as Personal Representative and notify MassHealth Estate Recovery... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Property was owned as follows, Mother’s Estate 50%, two daughters 25% each. One daughter paid expenses of home from

Date Mother passed until sale as other daughter refused to sign sale papers if expenses were reimbursed. Expenses were placed in escrow until agreement made. A small claim suit was filed to force release of escrow, but a counter suit was filed for financial and emotional distress. What type of... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 31, 2021

A Massachusetts attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. I'm sorry for the loss of your mother. As a GENERAL matter, there is a tort law cause of action called intentional infliction of emotional distress - but this sounds like it might be something more along the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My mothers name on the deed to my grandfather's house but his will says its left to me

Would the house still fall under part of his estate

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 20, 2021

While it appears that If the title to the real estate was not in grandfather's name then he already transferred it to your mother and thus does not appear to be in grandfather's estate, but were there other facts??? This question is Not susceptible to a black and white answer without... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My spouse's dad passed away in May and the estate is being questioned by my wife and her 3 siblings.

My spouse refuses to tell me anything and has also told her lawyer to tell her siblings tell me nothing about what is going on. My question what rights do I have to be included in the outcome of the estate distribution among my wife and her siblings ?

Anthony C. Adamopoulos
Anthony C. Adamopoulos answered on Dec 29, 2020

Your question: "My question what rights do I have to be included in the outcome of the estate distribution among my wife and her siblings ?"

Based only on what you write, none.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: "Will" probated in 2017 norfolk county MA. Wife terminated their estate lawyer to stealing/hiding funds. What to do?

Eldest child 30 yr long criminal h/o not involved in family started coming around. Slowly manipulated mother english only spoken reading minimal. Began causing conflict against the youngest. Identity theft other crime reason father clear to keep eldest away knew she would steal money if gained... Read more »

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 15, 2020

If you do not have a statute of limitations problem since this case goes back to 2017, you must immediately retain an estate litigation attorney. A general legal Q&A forum like this one cannot give you the help you need.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I know if my recently deceased father left me moneys or property's? Neither his wife or daughter wont discuss it
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 20, 2020

Assuming the decedent was a Massachusetts resident for this response- this would seem to be an easy question, but oddly it is not. As the child of the deceased you would need to be notified whether there is a Probate Petition filed regardless of whether there is no Will or If there is a Will and... Read more »

Q: What is CDC eviction meant for MA state ? Can someone explain to me ?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 5, 2020

The CDC moratorium forbids landlords from attempting to evict tenants for non-payment of rent if the tenants meet certain financial hardship guidelines:

- Make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if they file a joint tax return)

- Be unable to make full rent “due to substantial loss of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I protect my family assets from my potentially expensive medical costs?

I am a 53 year old male who has acquired over $1 million dollars so far in net assets. $700k retirement and $400k home equity. I am still working and will for another 10 years and currently max out my retirement.

I have life insurance while working but I developed a serious cardiac... Read more »

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Sep 3, 2020

There are several options that can help protect your family. You not only want to think about your medical expenses but also estate taxes because your assets appear to be over the $1 million estate tax exemption. This situation is one that you would be better discussing with an estate planning... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a durable POA need to be registered with the county in MA? My FIL was just diagnosed with mid-stage dementia.

My husband is Durable POA, we need to get my FIL into more suitable housing (without stairs) and found a place, and plan to use a HELOC on his current residence (free and clear) to finance about 25% of the purchase. Then once he’s transitioned we will sell the current residence which will... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 19, 2020

Your question was very confusing but you seem to be asking how to determine if the power of attorney instrument was recorded in the Registry of Deeds? If so, there is a public records check system on line through the Secretary of State's Office. If the document was not recorded it can be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Our father didn’t have a Will - we were putting the house up for sale and now found out he owes over 100000 in medical

Bills to the state for long term facility care which he was never in one how do we go around this? It’s been impossible to get a straight answer from any attorney so far -

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 18, 2020

Regardless of whether there was a Will or not the Division of Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Unit has an automatic lien at the elderly recipient of MassHealth/Medicaid services death on the decedents assets. The Estate Recovery Unit can open an estate to recover the lien for said services ,... Read more »

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