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Massachusetts Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Heirs at law question. My cousin Susan recently passed away. She had no husband, no children, no siblings

And her Parents died before her. She has 6 first cousins. 2 cousins died before Susan (both had husbands and children) and 1 cousin died after Susan (had a husband and son). Who are the heirs?

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

Assuming she had no living great grandparent and no living aunts or uncles, or great aunts or uncles the living first cousins coming from the grandparents would take. See the Massachusetts degrees of kinship chart MPC 960

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Late filing question. My aunt passed away about 25 years ago, she owned real property in Massachusetts and stocks, she

Had a will, giving her son everything. Her son recently died and we discovered he never transfer the real property or went through probate. He did not have a will or any children or a spouse. Can we file these estates together? Due to what her son did with her assets, there is really no way to... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 12, 2020

These are still two separate estates and depending upon when he died he may be under the MUPC . You have not stated whether your aunt had other children or was married, either, nor whether aunt's Will was probated. You should have a Probate attorney handle this matter as there are many issues... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Possible stolen inheritance?

After my father died when I was 9, my dad gave my aunt custodian to the inheritance I'd receive. Now that I am 18, I've been trying to contact her receiving information about it and she wont budge or even contact me regarding it and blocked my number. The money was supposed to pay for my... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jun 11, 2020

It is not stated what Probate Court was involved in having your aunt appointed as your Guardian and Conservator, but annually there should have been Accounts filed by her showing sums of money received and payments out and what remains. There should have been an initial Inventory filed as well. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My mom passed on 1-8-20. She left a detailed will including myself, her only daughter, my 3 children and their 5 kids.

It's over 40 pages of legal writing I do not understand and haven't heard a word from either her husband my stepfather, or the trustee The woman who is co trustee, and drew up the will. It's a wealthy will. I need to know what my rights are and what were entitled to if anything. Can... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 4, 2020

It is not possible to tell you what your rights are under the will without reviewing the will. Take the will to a probate attorney in your area for review and advice. Most likely a probate (court) case will need to be commenced to administer the terms of the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My brother died and his wife died hours later in New Orleans. She had a daughter from a previous marriage who was never

adopted by my brother. No wills. I am my brother's only living relative. Do we both share the community property?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 4, 2020

So when your brother died assuming he was a Massachusetts resident , then depending upon the remaining facts as to the size of the estate and whether he had children or if not , if he had surviving parents the surviving spouse could be sharing with the child or his parents. From your comments you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I get a medical marijuana card on probation in barnstable Massachusetts? I'm on drug and alcohol testing also.
William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Apr 26, 2020

Hello,

I would suggest reaching out to your probation officer

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: What are my options

I have been living with my finance for almost 5 years. He passed away suddenly a month ago. No will. I know even through he wanted me to have his house I realize that I will not and I don't want it. I am moving in a month back to my property and his children are constantly harassing me.... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 24, 2020

They do not have a right to enter your unit. However, once a Personal Representative is appointed by the Probate Court the appointee would have the right to contact you about access to the unit. In the meantime document everything that is yours with photos and receipts you have and make plans to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Massachusetts on
Q: My brother died during the recent endemic.His ex wife did not want me speaking to him while he was hospitalized.

She called to say she is his sole heir.

How do I find out if this is legit?

He lived in CT.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 22, 2020

If your brother did not have a will, then her statement is not legitimate. If your brother had a will made after he divorced her, then it is theoretically possible (but in my experience not likely).

It sounds like you are the next of kin. You can hire a probate attorney to open a...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I have account with Exxonmobil; they are failing to provide me with my PIN. 2 years+ went by. What are my rights?

The money is a result of a divorce settlement (april 2017). My ex bought my half of our house and agreed to pay me from his retirement account with Exxonmobil .The QDRO was transferred to Voya that now has an account under my name and they are failing to provide me with a PIN. I had to move to... Read more »

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

So, this is actually a divorce QDRO issue and I believe that you can request paper statements to be sent to you once the account is set up for you ( which you seem to be saying has in fact occurred. You can deal with the Plan Administrator's office directly if you are having difficulty.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello Can a judge make a divorce judgment without hearing from the plaintiff who filed for in the first place?

I filed for divorce August 11, 2016. The Judgment was finally made on August 7 of 2019, which I didn’t even know existed until October 11 of 2019. It was a nasty and contentious divorce, my ex is legally blind but physically able at 6’2”, 220lbs,

I am an RN that is permanently... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 7, 2020

It sounds like there was a trial and eventual judgment and perhaps you were unrepresented in the Trial? It also appears that you may have waited beyond the appeal period and should meet with a practitioner who specializes in divorce appeal matters ASAP.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: 2 brothers are named as joint executors of a will but can't work together.the deceased lawyer filed probate without

either one's knowledge stating her client is deceased and so she filed the original will with probate. What happens next?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 3, 2020

Your question is a bit confusing- did the Petition name you 2 brothers as co- Petitioners /co-Personal Representatives or just a Petition seeking some neutral to be appointed? If a Formal Petition for Probate of Will has been filed and you and brother have not Assented to same then you can file an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: How do you probate a will
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 3, 2020

Each state has different laws governing the appropriate procedure. If it is Massachusetts where the decedent resided and you are the named Personal Representative in the Will , formerly called "Executor" and no one who is a devisee under the Will or an heir is incapacitated due to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Who picks up and drops off and where will visits take place if not specified in the court order
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 16, 2020

If this is a Massachusetts case, then the usual is for the parent having visitation to pick up and drop off the child and visitation is not in the home of the child and other parent. However, there can be a wide variety of limitations and exceptions depending upon the parties' circumstances.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: How does a 69Y/O validate the change in name at the court in PR

My client needs a new birth certificate from PR. She changed her name in 1987 due to domestic violence. to get a new certificate she 'needs to validate' her name change. How does she do that?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 9, 2020

Sounds like she needs a certified copy of the Name Change Judgment from the Court of issuance. There is probably a fee for same. Potentially there may need to be an English translation from a Court certified translator.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed a Voluntary Administration Statement in Massachusetts

I filed a Voluntary Administration Statement in Massachusetts to handle my deceased mother's assets. I received an Signed Attested copy of my paperwork in the mail, signed by the Register of Probate. Does that mean I'm now the administrator of the property?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 8, 2020

What you have is the record of having filed a Voluntary Statement , but you are not technically the administrator as you have not been appointed by the Court. However, you should be able , for example, to close out a bank account or financial account or transfer title to a motor vehicle .

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it possible to file a claim on an estate prior to the individual passing to force it into probate?

The individual is elderly. One of her step grandsons 'befriended' her and convinced her to sign over power of attorney and in doing so had her sign multiple documents and she had no idea what she was signing (although she has all her faculties). During an application process for assisted... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 3, 2020

It is not possible to probate an estate in advance of the individual passing, but there are other remedies for this situation. First, you can get a trusted person appointed as guardian and conservator. The order should also specifically revoke that power of attorney. Second, you can file a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My son was sexually assault at his school I filed police report but school isn’t doing nothing about

...

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 21, 2019

Has the DCF been involved? You should also consider contacting Mitchell Garabedian's Office in Boston for example as there are counsel who specialize in sexual abuse issues.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
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

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 21, 2019

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... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Aunt died with assets not transferred to living trust

How do I probate some stock certificates we came across in my aunt's name that she never transferred to her trust. Since the value is about $20k can I file a voluntary administration probate since that's all that is left to deal with? The rest of her assets were covered in the living... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 8, 2019

Yes, a Voluntary Statement should suffice. There is notice to the estate recovery unit and the form seeks asset information and whether there is a will, etc. You will also need a death certificate for filing and the filing fee.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: my sister and I are 50/50 heirs what happens if we both want the same asset listed in the will?

she is the executor and I requested to purchase my dads car which is part of the estate but she advised she was taking it - do I have any claim on it?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 5, 2019

The Personal Representative has an obligation to maximize the estate and not to self-deal, so she would need to demonstrate that whatever commission for her work as Personal Representative is worth the equivalent of half of the fair market value of the vehicle. If this is an expensive vehicle this... Read more »

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