Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In

Massachusetts Probate Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: I am named as executor and heir in my mothers notarized will. Must I probate to be official and get her medical records?

My mother has no real estate,car or valuables. Her bank accounts are joint, Her life insurance policies all have a beneficiary. I see 3 choices, formal, informal and voluntary. Which would I choose?

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 13, 2019

Why are you needing her medical records? Is there a wrongful death or workers compensation claim ? Had she had an injury claim that took place but was not the cause of her death? These situations call for a Personal Representative to be appointed by the Probate Court either Formal or Informal... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: does an older sibling have a higher right to appointment? Must we list all siblings when filing probate?

Our Mom listed one executor, the middle child as the executor in her signed and witnessed will. It was also stamped by a notary. When we are filing for probate for her estate, does the older sibling have a higher right to assignment? And must we add all 3 siblings or just the one our Mom wanted to... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 5, 2019

The executor named in the will has the highest priority, but ultimately the executor is chosen by the judge. There is no requirement that the siblings co-executors.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: Thank you for this service. I am one of 3 beneficiaries mentioned in an irrevocable trust. The others are "trustees".

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2019

Hello, Yes, I would need to review the instrument and are you indicating that you believe self-dealing is occurring with the co-trustee?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Probate and Trademark for Massachusetts on

Q: How do I find out about a will from my great grandfather??

He was an inventor and patented at least 2 machines that I no of. How can I did out about patents payments inherited residual or my rights???

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 21, 2019

If you are the Court appointed Personal Representative of his estate, then you have authority to

contact the Patent Office or you can engage counsel or a search service. Also, you will be able to

review his tax returns, and financial and all other records.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: Looking to hire and get questions answered about estate and inheritance law in PR.

My husbands father passed away in 2015. We we told he owned property and arent sure if he had other assets. He has two chilrden my husband being one and his sister. When he passed their aunt to control of everything and included them in nothing. We are looking to find out if everything was done... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 7, 2019

Hello, If your father in law was not a resident of Massachusetts, then it is not a Massachusetts matter unless there was property in Massachusetts in which case what is referred to as an Ancillary appointment would be needed, but this is would entail the same person being appointed in... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: I was the sole caregiver for both of my ailing parents for almost 10 years. After 2 yrs,I had to sell my home and move i

with them because they required around the clock care. My dad passed 3yrs ago, and my mom died may 2018. Throughout that time, my life came to a complete halt. My Sisters continued to work, travel and live their lives. Unfortunately, my mom passed away before she put together a living trust. Me and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 16, 2019

This is a landlord tenant matter at this juncture as well as a probate matter. I cannot tell from the facts presented whether there was a discussion of a potential claim or whether there was and a claim filed against the estate in a timely fashion due to the statute of limitations . You need... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: We live in Texas. My wife’s mother, residency in Massachusetts, passed away in Florida, over 4 years ago.

She had a checking and savings account. The savings acct was put on hold pending probate. My wife was a signer in checking acct. one and a half years after death my wife and her two brothers had a service and wrote a check out checking acct.

Recently the mothers pensioner said they have... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 15, 2019

If she was a Massachusetts resident and the sum of money in the estate in question was under $25,000 then a Voluntary Statement could be filed with the Probate Court for the area where she lived and this would hopefully enable you to deal with the bank and pension payment issue. However, sometimes... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: I live in MA, my father who presided in AZ passed away a few weeks ago

My father was married to a woman who he shared no children and my sister and I were a previous marriage. He left no will. How do My sister and I protect our inheritance rights? The wife was hesitant to give us a photo album from our childhood never mind our inheritance. Is there some sort of way to... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 12, 2019

This is an Arizona case if your father resided there and you should therefore contact a Probate attorney in that area.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: Do I have any legal recourse for the filing of a Last Will and Testament for my Dads estate? Please see my explanation?

Hello...My dad in Everett, Ma passed away in October 2014...and buried on the 14th of October. My brother who lived with my dad made no effort to contact any family members. I found out via email from a friend...My brother wouldn't take my call's & refused to speak to our uncle, my dad's only... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 28, 2019

If father died in 2014 then you would if there are assets over $25,000 involved, need to file a Late Petition to probate the Will and you should do so as soon as possible since you apparently have the original Will. Are you the first named "executor"? If so, you have priority. You should engage... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: do i have to do probate if my dad has no house and no land, i live in nh he lived int ma he has a bank account and a car

loan with a cosigner,he has nothing else with little in bank account.with that said how do i go about the car my understanding is i inherit his belonging and car and as far as i know im not responsible for the car loan the cosigner is but do i inherit the car

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 23, 2019

If the assets are nonreal estate and less than $25,000 you would need to file a Voluntary Statement and death certificate in order to have title to the car transferred to you ( are you the only heir? No siblings? )You have not stated whether he had a surviving spouse so I am assuming he did not)

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: I recently found an unclaimed insurance policy for 34,000. My father has been deceased since 1985.

My mother died 10 years ago leaving myself and 3 brothers as his only hiers. Do we have to reopen probate to get the proceeds. I know live in Florida. Do I find a lawyer here or in Massachusetts. He died in Massachusetts.

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 22, 2019

Your question is a bit confusing as you have not clearly stated whether your mother died and it was your father's policy and your mother was a beneficiary and then she later died without having processed the insurance or she was never a beneficiary . If she was never a beneficiary neither she... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: We are trying to open probate to settle my mom's estate if 2 siblings refuse to ok my sister what can be done.

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 21, 2019

Is there a Will designating your sister as the personal representative? If so, then she can file an Informal Petition with notice or a Formal Petition Or was she intestate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: My full story is below.

My Grandfather passed away on 12/23/18, and had a Merrill Lynch investment account with 3 beneficiary's. My mother, and her two siblings. My mother passed away two months before him,on 10/9/18. The remaining 2 beneficiary's have since split the account 2 ways, and cut my deceased mother, ( and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 21, 2019

It depends upon how the beneficiary desigination reads-does it list the 3 persons as joint tenants with the right of survivorship? Or as beneficiaries in common or does it list further contingent beneficiairies.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: My husband died in 2010. In MA, what forms do I use to start the probate process now? All for death after '12

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 26, 2019

The form set is for Formal Probate and the documentation to file is the same as for post March 31, 2012 deaths although the law on who is an heir or devisee is different.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: How would the estate be divided in this case? Spouse, Son from Deceased and Spouse, Son from Deceased and other, Spouse

Father passes away. Father is married and spouse is still alive. Father and current living spouse have one son. Father has another son from previous relationship (no marriage). Spouse has daughter from previous marriage. How is the estate divided? Does the current spouse receive 100% or do some or... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 27, 2018

Father is intestate, correct? If he died after the MUPC then spouse would receive first $100,000 and half of the remainder with the children having the other half.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: What happens when an informal petition has been denied in Massachusetts? Is a formal petition

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 22, 2018

There are amendments permitted under certain circumstances. lf amendment will not work you will need to start over again with a Formal Petition, however, and you will also need to pay a new filing fee. The Formal and Informal processes are similar, but not identical . There were reasons for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: My brother died in 1979 without a will and left $3000.00 dollars insurance money on unclaimed property . i

My question is there 3 siblings left and 2 are dead . Should the children of the dead brothers receive a share of the estate?

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 24, 2018

If your brother was unmarried and had no children and if your parents were both deceased at the time of his death, his siblings would be his intestate heirs. If any of his siblings died after he died then the individual sibling's estate would take his or her share. If any of the siblings died... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Social Security for Massachusetts on

Q: How to amend name on Puerto Rico birth certificate?

My husband, born in Puerto Rico but raised in Massachusetts, cannot renew his driver's license because his name on the birth certificate is different than the one he has been using. When he was born, his father gave him his maternal grandmother's last name but did not include his own last name.... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 28, 2018

It sounds like he needs to bring a Name Change Petition in the Probate Court having jurisdiction over where he lives and either hire counsel or follow the instructions on the form.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: father died and stepmother was put on house and camp that was purchased before marriage. no will , who gets property

I'm sure that stepmother has will and has put her kids on it so that when she dies they get the property. Are the biological able to claim any of the property. And if stepmother dies and would it still go to just her children in Beverly MA

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 27, 2018

Hello, if your stepmother was given title in some way to the real estate, then depending upon whether it was a complete transfer into her sole name or in joint names as a tenant by the entirety or as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship then stepmother owns the property. However, it the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on

Q: My grandmother has passed and my mother was her estate executor. My mother passed and I am her estate personal rep.

There are stocks in my grandmothers name. Can I transfer my grandmother's stocks as my mother's personal representative?

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 14, 2018

Hello, it appears that you will need to file a Formal Petition for Appointment of Successor Personal Representative on your grandmother's estate and be appointed Successor unless there was an alternate to your mother named in grandmother's Will, in which case he or she can file for Successorship... Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.