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Massachusetts Probate Questions & Answers
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 disability or... 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. You... 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 living she... 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 trust. I am... 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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Ex-husband died, we had 2 kids. His live in girlfriend put all of his assets in storage & claiming they were hers.

We all live in MA, we had twin daughters who are 17 & will be 18 in Feb. He had no children with his girlfriend who lived with him. He definitely had less than $25,000 worth of assets & no will. He had a camper/rv that I was told she transferred the title to herself after his death & she put most... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 13, 2019

You really need to hire an attorney to help you with this. Even if he had a will that left everything to the girlfriend, you at least can make a claim for the unpaid child support. If he did not have a will then most likely his children should get everything.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Is the executor required to notify beneficiaries of what is happening with the estate?

My father passed away 3/2018, and the executor of my dad's estate is my estranged sister. So far, instead of contacting her, I have called the law office for the case to get updates. But for several months now, it appears that my sister has instructed them to not even answer the phone when I call.... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 9, 2019

Hire a local probate attorney to look at the file for you and bring you up to date. The attorney can also file for you a request to receive notice of proceedings.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Massachusetts Probate- can you demand a hair follicle retest? Or contest the results?

Agreed to a hair follicle test because my ex wife who had questionable urine results would only do one if I did. I only smoke cannabis and have nothing to hide. Results came back negative for THC but positive for HEROIN!!! NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I USED HEROIN. Been smoking pot for 19years on a... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 19, 2019

You should have a prompt visit to your physician about your results and consider engaging counsel to represent you.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My parents reside in Tennessee and my father passed away a few months ago. My mom started to work with a lawyer...

I live in the Northeast and have struggled to ensure that she is handling financial matters without issue. We had tremendous difficulty understanding what my father had set up financially. Took a while to find the will also. She started working with a lawyer to update her will that had not been... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 18, 2019

Do you have agency under the power of attorney? - if so then you can act on her behalf id you have possession of same. Otherwise you will need a Tennessee attorney who specializes in conservatorships to have yourself appointed as such or at least to advise you on what your options are.

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
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
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.

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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
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
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.

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