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Massachusetts Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello, I have a question about releasing rights under homestead.

My mother and her sister are deeded owners of our home. In 2018 the deed was re-filed to include my mom and also release homestead rights for her sisters husband. The married co-owner has since deceased and we are making sure the release of homestead clause ensures he has no right or legal... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Apr 26, 2021

Your question is unclear and I suggest that you should state whether the last deed has more than one grantee listed and if so, does it state that the grantees are joint tenants with the right of survivorship and not tenants in common? Homestead waivers are separate documents. You should also have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I was accused of drug use with zero history of drug usage. In family and probate. Pat.g. Parents. Are temp gaurdians

My son and I were physically assaulted by my now ex. My sons father. He is being charged with 3 counts a&b and 2 counts suffocation/strangulation. He was bonded on $5000 bail, plus gps and zero contact with myself and our son. He was found to be a danger. After this transpired, my decade long... Read more »

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

If you are seeking custody of the child and opposing guardianship of paternal grandmother then you should engage counsel to represent you if you are able to do so. In contesting guardianship an indigent parent can have court appointed counsel via motion to the court requesting same. The is random... Read more »

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 Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Desperately looking for experienced pro Bono lawyer for probate case involving a narcissistic parent. Any recommendation

Please send any information you may have to help us. Thank you

Richard Gaudet
Richard Gaudet answered on Mar 26, 2021

The Massachusetts Legal Resource finder, at masslrf.org/en/home, is a great resource to guide you.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Support, Employment Discrimination and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: How to go forward with a judge that works with my husband for 20 years ruled against me and my husband told me he would
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Mar 1, 2021

Are you pro se? Did you tell your attorney this ? A Motion to Recuse is the usual method of proceeding when there is an association between either party and the Judge or an appearance of conflict even it is a good idea for the Judge to recuse.

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 Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed away. I know he had started writing a will leaving everything to me and my sister, his only kids.

I don't know if he ever finished or properly filed it. He was divorced. I think he may have made his brother (my uncle) the executor, or at least informally asked him to manage his finances if anything happened. As soon as my father died, my uncle and another one of my father's siblings... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 15, 2021

Hire a probate attorney right away to start a probate of your father’s estate and appoint you or your sister as executor or administrator of his estate. This will give you or your sister authority to demand the return of all stolen assets. Do not delay.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: NS Wills filed like death certificates,no probates,heirsThen sell massachsetts land to me.How do i get title insuranc
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 15, 2021

Contact a local title insurance company and tell them you would like to purchase a title insurance policy.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a parent be a guardian of a minor heir in informal probate if parents are divorced?

My minor nephews are listed as beneficiaries in my Dad's will. I filled informal probate, but it was rejected because they only have parental representation. Can their mother, my former sister-in-law, who is not mentioned in the will be their representative? If not, can we still proceed with... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 10, 2021

If there is not a Conservator appointed over a minor already , then this process of obtaining an appointment takes time also and you should consider filing a Formal. The issue of suitability of the parent to hold funds can be brought forward in the Formal Petition and the Court can appoint a... 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: In Ma- I inherit 12% of my parents house upon their passing. Is that value the year they die or the year house is sold?
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 19, 2021

At sale and distribution or an undivided percentage interest if unsold.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: In Ma- I inherit 12% of my parents house upon their passing. Is that value the year they die or the year house is sold?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 18, 2021

It's not a value; it's a percentage. You are a 12% owner. When the property is sold, you should expect to receive 12% of the net proceeds. However, other factors can change the final distribution, and you should seek the advice of counsel if you don't agree with the final distribution.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I have the stamped voluntary administration statement showing i am the administrator of my deceased father's estate.

The person he lived with won't open the door for us or the police and isn't returning calls. What is the next step to get this person to comply with court order?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 30, 2020

Was there a lease? Then the landlord could allow entry. If you continue to have problems you may need to seek appointment as a Personal Rep to proceed further against this problematic individual.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Does my deceased son’s girlfriend have to sell the home they and their 2 children lived in to give the equity to kids?

No will. House and mtg. in son’s name. Equity seen as 1 of his assets for kids. My son wanted that home for his girlfriend and kids. Keeping the home keeps them in a house.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Nov 23, 2020

The surviving children are the ones who have the priority of appointment as Personal Reps of the intestate estate, but if they are minors they will not be able to petition the Court. Girlfriend has no legal status but can be a Formal Petitioner for appointment. Someone will need to be appointed as... Read more »

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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed 2018. He bought a home for me back in 2007. The loan is in his name, but the deed is in both our name.

I have been paying the mortgage until about 5 years ago. I bought a new home and I’m renting the home my father bought. We recently finished probate and everything has been settled and distributed to us 4 siblings. With the money I’m receiving, I want to pay off the house my father bought... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 18, 2020

If you and your father were joint tenants with right of survivorship then the house now belongs to you, and the process for clearing your father's name from the deed is fairly simple. If you were NOT joint tenants with right of survivorship, then you should contact your probate attorney and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can parent/guardian permanently house 33 year old daughter with epilepsy/autism?

One Parent/co-Guardian versus state - ward age 33 history of seizures/autistic characteristics. Temporarily living with me per COVID; would like her living with me permanently. State wants me to forfeit my guardianship; says it's the only way. Can you clarify or suggest alternatives?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 1, 2020

This sounds like a DDS issue and not a guardianship issue per se.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I file a Small Estate Affidavit in Rhode Island if Iive in Massachusetts?

My brother recently died. He was a resident of Rhode Island. He had a vehicle and a small checking account. Total value of both @ $3000.00. No debt other than a small hospital bill. The issue is I live in Massachusetts. I have no relatives in Rhode Island. Can I still file a Small Estate... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 25, 2020

You really should be inquiring of a Rhode Island attorney for this information.

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