Skip to main content

MA Estate Planning Law (Wills/Probate) Questions and Answers

Welcome to our Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Forum. Feel free to post questions, answers, or comments about wills, trusts, guardians, probate, and other MA estate planning issues.  If you need professional legal advice, please use our Attorney Directory to find a MA estate planning attorney.

Have a question? Use our SEARCH feature, below, to find your answer.  For example, if you have a question about using a Medicaid planning trust in estate planning, simply enter one or two key words, such as: Medicaid trust

Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Basics

Before we get to the forum, we’d like to present some basic information about estate planning in Massachusetts. Although estate planning is a broad subject that involves many areas of the law, including taxation, insurance, and property law, we can think of it as an attempt to control the way we transfer our property to those who survive us, typically our family members and friends. As you scroll through our forum, you will discover that estate planning is accomplished with many tools, including trusts and wills. If, in this synopsis or in the forum, you see terms you do not understand or that you would like more information about, just use our search tool to find more in-depth discussions.

We should probably start by defining what an estate is: everything you own or in which you have an ownership interest. Your estate plan, therefore, is the means by which you will transfer the ownership of your estate at your death. Your will is a part of this plan, a written set of instructions in which you (the testator) explain to the probate court how you want your probate assets to be distributed. Given that definition, it is important to understand that you may have assets in your estate that are non-probate assets, meaning their disposition will not be controlled by your will.

The simplest definition of a probate asset is anything held solely in an individual’s name at the time of his death, such as a bank account with only the decedent’s name on it. After the death occurs, this bank account does not have an apparent owner. In other words, we cannot look at the passbook or statement and identify the new owner of the money. Accordingly, we must look to the decedent’s will (or to the laws of intestacy if he had no will) to help us make that determination.

Non-probate assets, on the other hand, have a new owner at the moment the decedent dies. An asset such as an insurance policy with an identified beneficiary, for example, will be payable directly to that beneficiary upon the death of the person who owned the policy. This is so even if the decedent’s will states that the insurance proceeds should go to a person other than the named beneficiary. Why? Because a decedent’s will does not control the distribution of non-probate assets. So, rather than passing through the probate process, the insurance policy proceeds are disbursed according to the contractual terms of the policy. Similarly, any property placed in a trust during the decedent’s lifetime will be distributed according to the terms of the trust.

Property might also fall outside of the probate process because of the way its ownership is structured. For example, a decedent may have owned an asset, such as a piece of real estate, with another person as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship.” When one owner dies, full ownership of the jointly owned real property will pass directly to the surviving joint owner, without regard to the provisions of the decedent’s will.

Now that we understand the role a will plays in distributing our estates—and how that role is limited—let’s look at some nuts and bolts. We are all familiar with the most basic part of a will: an identification of the person or persons we want to inherit our property. Some wills identify specific property, but others use generic language, such as “all my possessions and property.” Your will should also name an executor, the person you identify as being responsible for the management of your estate, as well as an alternate executor, in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to serve. As long as the document is properly executed, that’s pretty much all you need for a valid will in Massachusetts.

If you do not have a will, or if your will is invalid, you may die “intestate.” In cases when a person dies intestate, his probate assets are distributed according to statutory guidelines that are extremely rigid. After the payment of expenses related to estate administration, funeral and other debts, and taxes, the decedent’s property is distributed according to a formula that is lengthy and covers many contingencies.

Regardless of whether the decedent had a will or not, whenever a person’s estate contains probate assets, they will be subject to the probate process. This legal proceeding takes place in the Probate and Family Court in the county where he resided. The probate process provides for: the collection and preservation of the decedent’s probate assets; the payment of all debts and taxes owed by the estate; and the determination of the proper distribution of the assets. The process usually starts when someone, often the person named as the personal representative in the will (the “PR”), files a petition for the allowance of the will. If there is no will, an interested party, such a family member, may file a petition for the administration of the estate. After an initial determination that the will is valid or that there is no will, the court will appoint a PR for the decedent’s estate.

Generally speaking, if you can avoid probate through good estate planning, you should. One of the best tools for probate avoidance is the trust. Estate planning attorneys love trusts because, more than any other estate planning document, a well drafted trust can satisfy a whole host of client objectives, including asset protection and tax avoidance. Without going into too much detail we can describe a trust as a contract between the person who establishes the trust (the trustor) and the person who holds legal title to the assets in the trust (the trustee). The trustee agrees to follow the instructions that the trustor has included in the trust for the maintenance and eventual distribution of the property.

Hope all that helps.  Please enjoy this and our other forums and let us know what you think.

Login or Register to post a new question
TopicRepliesCreatedLast replysort icon
How long before we get our inheritance in MA probate?
My grandmother passed away last May and left me an inheritance. How long does the probate process usually take and when can I expect to receive the in...
1 2 years 1 week ago
by EJM1978
2 years 1 week ago
by Peter Bernardin
Sale of property by deed by executor in MA
Can an executor sell or transfer property from an estate without having all beneficiaries of the estate sign off on a deed? My aunt's will left her es...
4 2 years 3 weeks ago
by executor428
2 years 2 weeks ago
by Boston Probate ...
Probating A Will in MA After the Three Year Limitation- Is it Possible?
My dad died in 2006. He had made a proper will leaving the house to my younger brother, then to me if he should die. My brother never probated the wil...
1 2 years 16 weeks ago
by Merrill
2 years 3 weeks ago
by Boston Probate ...
minimum steps required to settle an estate - is Voluntary Administration required?
Hi, I am curious to know the bare minimum steps required in the process of settling a small estate. Specifically, I am wondering if we can skip ev...
1 2 years 4 weeks ago
by guywithaquestion
2 years 3 weeks ago
by Boston Probate ...
Which Whole Life Policy Value to Use in Estate Inventory
If ownership of a whole life insurance policy on a third party (decedent was owner and beneficiary) transferred to the insured, what value is included...
1 2 years 4 weeks ago
by Mayflower
2 years 3 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
Is Money Inherited via Joint Account a Taxable Gift?
If my mother made me joint owner of her account so that, upon her death, I inherit the balance outside of probate, would the funds be deemed a gift up...
1 2 years 6 weeks ago
by Mayflower
2 years 6 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
State of MA says estate property undervalued
My father's estate was settled a few years ago in MA. Now the state of Mass is telling us that the properties were undervalued and we now owe addition...
1 2 years 13 weeks ago
by Barryg2
2 years 8 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
To probate or not to probate...
My husband died suddenly 5 weeks ago. No will was ever made and he neglected to obtain life insurance. After all, who thinks they'll die healthy and ...
1 2 years 11 weeks ago
by LMK
2 years 8 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
Probate estate in MA when there is no will (father's estate)
My Father died almost 9 months ago without a will. His wife and him were separated at the time being and she is supporting my decision to become the R...
2 2 years 8 weeks ago
by Lilieblue
2 years 8 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
Voluntary Administration - How Detailed a Description of Property?
I am filing a Voluntary Administration Statement in order to transfer the title of my late father's car so I can sell it and distribute the proceeds t...
1 2 years 8 weeks ago
by masseddie
2 years 8 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
Investment account held as tenants by the entirety?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of titling an investment account as tenacy by the entirety rather than joint tenants with right of survivors...
1 2 years 11 weeks ago
by Rocker
2 years 10 weeks ago
by The Editor
InTerrorem clauses in Massachusetts Wills or trusts
My mother passed away leaving a will with an in torrorem clause, as well as a separate Realty Trust that has her children as beneficiaries ( two sons ...
2 2 years 12 weeks ago
by Whaler
2 years 12 weeks ago
by Whaler
Handicapped child disinherited through undue influence in MA?
When my beloved father a retired high ranking Navy officer died this past year I was under the understanding that his children would of course inherit...
1 2 years 13 weeks ago
by Scott
2 years 13 weeks ago
by The Editor
Harassment for executor probating Massachusetts will
I was named the Executor of my father's will. I just filed for Probate. Meanwhile, my siblings (all are beneficiaries, one was POA, one is Successor A...
2 2 years 17 weeks ago
by airie32
2 years 17 weeks ago
by airie32
Must this will be probated under Massachusetts law?
My father passed away recently. His will leaves everything to Mom, with no other beneficiaries, but he was officially poor at time of death (on MassHe...
3 2 years 20 weeks ago
by Graewynd
2 years 20 weeks ago
by admin
How can the beneficairies of a will remove the old and appoint an new executor?
My father past away over three years ago and the estate is still in probate with the Suffolk Probate and Family Court. The executor in charge has ...
4 2 years 21 weeks ago
by needestatehelp
2 years 21 weeks ago
by admin
Probate jurisdiction question
I hope I'm not duplicating my post; it didn't seem to show up the first time. My Dad passed away at my Massachusetts home after a 5 month battl...
4 4 years 17 weeks ago
by Margaux
2 years 21 weeks ago
by admin
Secret Child seeks inheritance from MA estate
My husband and I just buried his Dad. Immediately after burial, his Dad's 20 year mistress claims she was NOT his mistress, but his daughter and is as...
2 2 years 22 weeks ago
by Kitty
2 years 21 weeks ago
by Kitty
Lost will and possible inheritance dispute in Massachusetts
My 39 year-old girlfriend's father just died, but she cannot find the will he said he had made out to include her. Her mother, who claims to have been...
1 2 years 25 weeks ago
by Timaloha
2 years 24 weeks ago
by The Editor
Intestacy laws in Massachusetts
I know you talked about this in some other posts, but can you explain a little bit about exactly who gets what when a person dies without a will in MA...
3 3 years 48 weeks ago
by GeraldB
2 years 25 weeks ago
by Thomas Swain Smith
Can an adopted child still inherit from birth parent in MA?
Hello there. My mother and father divorced when I was 11 years old. Later, my mom remarried and my step-dad adopted me. My birth-father died recentl...
2 2 years 51 weeks ago
by GBN78
2 years 25 weeks ago
by Thomas Swain Smith
Revocable Trust-Estate Planning Document's Title Conflict
12/12/2012 *I hope my not using my real name will not prevent my question from being posted and answered. The title- home part of my trust documen...
6 2 years 28 weeks ago
by middle-aged
2 years 25 weeks ago
by Thomas Swain Smith
Difference between a will and a trust
Hello. I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but when I decided to do something about my estate plan I realized I don't really even know the differe...
2 3 years 15 weeks ago
by Devlin9
2 years 25 weeks ago
by Thomas Swain Smith
Probate estate taxes and costs in MA
I was curious to know what the % of estates go through probate (rather than just having a formal trust)? Also, what are typical percentages that are c...
2 2 years 25 weeks ago
by tfernandes49
2 years 25 weeks ago
by Thomas Swain Smith
Change terms of trust in MA?
Hello. My parents set up a trust a while ago and made me the trustee. The trust says that when my father dies (my mom is dead already) then the mone...
2 2 years 32 weeks ago
by SamanthaT
2 years 27 weeks ago
by Thomas Swain Smith
Joint Tenancy & Tax Implications upon Death
My father received property valued ~$250,000 from his father in 1999 via a quitclaim deed. His father received it via probate from his mother in 1974....
1 2 years 35 weeks ago
by srlittle6
2 years 35 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
MA Probate & Intestate Estate
My parents were divorced in 1979 but were Tenants By The Entirety in the marital home. The divorce agreement left no rights of the either party in the...
2 2 years 45 weeks ago
by bsprtsgrp
2 years 36 weeks ago
by cynthiaambuster
Removing/Adding Executor to a will
My Grandmother and Grandfather had my uncle and my mother as executors to their will. Recently my mother found out that when my grandmother died, my u...
1 2 years 36 weeks ago
by BBirmingham
2 years 36 weeks ago
by The Editor
Accountings - Trustee as current and sole income beneficiary
My aunt created a trust years ago. She died about 10 years ago and her husband is current trustee and current sole income beneficiary. The other con...
2 2 years 39 weeks ago
by Interested party
2 years 38 weeks ago
by The Editor
Compelling Exector to Submit Inventories and Disbursement Plan
Mother passed away on Sept 17 , 2011. 1. Will her will be probated under the new probate law or old? Is that the discretion of the Executor? ...
1 2 years 46 weeks ago
by Whaler
2 years 44 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
Pros and Cons of Estate vs. Heirs Selling Home
Hello. A divorced man died intestate this year (2012). His adult children, his only heirs, want to sell his home. It seems easier for the estate (per...
1 2 years 45 weeks ago
by Mayflower
2 years 45 weeks ago
by TheLawyerKnows
Volunteering Joint Account to be Probated?
If a surviving joint account owner, the son/daughter of the deceased, wishes to share the account funds with siblings (because she understands that to...
1 2 years 48 weeks ago
by Mayflower
2 years 46 weeks ago
by BostonLawMan
Who gets annuity after death in MA?
My dad has an annuity that he and my mom bought when they were married and she was still alive. I haven't seen the annuity because my dad is sort of ...
1 2 years 46 weeks ago
by RikG0
2 years 46 weeks ago
by The Editor
Retrieving MA Abandone Property when original will was never filed with Probate
My grandfather died in 1980 and we just discovered that an insurance policy with a closed bank was never paid out and was recovered by the state. His ...
1 2 years 49 weeks ago
by maprobate_qa
2 years 48 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
New Uniform Trust Code in Massachusetts
It's been a busy year for MA attorneys who specialize in estate planning and probate matters.  Various parts of the new MA Uniform Probate Code&n...
0 2 years 48 weeks ago
by The Editor
n/a
Sue trustee for bad investments under MA law?
My dad set up a trust for me before he passed away but I don't get the actual money until I'm 25. For now the trustee manages the money and I get inco...
2 4 years 37 weeks ago
by Anonymous
2 years 50 weeks ago
by admin
Beneficiary wants accounting of MA trust
Several years ago my mother died and left some property in a trust with my uncle as trustee. I'm not sure but I think the uncle's kids get some of th...
2 4 years 48 weeks ago
by Donaldson
2 years 50 weeks ago
by admin
Changing Trustee of Irrevocable Trust
My client wants to change her irrevocable trust because her daughter is the trustee and they no longer speak. Is this possible? How would I do so?
4 5 years 45 weeks ago
by cat8148
2 years 50 weeks ago
by admin
Pet trust in Massachusetts after animal dies
I understand that I'm now able to set up a trust that will look after my pet after I'm gone because Massachusetts recently changed the law for that. ...
2 4 years 6 weeks ago
by LouiseG
2 years 50 weeks ago
by admin
Adopted Beneficiariesor Remaindermen of Trusts and Estates in MA
Are adopted children treated the same as natural children in regards to being beneficiaries/remainderman of trusts? In other words do they have the sa...
1 2 years 50 weeks ago
by bruins2011
2 years 50 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
Blended families and estate planning
I have an ex wife and two kids from that prior marriage. I also have a new wife and a child with her. I want to treat all of the kids the same in my...
1 3 years 5 days ago
by Whipt
3 years 5 days ago
by The Editor
Organ donation by healthcare agent under MA law?
Last year I agreed to be my uncle's healthcare agent. I know he was interested in donating his body to a medical school but I'm pretty sure he never ...
1 3 years 2 weeks ago
by JimBob8
3 years 2 weeks ago
by The Editor
Massachusetts Prudent Investor rule for trustee
My dad who's dead now set up a trust for me with a pretty good amount of money. The trustee's a bank that my dad used to do business with. The bank ...
1 3 years 3 weeks ago
by FRT
3 years 3 weeks ago
by The Editor
Person lives and dies in MA but owns property in another state
My uncle was a fairly wealthy guy and I don't know if he had a will. He was a little eccentric. He died last week leaving two pieces of real estate ...
1 3 years 5 weeks ago
by TrentP
3 years 5 weeks ago
by The Editor
Attorney in Fact same as power or attorney?
My brother is the power of attorney for my elderly mother. She is demented and often confused about her finances and so forth. I have no reason not ...
1 3 years 7 weeks ago
by AABates
3 years 7 weeks ago
by The Editor
Executor Appointment Needed to Be Re-Certified?
My parents both passed away in 2009. I am the executor/sole beneficiary of the estate. I filed their last individual tax forms for the year 2009 in 20...
0 3 years 8 weeks ago
by hotwagw
n/a
What to list for estate inventory on small intestate estate?
My mother passed away in January and had no will. She had no real estate and few possessions (mostly clothes, books, and dishes). She owned a car and ...
1 3 years 9 weeks ago
by anon@yahoo.com
3 years 9 weeks ago
by The Editor
Delaying inheritance through trust
My estate (and my wife's) is by no means huge, but we were wondering about how we could use trusts to delay the whole inheritance process. The situat...
1 3 years 10 weeks ago
by HarryV
3 years 10 weeks ago
by The Editor
Filing of First Accounting under new UPC
I was appointed Executor of an estate in August 2011. I have currently been asked by my attorney to prepare info for the First Accounting. Under the...
0 3 years 12 weeks ago
by nssg
n/a
Closing estate in Massachusetts with new probate code
My brother has been appointed the Personal Representative of my father's estate under the new informal proceedings of the UPC. Under this new system ...
1 3 years 12 weeks ago
by GreenB
3 years 12 weeks ago
by The Editor
Husband or wife transferring car after death of spouse in Massachusetts
Hi. I looked through your forum pretty carefully but I can't find information on this. My father recently passed away and left the car that he and m...
1 3 years 13 weeks ago
by BillW
3 years 13 weeks ago
by The Editor
Powers of Executor or personal representative of estates in Massachusetts
I'm listed as the executor in both of my parents' wills (or is it now known as the personal representative?). My father recently passed away. He was...
1 3 years 16 weeks ago
by Rick M
3 years 16 weeks ago
by The Editor
Brother named executor, no estate technically to probate, but need paper stating he was named executor for a certain matter...
My father passed away in Dec. 2009. Three years before his passing, he had a will drawn through his attorney, naming my brother executor. He left the ...
0 3 years 17 weeks ago
by PapRLG
n/a
Probate after Spouse's death
My spouse and I own everything jointly (house, bank accounts, etc). We each have our own 401k retirement accounts with each other named as sole benef...
1 3 years 18 weeks ago
by Mudge
3 years 18 weeks ago
by The Editor
Leaving a child out of the will (disinheriting)
Does MA law allow me to leave one child out but leave property to the other? If so, is there some special procedure I should follow? Thanks in advan...
6 6 years 2 weeks ago
by Simpson
3 years 18 weeks ago
by patotas
Language to leave son or daughter out of will
In another answer you said MA law allows you to leave a son or daughter out of a will and said you need to use "specific language to identify the chil...
2 5 years 46 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 18 weeks ago
by admin
Penalty for contesting a will in Massachusetts?
I haven't gotten along very well with my father over the years but we always maintained our relationship. Now he is suffering from what I believe to ...
3 3 years 20 weeks ago
by Bird85
3 years 18 weeks ago
by admin
Disclaimer for Life insurance beneficiary
My father passed away recently and he did not have a will. He has two life insurance policies that were taken out when my brother, sister and myself w...
1 3 years 19 weeks ago
by mjmmccoy
3 years 19 weeks ago
by The Editor
Transfer of property to and by executor or personal representative of estate in MA
My father passed away in September. The probate is over and settled, no contests to the will. My mother is the beneficiery of my father's estate. Her ...
1 3 years 21 weeks ago
by JGraul
3 years 21 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
Supervised administration under new Massachusetts probate code
Thank you very much for all the information you've provided about the new Massachusetts probate code. My question is about terminology I think. My au...
1 3 years 22 weeks ago
by Bruinboy5
3 years 22 weeks ago
by The Editor
Delay in filing final account with probate court?
If an administrator has paid all the liabilities of an estate and distributed its assets, may the first and final accounting cover only the period unt...
0 3 years 23 weeks ago
by j.e.burke
n/a
No Will - New Probate law
Question. My mom passed last week. She less than 1M in the bank. Owes nothing to anybody as far as I know, but I know the court has to do a search to ...
1 3 years 24 weeks ago
by kevinjames
3 years 24 weeks ago
by The Editor
Tenant Liabilities Regarding Rental Income to Estate , Will Filing Deadlines
I've read the threads here regarding filing of inventories, and appreciate the advice about reasonable expectations. My mother has passed away in se...
3 3 years 24 weeks ago
by Whaler
3 years 24 weeks ago
by admin
Irrevocable Trust Question
My mother transferred her house to me by deed about 3 years ago. I think there was some confusion of her part as after reading up on it, this may onl...
1 3 years 24 weeks ago
by jcmccall
3 years 24 weeks ago
by The Editor
Do I inherit mortgage with house in Massachusetts?
My mother's home is worth around $400k, but I'm pretty sure that she has multiple mortgages on the thing and it may be underwater at this point. She ...
1 3 years 26 weeks ago
by BLarge
3 years 26 weeks ago
by The Editor
Interested person or party under new Massachusetts probate code
Hello. My uncle is seriously ill and will likely pass away in the next few months from cancer. He and I were very close but his son dislikes me a lo...
1 3 years 27 weeks ago
by DFC64
3 years 27 weeks ago
by The Editor
Spousal elective share and assests moved during a marriage unknown to the spouse.
My Grandmother's husband just passed, this was her second husband of 24 years and each have two children with deceased spouses. Almost immediatly aft...
1 3 years 28 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 28 weeks ago
by The Editor
Inventory of estate under new probate code
When the new Massachusetts probate code becomes effective in 2012 will the heirs and other interested parties still be able to request that the person...
1 3 years 28 weeks ago
by SethE
3 years 28 weeks ago
by The Editor
Challenge informal appointment of Personal Representative
Thanks for your post regarding the new MA probate code. One quick question. Let's say that for some reason a person does not hear about the informal...
1 3 years 29 weeks ago
by RMF8
3 years 29 weeks ago
by The Editor
Changing Trustee of Irrevocable Trust
Hello, I currently have an irrevocable trust in my name, and I am interested in changing the court appointed trustee for various reasons. What do...
1 3 years 30 weeks ago
by tjg2994
3 years 30 weeks ago
by admin
Life Estate and Capacity
My father was left a life estate by my grandparents on a farm that me and my two brothers are listed as remaindermen on. He no longer has capacity for...
1 3 years 31 weeks ago
by flangley
3 years 31 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
Bonds and sureties in Massachusetts probate process?
I'm named in my mother's will as the person she would like as her executor. She's ill and I'm getting nervous about the whole probate process and how...
1 3 years 31 weeks ago
by RickG55
3 years 31 weeks ago
by The Editor
Starting informal probate administration in MA
Thanks for the post regarding the new Probate Code in Massachusetts. Was wondering if you could provide a little more information? I understand that...
1 3 years 32 weeks ago
by William90
3 years 32 weeks ago
by The Editor
Changes to Massachusetts probate process under newly adopted probate code
There are a lot of busy probate and estate planning attorneys in Massachusetts nowadays, not just with their usual workload, but with their efforts to...
1 3 years 34 weeks ago
by The Editor
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
How long does executor have to file inventory for will in MA
I was appointed executor of my brother's estate four months ago and I'm still trying to get a handle on his mess of an estate. I believe he may own o...
3 3 years 42 weeks ago
by NathanV
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Voluntary administrator
My sister past away in 1992 without a will. My father applied and became the adminsitrator of her esttae. He died in 1999. He had a will and I was ...
2 6 years 10 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Who must administrator notify when probating a will?
Who am I required to notify and list on the probate form for the court?
2 5 years 48 weeks ago
by PendingExecutor
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Expedited probate in MA (Voluntary Administration)
My mother passed away recently with no will and very few assets. Her house is already in my name and she had a car worth about $3,000 and personal bel...
2 5 years 32 weeks ago
by bobtwill
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Change estate plan after divorce?
My uncle was just divorced from his wife of five years and he asked me if he needed to make any changes to make sure his ex spouse did not inherit any...
3 5 years 13 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
How long does probate take in Massachusetts?
Is there some rule of thumb about this? My mother passed away about 6 months ago and my sister is the administrator. I don't think she's doing anyth...
2 5 years 11 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Second marriage and estate planning
My husband and I are both in our second marriage. We don't have a lot of property, just a house that we own together and our "stuff" around the house...
2 5 years 2 days ago
by SwimT
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
When must will go to probate in MA?
My brother is the executor of my dad's will and he has the copy of the will. Based on some info I found on your site I told my brother he needs to de...
3 4 years 34 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Assent to Account
I received an Assent to Account (Substituted First and Final) and Receipt and Release for the Final Distribution. It looks like it is assenting to the...
3 4 years 27 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Changing or replacing executor for will in Massachusetts
I was named the executor of my brother's will but because of an illness and because she is a CPA I think my wife would do a better job. Does the law ...
4 4 years 39 weeks ago
by Brian58
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
house and spousal share in MA
I have a question about whether I can keep my house after my husband dies. I've read on the Internet that his will is not valid because he married me...
3 4 years 18 weeks ago
by Anonymous
3 years 33 weeks ago
by admin
Who gets children after death of parent in MA?
Hello. I have one sister and one living parent, our father. My sister is ill and has a history of drug use. I never asked her, but I'm fairly sure she...
1 3 years 35 weeks ago
by Karen64
3 years 35 weeks ago
by The Editor
Distribution of the Estate of a person that died in 2007 without a will
I am receiving conflicting information regarding who gets what when a person dies without a will in Massachusetts, and part of the confusion may be du...
1 3 years 36 weeks ago
by CB1963
3 years 36 weeks ago
by The Editor
Getting copy of last will from attorney for executor
Hello. I'm the executor of my brother's estate. It's a small estate and he lived in another state at the time he had his will drawn up. Then he mov...
1 3 years 36 weeks ago
by Jerome
3 years 36 weeks ago
by The Editor
Bank request complete copy of a trust agreemment to open account
I he ave formed a revocable trust - I am the trustee and we use my S/S for the ID. A bank will not allow me to open a checking account in the trust na...
1 5 years 24 weeks ago
by Selkirk1944
3 years 36 weeks ago
by msamuel
Undue influence
Our mother passed away in 2010. She had a serious stroke in 2003. Two and one half months later, one sister took my mother to a lawyer and had her HC...
1 3 years 37 weeks ago
by sswatcher
3 years 37 weeks ago
by The Editor
Estate planning for Alzheimer's patients in MA?
My wife and I are caring for her mother who has Alzheimer's disease in it's early stages. She is still very much in touch with reality and only has "p...
2 3 years 37 weeks ago
by Bears
3 years 37 weeks ago
by HeritageLaw
Dying With Will But No Assets
My mother died recently with no assets but has a will dated 1992. She was in a nursing home on MassHealth Medicaid, so they validated there were no as...
1 3 years 39 weeks ago
by anopendoor
3 years 39 weeks ago
by The Editor
Can executor of MA estate make distributions before probate closed?
After my uncle died (6 months ago) my other uncle became the executor of his estate. I was named in the will and am supposed to get $20,000. The pro...
1 3 years 40 weeks ago
by Heffer
3 years 40 weeks ago
by The Editor
Attorney won't give me copy of last will and trust
My mother is now close to 79 years old and has a fairly large estate. My sister claims my mother changed her will because she doesn't like the way I ...
1 3 years 41 weeks ago
by Chapper
3 years 41 weeks ago
by The Editor
My father passed in Feb. without a will and i wanted to know what i need to file
All i need to do is close his bank account and switch his car to my name. I live in NH and have been getting the run around i am low income myself so ...
0 3 years 42 weeks ago
by cjrsr5
n/a
Advanced Directives
Hello, I am conducting research on Advanced Directives. This post is to solicit opinions of what, those experienced in the area, consider to be "Evol...
5 6 years 39 weeks ago
by stawasz_r
3 years 42 weeks ago
by admin
Transfer of property between ex spouses after divorce
Hello. I'm not sure if this is an estate planning or divorce question, so I hope I'm in the right forum. In any case, my husband and I had an amicab...
1 3 years 44 weeks ago
by Milk7
3 years 43 weeks ago
by The Editor
Do I need to go to Probate?
My brother passed away on July 7th of this year. His only asset is a ~$30K retirement annuity he had with a local MA trade union. He did not have a ...
2 3 years 45 weeks ago
by Bill Harrison
3 years 44 weeks ago
by Bill Harrison
Amend my will when beneficiary name changes?
I live in Massachusetts and have had a last will in place for over ten years. I don't have a lot of property just a house that is paid for and couple...
2 3 years 45 weeks ago
by BBurton
3 years 45 weeks ago
by Peter Bernardin
Voluntary adminstration duties
My sister & I have been appointed voluntary administrators of my brothers estate. He had a small amount of money in the bank and a 10 year old auto. C...
1 3 years 46 weeks ago
by legalneed
3 years 46 weeks ago
by The Editor

For additional information about this area of Massachusetts law

try our Quick Information Library or search The Forum for MA Law (top, right corner of page).

Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin
Syndicate content