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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 aunt is ill and I'm afraid she will pass away in the next few months. I think by cousin is going to try to be the Personal Representative of the estate and use an informal process. At least that's what a notice I got today says. I don't trust him and don't think he will do right by me and my sister, the other two living family members. So if I want him to be supervised should I object to the informal appointment and insist on a formal appointment proceeding for the personal representative?

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As you know, the new probate code is just now unfolding, and my answers on this subject are based solely on my reading of the new law.  If you truly believe your cousin is going to cause problems or fail to administer the estate properly, you may want to talk to a Massachusetts attorney who does probate work.

As an interested party to the proceedings, you certainly have a right under the new probate code to object to the informal administration of the estate and/or to the appointment of the Personal Representative.  But do not confuse two separate concepts.  A Supervised Administration can be requested by an interested party, like you, who is concerned about how the Personal Representative will function and/or whether the estate will be properly managed.  See Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 190B, Section 3-501. 

A formal proceeding is a process where the probate court is asked to make a decision about some aspect of the estate or its administration, such as: who should be the Personal Representative?  However, a formally appointed personal representative may or may not be supervised by the court.  See Massachusetts General Laws chapter 190B, Section 3-414.  In other words, you could request a formal appointment and object to your cousin or even offer arguments why you should be appointed instead, but if the probate court ultimately appoints your cousin as Personal Representative, you should request that he be supervised.  Hope that helps.

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