O'CONNOR & RIVARD ATTORNEYS PC Kathleen E. O'Connor Brenda M. Rivard
“Advising You and Your Family Through All Life’s Transitions”
When Is Probate Necessary?

The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) became effective on March 31, 2012.  This is the law which governs the administration of a Probate estate in the Probate and Family Court.

A probate estate consists of those assets which were owned by the decedent at the time of his or her death, except those which pass after death:

1.  to a joint owner, such as in the case of a joint bank account or savings bond;

2.  to a joint owner of real estate owned as “ joint tenants with right of survivorship” or “husband and wife, tenants by the entirety”;

to a designee on a “payable on death” bank account;
to a beneficiary designated on an IRA, retirement, or other investment account or annuity;

4.  to a beneficiary designated on a life insurance policy; or,

5.  in most instances, to a spouse in the case of a motor vehicle.

If the total value of the probate estate is greater than $25,000, then we must probate the decedent's estate either formally or informally.  There are several factors that determine whether to proceed formally or informally.  We would decide that after an initial consultation with the individual seeking to be appointed as Personal Representative of the estate.



668 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602 Phone: (508) 756-9229 Fax: (508) 754-6407
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