Probate is the process by which property passes from someone who has died to that person’s beneficiaries or heirs. It’s a paperwork driven process involving the Court system. If you have been named the executor of an estate, there is certain material you will need in order to open and close the estate.
What information is needed to probate an estate in Massachusetts?
- Certified death certificate. These are generally provided by the funeral home. You will need about 5 of them. More can always be ordered from the town.
- The person’s original Will, if they had one.
- The names and addresses of the person’s heirs (generally, spouse, children, siblings or parents, depending on the situation) and the people named in the Will.
- Information about what the person owned – bank statements, car titles, real estate information, stock information. This sometimes takes a while to gather and can be done after the initial paperwork is filed with the Court.
- Money for the Court filing fees, and publication fees if required.
- The appropriate forms to file with the Court. These are available online and at the Court.
Generally people hire an attorney to help them with this process and determine which type of probate is appropriate for the estate, but having complete and accurate information goes a long way towards helping the process run smoothly and be finished in a timely manner.