My son, age 53 passed away Tuesday last. He’s single and left no will. No real estate involved. Only left a car, 2006 Corrolla, a few guns and 1100 in a checking account. Does this require probate?

The state is Massachusetts. What are our options?

Asked on September 3, 2016 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

MA provides for a probate shortcut in 2 cases so that a formal probate process is not required. First, a simplified probate procedure is available if the deceased left no real estate and all personal property in their estate is worth $25,000 or less. Any "interested person" (e.g. a family member or friend) can offer to serve as voluntary personal representative (like an executor). The request is made in a sworn statement or affidavit. and then the PR can file the Will, if one exists, an inventory of assets and a list of the heirs with the probate court. They then claim the assets of the deceased person and disburse the estate. The second, is a process that is available if the value of estate, less liens/encumbrances, doesn't exceed the value of exempt property (i.e. property that a creditor is not allowed to take), the family allowance, costs of probate administration, funeral expenses and reasonable expenses of the last illness, if any. The court appoints a PR, who may then distribute assets of the estate and file a closing statement with the court. hereis a site that will provide the forme that you need:

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