Selling without Probate in MA?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Selling without Probate in MA?

I’d like to sell my deceased mother’s home in MA. I am the executor of her will- no assets beyond the house, which is paid off, and taxes are current. 4 beneficiaries 3 siblings and I, equal shares, all in agreement. I’d like to sell the house without going through probate. No joint tenants, trusts, etc. House was in her name. Can I sell the house without going through probate?

Asked on December 6, 2017 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  In order to transfer Real Estate that is part of an estate then you need to Probate the Estate.  You have to transfer via Executor's Deed so you need to actually be appointed as executor.  Now, your state has strange laws on Real Property and in order to sell it as part of an estate, you may need to apply for a real estate license.  Did the Will grant you the power to sell?  Here is what I have found.  Good luck.
To the Executor:

If the decedent died testate (with a will), but the will does not grant the personal representative a power to sell real estate, only after petitioning the court for a separate license to sell real estate – whether under the formal or informal process.
If the decedent died testate, and the will does grant the personal representative a power to sell real estate, no separate petition to sell real estate is required – but only if the probate is initiated under the formal process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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