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What is probate?

After a person dies, probate is the legal process that is used to transfer title (ownership) of property from the decedent (the person who died) to his or her devisees (persons named in any will) or heirs (persons named by law).  

In most cases, the court appoints a person called a personal representative to collect, manage and transfer estate property to the devisees or heirs. If the decedent left a will, the court determines if the decedent’s will is valid.  

What law governs probate?

Effective March 31, 2012, the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”) primarily governs probate proceedings.  The MUPC can be found in G. L. c. 190B .

A detailed description of each probate process, including required forms, can be found in the MUPC Estate Administration Procedural Guide pdf format of MUPC Estate Administration Procedural Guide file size 3MB