In Massachusetts, the following options are available to probate an estate whether or not the decedent left a will:


Informal Probate

Informal probate is an administrative proceeding and is processed by a MUPC Magistrate instead of a judge.  Hearings are not required or allowed by the court.   Informal probate can be an expedited process if all of the requirements of the law are met.  A Magistrate can issue an informal order as early as 7 days after the decedent’s death.

Informal probate is not available if:

  • The original will cannot be found
  • There is no official death certificate
  • The location or identity of any heir or devisee is unknown
  • The person to be appointed personal representative does not have priority for appointment
  • There is a spouse, heir or devisee that is incapacitated or a minor and not represented by a conservator, or a guardian who is not the petitioner
  • Supervised administration is necessary
  • A judge must sign an order or final decree for any reason

Informal Probate Forms

Download as PDF pdf format of Informal Checklist

Informal Probate Forms-Decedent Died With A Will (Testate)

Form/Document NameRequired or May Need
Petition for Informal Probate of Will/Appointment of PR (MPC 150) pdf format of Petition Informal Probate (MPC 150)
file size 1MBRequired
Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162) pdf format of Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
file size 1MBRequired
Devisees (MPC 163) pdf format of Devisees (MPC 163)
file size 1MBRequired
Original WillRequired
Certified Copy of Death CertificateRequired
Notice of Informal Probate & Return of Service (MPC 550) pdf format of Notice Informal Probate & Return of Service (MPC 550)
Required
Order of Informal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of PR (MPC 750) pdf format of Order for Informal Probate/Appt of PR (MPC 750)
Required
Bond (MPC 801) pdf format of Bond (MPC 801)
file size 1MBRequired
(only if seeking the appointment of a PR)
Military Affidavit (MPC 470) pdf format of Military Affidavit (MPC 470)
Required
(unless the petition is assented to by all interested persons)
Authenticated Copy of Will and AppointmentRequired
(For ancillary probate proceedings only)
Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455) pdf format of Assent Combo Form (MPC 455)
file size 1MB;   Instructions (MPC 941) pdf format of Instructions for Completing MPC 455 (MPC 941)
May Need
Affidavit - as to cause of death (MPC 475) pdf format of Cause of Death Affidavit (MPC 475)
, domicile (MPC 485) pdf format of Affidavit of Domicile (MPC 485)
or no conflict of a Conservator who is also an heir or deviseeMay Need
Proof of Guardianship/ConservatorshipMay Need

Informal Probate Forms-Decedent Died Without A Will (Intestate)

Form/Document NameRequired or May Need
Petition for Informal Probate of Will/Appointment of PR (MPC 150) pdf format of Petition Informal Probate (MPC 150)
file size 1MBRequired
Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162) pdf format of Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
file size 1MBRequired
Certified Copy of Death CertificateRequired
Notice of Informal Probate & Return of Service (MPC 550) pdf format of Notice Informal Probate & Return of Service (MPC 550)
Required
Order of Informal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of PR (MPC 750) pdf format of Order for Informal Probate/Appt of PR (MPC 750)
Required
Bond (MPC 801) pdf format of Bond (MPC 801)
file size 1MBRequired
Military Affidavit (MPC 470) pdf format of Military Affidavit (MPC 470)
Required
(unless the petition is assented to by all interested persons)
Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455) pdf format of Assent Combo Form (MPC 455)
file size 1MB ; Instructions (MPC 941) pdf format of Instructions for Completing MPC 455 (MPC 941)
May Need
Affidavit - as to cause of death (MPC 475) pdf format of Cause of Death Affidavit (MPC 475)
, domicile (MPC 485) pdf format of Affidavit of Domicile (MPC 485)
, or no conflict of a Conservator who is also an heirMay Need
Proof of Guardianship/ConservatorshipMay Need

Formal Probate

Formal probate matters are typically heard by a judge and may involve one or more hearings before the court.  Formal probate may be required for several reasons, including:

  • To object to an informal probate
  • The will is a copy or has handwritten words added (interlineations) or crossed out (deletions)
  • The  terms of the will are unclear
  • Supervised administration is necessary
  • A Special Personal Representative needs to be appointed
  • Interests of incapacitated or minor heirs or devisees need representation
  • The personal representative does not have priority for appointment
  • A creditor or public administrator is the petitioner
  • Informal probate is unavailable
  • A judge must sign an order or final decree for any reason

Formal Probate Forms

Download as PDF pdf format of Formal Checklist

Formal Probate Forms-Decedent Died With A Will (Testate)

Form/Document NameRequired or May Need
Petition for Formal Probate of Will/Adjudication of Intestacy/Appointment of PR (MPC 160) pdf format of Petition Formal Probate (MPC 160)
file size 1MBRequired
Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162) pdf format of Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
file size 1MBRequired
Devisees (MPC 163) pdf format of Devisees (MPC 163)
file size 1MBRequired
Original Will, if available or if not, a statement of will contentsRequired
Certified Copy of Death Certificate, if available or affidavitRequired
Citation-Return of Service (MPC 560)Required
Decree and Order on Petition for Formal Adjudication (MPC 755) pdf format of Decree and Order on Formal Petition (MPC 755)
file size 1MBRequired
Bond (MPC 801) pdf format of Bond (MPC 801)
file size 1MBRequired
(only is seeking the appointment of a PR)
Military Affidavit (MPC 470) pdf format of Military Affidavit (MPC 470)
Required
(unless the petition is assented to by all interested persons)
Authenticated Copy of Will and AppointmentRequired
(for ancillary probate proceedings only)
Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455) pdf format of Assent Combo Form (MPC 455)
file size 1MB May Need
Affidavit - as to cause of death (MPC 475) pdf format of Cause of Death Affidavit (MPC 475)
,  execution (MPC 480) pdf format of Affidavit of Witness to Will (MPC 480)
, domicile (MPC 485) pdf format of Affidavit of Domicile (MPC 485)
, or no conflict of a ConservatorMay Need
Proof of Guardianship/ConservatorshipMay Need
Uniform Counsel Certification Form (CCF 4/07) pdf format of Uniform Counsel Certification (CCF)
May Need

Formal Probate Forms-Decedent Died Without A Will (Intestate)

Form/Document NameRequired or May Need
Petition for Formal Probate of Will/Adjudication of Intestacy/Appointment of PR (MPC 160) pdf format of Petition Formal Probate (MPC 160)
file size 1MBRequired
Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162) pdf format of Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
file size 1MBRequired
Certified Copy of Death Certificate, if available or affidavitRequired
Citation-Return of Service (MPC 560)Required
Decree and Order on Petition for Formal Adjudication (MPC 755) pdf format of Decree and Order on Formal Petition (MPC 755)
file size 1MBRequired
Bond (MPC 801) pdf format of Bond (MPC 801)
file size 1MBRequired
(only if seeking the appointment of a PR)
Military Affidavit (MPC 470) pdf format of Military Affidavit (MPC 470)
Required
(unless the petition is assented to by all interested persons)
Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455)  pdf format of Assent Combo Form (MPC 455)
file size 1MBMay Need
Affidavit - as to cause of death (MPC 475) pdf format of Cause of Death Affidavit (MPC 475)
, domicile (MPC 485) pdf format of Affidavit of Domicile (MPC 485)
, or no conflict of a ConservatorMay Need
Proof of Guardianship/ConservatorshipMay Need
Uniform Counsel Certification Form (CCF 4/07) pdf format of Uniform Counsel Certification (CCF)
May Need

Formal Late and Limited Probate

A Petition for Late and Limited Formal Testacy and/or Appointment may be required for several reasons, including if: 

  • the Decedent died on or after March 31, 2012; and 
  • NO original proceeding relative to the estate has occurred within the three (3) year period after death; and 
  • a formal testacy or appointment proceeding is necessary for the limited purpose of confirming title in the successors to estate assets. 

The court may accept a petition to: 

  1. admit the decedent’s will to formal probate and determine both the heirs and devisees; 
  2. determine that the decedent died without a will and determine the heirs; 
  3. appoint a personal representative to administer the estate, including a person designated as a public administrator, in a supervised or unsupervised administration; 
  4. appoint a special personal representative pending the appointment of the personal representative in the formal proceeding. 

ALERT: A late and limited appointed personal representative may not seek a license to sell real estate of the decedent. The personal representative’s authority is limited to confirming title to estate assets in the successors and paying expenses of administration, if any.

Formal Late and Limited Probate Forms

Download as PDF pdf format of Formal Late and Limited Checklist

Formal Late and Limited Probate Forms - Decedent Died with a Will (Testate)

Form/Document NameRequired or May Need
Petition for Late and Limited Formal Testacy and/or Appointment (MPC 161) pdf format of Petition Late, Limited Formal Testacy Appt (MPC 161)
file size 1MBRequired
Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162) pdf format of Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
file size 1MBRequired
Devisees (MPC 163) pdf format of Devisees (MPC 163)
file size 1MBRequired
Original Will, if available, if not, a copy or statement of Will contentsRequired
Certified Copy of Death Certificate, if available or affidavitRequired
Citation - Return of Service (MPC 560)Required
Decree and Order on Petition for Late and Limited Formal Testacy and/or Appointment (MPC 757) pdf format of Decree, Order, Petition Late, Limited Formal (MPC 757)
file size 1MBRequired
Bond (MPC 801) pdf format of Bond (MPC 801)
file size 1MBRequired
(only if seeking the appointment of a PR)
Military Affidavit (MPC 470) pdf format of Military Affidavit (MPC 470)
Required
(unless the petition is assented to by all interested persons)
Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455) pdf format of Assent Combo Form (MPC 455)
file size 1MBMay Need
Affidavit - as to cause of death (MPC 475) pdf format of Cause of Death Affidavit (MPC 475)
, execution (MPC 480) pdf format of Affidavit of Witness to Will (MPC 480)
, domicile (MPC 485) pdf format of Affidavit of Domicile (MPC 485)
, or no conflict of a ConservatorMay Need
Proof of Guardianship/ConservatorshipMay Need
Uniform Counsel Certification Form (CCF 4/07) pdf format of Uniform Counsel Certification (CCF)
May Need

 

Formal Late and Limited Probate Forms - Decedent Died Without a Will (Intestate)

Form/Document NameRequired or May Need
Petition for Late and Limited Formal Testacy and/or Appointment (MPC 161) pdf format of Petition Late, Limited Formal Testacy Appt (MPC 161)
file size 1MBRequired
Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162) pdf format of Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
file size 1MBRequired
Certified Copy of Death Certificate, if available or affidavitRequired
Citation - Return of Service (MPC 560)Required
Decree and Order on Petition for Late and Limited Formal Testacy and/or Appointment (MPC 757) pdf format of Decree, Order, Petition Late, Limited Formal (MPC 757)
file size 1MBRequired
Bond (MPC 801) pdf format of Bond (MPC 801)
file size 1MBRequired
(only if seeking the appointment of a PR)
Military Affidavit (MPC 470) pdf format of Military Affidavit (MPC 470)
Required
(unless the petition is assented to by all interested persons)
Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455) pdf format of Assent Combo Form (MPC 455)
file size 1MBMay Need
Affidavit - as to cause of death (MPC 475) pdf format of Cause of Death Affidavit (MPC 475)
, domicile (MPC 485) pdf format of Affidavit of Domicile (MPC 485)
, or no conflict of a ConservatorMay Need
Proof of Guardianship/ConservatorshipMay Need
Uniform Counsel Certification Form (CCF 4/07) pdf format of Uniform Counsel Certification (CCF)
May Need