File an informal probate for an estate

Informal probate is an administrative probate proceeding that can be a faster process if all requirements are met. Find out how to file an informal probate for an estate and what forms you'll need.
A magistrate can issue an informal probate order as soon as 7 days after the decedent’s death.

Probate and Family Court locations

The Details of File an informal probate for an estate

What you need for File an informal probate for an estate

Informal probate is an administrative probate proceeding and is processed by a Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) Magistrate instead of a judge. 

There are different forms you'll need to file depending on whether or not the decedent (the person who has died) died with a will. You'll also need to give notice of the probate proceeding to the people entitled to notice by:

  1. A written notice at least 7 days before filing an informal petition with the court
  2. A publication notice within 30 days after an informal petition is allowed

If the decedent died with a will

You’ll need to file:

You may also need to file:

If the decedent died without a will

You’ll need to file:

You may also need to file:

Some forms may not display properly in your browser. Please download the forms and open them using Acrobat reader.

Fees for File an informal probate for an estate

Name Fee Unit
Informal probate petition filing fee $375 each
Informal probate surcharge fee $15 each

How to file File an informal probate for an estate

Once you have the required forms, file them at the correct Probate and Family Court.

  • If the decedent lived in Massachusetts — File in the county where they lived when they died.
  • If the decedent didn't live in Massachusetts — File in any county where the decedent had property when they died. You may need to file additional forms in the state where the decedent lived as well.

More info for File an informal probate for an estate

To find out how to check the status of your probate case, please see How to search court dockets.

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