File an informal probate for an estate

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 early as 7 days after the decedent’s death.

Probate and Family Court

The Details

What you need

Informal probate is an administrative proceeding and is processed by a Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) Magistrate instead of a judge. It can be an expedited process if all the requirements of the law are met. 

There are different forms you'll need to file depending on whether or not the decedent 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 the allowance of an informal petition

If the decedent died with a will, you should file:

  • Petition for Informal Probate of Will/Appointment of PR (MPC 150)
  • Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
  • Devisees (MPC 163)
  • The original will
  • A certified copy of the death certificate 
  • Notice of Informal Probate & Return of Service (MPC 550)
  • Order of Informal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of PR (MPC 750)
  • Informal Probate Publication Notice (MPC 551)

You may also need to file:

  • Bond (MPC 801) if you want to appoint a personal representative
  • Military Affidavit (MPC 470) if all interested parties don't agree to the petition 
  • An authenticated copy of the will and appointment if it's for an ancillary probate proceeding 
  • Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455)
  • Affidavit as to cause of death (MPC 475), domicile (MPC 485) or no conflict of a conservator who's also an heir or devisee
  • Proof of guardianship/conservatorship 

 If the decedent died without a will, you should file:

  • Petition for Informal Probate of Will/Appointment of PR (MPC 150)
  • Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law (MPC 162)
  • A certified copy of the death certificate
  • Notice of Informal Probate & Return of Service (MPC 550)
  • Order of Informal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of PR (MPC 750)
  • Bond (MPC 801)
  • Informal Probate Publication Notice (MPC 551)

You may also need to file:

  • Military Affidavit (MPC 470) if all interested parties don't agree to the petition
  • Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties (MPC 455)
  • Affidavit as to cause of death (MPC 475), domicile (MPC 485) or no conflict of a conservator who's also an heir or devisee
  • Proof of guardianship/conservatorship

 

Fees

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

How to file

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

  • If the decedent lived in Massachusetts, you should file in the county where they lived at the time of death.
  • If the decedent didn't live in Massachusetts, you should file in any county where the decedent had property at the time of death. You may need to file additional forms in the state where the decedent lived as well. 

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