Middlesex and Essex Probate Courts Announce New Procedures for Informal Probate Petitions

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Below is a Press Release from Middlesex Probate Court and a Memorandum from the Essex Probate Court on their new procedures relating to Informal Probate Petitions:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: July 9, 2014

From: Tara DeCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court

Re: New “Walk-In” Procedure for Estate Administration Informal Petitions

Contact: Jack Twomey, Administrative Deputy Assistant Register, 617-768-5995

MIDDLESEX DIVISION OF THE PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT OFFERS NEW FAST

LANE PROCEDURE FOR INFORMAL PETITIONS

Tara E. DeCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, has announced that she will be piloting a walk-in session for informal petitions. The walk-in session will be available in the Registry every Tuesday afternoon from 12:00 pm. – 3:00 pm., beginning August 5, 2014. If the program is well received, plans are to expand it to multiple days per week.

“I am hopeful that this new procedure will assist the bar and self-represented litigants by dramatically reducing the wait time to informally appoint a personal representative or probate a will in estate administration cases.” said DeCristofaro.

To take advantage of this program, the informal packet must be complete and include all the necessary documents and filing fees. “You are advised to visit the Probate and Family Court MUPC Hub at www.mass.gov/courts to review the checklist of required documents under the informal procedure and to consult the MUPC Estate Administration Procedural Guide for answers to frequently asked procedural questions. “This program is structured to speed up the wait times for informal petitions. Accordingly, we ask that participants in this walk-in service present a complete packet for allowance. Those with questions should use the public probate counter.” said DeCristofaro.

Upon successful review, consumers will be issued an Informal Order and Letter(s) of Appointment before leaving the Registry. If there are any issues with the informal packet, consumers will be instructed on what is necessary to complete the packet and be asked to return at the next available date, or if necessary, be advised of other procedural options if an informal proceeding is unavailable.

“I have heard what court users have said and have committed resources to create an informal process as envisioned by the statute. This is one in a number of initiatives my office will be making over the next year to improve the court users’ experience.”

 

MEMORANDUM

TO:  Users of the Essex Probate and Family Court

FROM:  Pamela Casey O’Brien, Register of Probate

DATE:  September 11, 2014

SUBJECT:  Informal Probate Filings

To better serve our customers there will be a Magistrate sitting in the Lawrence Registry of Probate on Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist with the procession and allowance of Informal Probate Petitions.

Thank you for your attention to this matter”