Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code FAQs
Do you expect that the implementation of the MUPC will be
delayed again since it was already postponed from July 1,
No, we expect that the remaining provisions of the MUPC will
definitely go into effect in 2012. The Probate Court has been
actively engaged in training its staff in anticipation of that
How long does it take to get an Executor or Administrator
appointed in the ordinary course in Massachusetts?
Six weeks to five months depending on the county.
How soon could a personal representative be appointed
informally under the MUPC?
Seven days after the date of death.
What sort of prior notice is required under the present system
Publication once and mailing at least 14 days before a return
date set by the court.
How many other states require publication of notice prior to
How many states allow appointment without ANY prior notice to
How many states permit appointment with no publication and 15
day prior notice or less?
How many days prior notice would the MUPC require for informal
What sort of information does the MUPC notice contain?
Notice identifies the petitioner, court, that the estate is
being administered informally, that inventory and account don't
have to be filed and that the recipient may start formal
proceedings and ask to restrict the informally appointed PR's
Must a copy of the will be sent with the notice?
No, not under present procedure and not under the MUPC.
After appointment is made is an objecting party prevented from
contesting the appointment?
Under the present system, yes. Under the MUPC, not for informal
Will the MUPC create more work for the Probate Court for
administration of estates?
No, for informal probate many fewer citations, returns of
service, inventories and accounts will have to be processed by
court personnel and judges.
Can anyone still proceed under the present formal system?
Yes, following a similar procedure.
How long must one wait to start a formal proceeding?
No wait. Any subsequent informal proceeding would be prevented
and any prior informal proceeding would be stayed.
Will citations and publication and return dates still be
For formal appointment, formal accountings, etc., yes.
Under the MUPC must the estate inventory and account be filed
for public record?
No, the financial information may be kept private, if the
personal representative supplies the information to the interested
parties and no one objects.
Will a license to sell real estate still be required if there
is no power of sale in a will?
Yes, the current license to sell procedure is retained.
How can an estate be closed if no account is filed?
The personal representative may file a statement that the estate
has been administered and that an accounting has been sent to all
parties. The estate closes automatically one year later if no
objection has been filed.
Can an informal probate be converted to a formal probate to
gain the protection of a judgment after notice?
Yes, the personal representative might, for instance, open the
estate informally, administer it without supervision and before
distribution file a formal accounting asking for a formal judgment
after notice concerning the account, testacy, heirs or any other
Is the creditor's claim procedure changed?
No, the current procedure is retained.
Will trust account procedure change?
Testamentary trust accountings will no longer require Probate
Court proceedings for settlement.
Does the MUPC provide any greater protections to trust
Trustees will be required to notify beneficiaries of accountings
and acceptance of appointment.