A common perception is that all "probate litigation" is heard in
the probate court, but a recent superior court decision reminds us
of the importance of distinguishing lore from the law.
It is not true that any action involving a trust or an estate
must be brought in the probate court. In fact, the exclusive
jurisdiction of the probate court is somewhat limited. Many trust
and estate disputes can be filed in either the probate court, the
superior court, the Supreme Judicial Court, or even federal
district court. There may be advantages and disadvantages in
bringing a trust or estate action in each of the courts. When
choosing the proper court, a practitioner should be mindful of
these considerations and make an informed decision that maximizes
the chances of success.