It is a little confusing so here is the run down:
my grandmother passed away 11/15/2010.
she was my father's mother.
my father abandoned us when i was 6 (1979) and his family was no longer in contact with us after he left.
my father passed in 2006 having never divorced my mother.
when his mother passed it seemed that there was a rush of family members that were making efforts to contact me and my siblings.
They found some of us on FACEBOOK.
I provided mailing information for myself and my mother.
shortly thereafter we received letters in the mail from an attorney that contained a very short statement and provided a copy of a notice of petition for probate of will.
What is the deal with this notice? I have called the attorney and he has not called me back. How can I find out more information about the case? I am limited in my abilities as the case is filed in Massachusetts and I am living in California.
4 Answers from Attorneys
It would be important for you to obtain the will they are referring to. You or an attorney should request that ASAP. Before being able to review what is in the will it is impossible to give an accurate legal opinion
Maurice LaRiviere, Jr
200 Merrimack Street, Suite 202D
Haverhill, Ma 01830
You - or your attorney here in Massachusetts - can go to the Probate Court in the county where your grandmother lived and review the probate file and obtain a copy of the will, if there is one.
You are probably receiving notice either because you are a natural heir of your grandmother or because you are specifically named in a will.
If you would like to retain an attorney to protect your interests here in Massachusetts, please feel free to give our office a call.
You should retain an attorney in MA and have him/her investigate in the probate court whether a will actually exists. I cannot give you a concise answer without seeing what the will says. It is important that you not sign anything at this point if the other attorney contacts you and asks you to sign any papers.
You are being notified by the attorney because you are considered an "heir at law" under Massachusetts Probate law. It is possible that you may be in a position to inherit or to challenge the will.
I'd recommend retaining someone local to the situation (same county) to do a quick investigation. If the matter is in Worcester County, feel free to give me a call to discuss
Michael D. Gorman
Law Offices of Michael D. Gorman, LLC
160 Doyle Road
Holden, MA 01520
Facsimile: (508) 438-1441
Member of: National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Massachusetts Bar Association, Worcester County Bar Association and the National Academy of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
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