Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts
I am the executor of My brother-in-law's will who is now deceased. I must obtain a copy of this will in order to prove my executorship. This will was never probated. Please let me know what I must do?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You are not the executor until the Probate Court actually appoints you to the role -- the Will only nominates you for that job. You will need to file the original Will, the Petition for Probate and other documents with the Probate Court. Recent changes in law have made this process trickier if the estate includes any real estate.
I strongly suggest that you work with an attorney who does a significant amount of probate work, as attorneys who regularly handle these cases are more likely to be familiar with the requirements of the new law.
Attorney Golden is correct in her reponse to you. You should contact your brother-in-laws attorney to get his last Will. If you cannot find an original of the Will but have a copy, you can petition the Court to accept the copy.
If you do not know who your brother-in-laws attorney is or was, then you need to ask someone else in the family if they know who his attorney was.
If there is no Will found, then you will need an attorney even more to assist in determining who is to act as Personal Representative of the Estate.
If you would like my assistance, please feel free to call me without any obligation.