Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts

My father passed in November in West Springfield, MA. and lived with my middle sister there they both own the house he had $85,000 in his bank account he would leave statements out in the open so I took pictures along with his original Will from 2001 as I thought you never know with him getting sick and family can change when it comes to money and that seems to be the case now. My middle sister was on the bank statement’s with him but wasn’t a couple years ago, my oldest sister met me a couple months ago and gave me $5,000 she got nervous after I let her know I saw how much he had asking why she came to that amount she said my brother needed money badly that is why she was doing this so soon and “possibly might be a little more after his bills are paid”, my Dad also didn’t have a lot of bills and sold his car two years ago he could not drive anymore, I spoke with my brother after she met me he was told we would all be getting $ 20,000 each and yes he was given $5,000 also. I feel my sister’s are being secretive, my Dad had an updated Will my oldest sister was frantically looking for it while the officers were at his house wondering if he wanted to be resuscitated. I contacted the Hamden County Probate Court they still do not have it and I know the attorney is also my middle sister’s brother in law I imagine that is who they are using. When I walked into a restaurant a couple weeks ago to meet my sister’s and sister in law they were looking at papers from the VA as my Dad was in the Air force I hear my sister in law say my brother’s name is on top then I see her quickly hand it to my oldest sister as I walked up, both my sister’s just got new cars, vacation, one bought a new home, we all met again last night no mention of the Will, nothing about the estate, no meeting with an Attorney, doesn’t my sister by law have to go file it? And not be using the money until it is all settled? The original Will said all was to be distributed equal, if they give me something to sign saying I won’t fight for anything like they did with my Mom I will refuse, I though sibling’s have a right to see a will and know what is going on with an estate isn’t that true?

Asked on 2/08/20, 2:21 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Fanger Alan S. Fanger, Esq.

You definitely have a right to see the will, but that right kicks in only when the will is filed with the registry of probate. The law requires the person in possession of the will to file it within 30 days of the date of death. Unfortunately most people ignore this requirement. The will is typically filed along with a petition to probate the will. When that is done all of the heirs of the deceased and the persons named in the will are required to receive notice that the petition has been filed. That notice is known as a "citation". The citation contains a deadline by which you have to file something known as an "appearance" if you want to challenge either the will itself or the person who has been nominated to administer the estate, known as the "personal representative". For instructional videos on the bases for challenging a will,. go to my web site at

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Answered on 2/08/20, 2:35 pm

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