Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Massachusetts

Are wills and trusts public records

My grandfather passed away when I was younger and and left me a decent amount of money. My uncle is the trustee and i was wondering if there was a way to get a hold of any documents that pertain to the will online. I Feel rude asking my uncle for copies of things, but I am curious on how everything got divided up.

Asked on 6/16/05, 6:41 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Re: Are wills and trusts public records

There is no on-line data base that I am aware of, however you can go to the County Probate Court and request to see the file and the Will should be in the file.

However, if the money was left to a Trust that was not part of probate, your only way to get a copy is to ask your uncle.

I hope this was helpful. Please feel free to contact me if youhave further questions.

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Answered on 6/16/05, 7:17 am
Patricia Joyce Law Office of Patricia M. Joyce

Re: Are wills and trusts public records

A will, when presented for probate, *is* a public record.

A free-standing trust (that is, one not contained within the will) *is not* a public record.

You can check with the county office of the city/town in which your dad was living before he passed away to see if a will has been presented. It may contain trust provisions that answer your questions.

Another way to determine whether there is a free-standing will is to check the records of any real estate your father may have owned at the time of his death. Public documents (such ad deeds and mortgages, etc.) for real estate held by a trust should contain a Memorandum of Trust which will give certain information @ the trust and when it terminates.

Otherwise, you will need to discuss the situation with your uncle.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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Answered on 6/16/05, 9:41 am

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