How Can You Check on a Probate Claim in Massachusetts?

By Jennifer Williams

Once a will is filed in Massachusetts and a probate is opened, all documents filed within the proceeding are public record. Anyone can check on a probate claim in Massachusetts at any point in its progress. You may need to check on a probate claim if you are a creditor and you need to know when to expect payment of the claim from the estate. You may also need to check on a claim of heirship if you are asserting that you are an heir of the deceased who should participate in the final distribution of estate assets.

Once a will is filed in Massachusetts and a probate is opened, all documents filed within the proceeding are public record. Anyone can check on a probate claim in Massachusetts at any point in its progress. You may need to check on a probate claim if you are a creditor and you need to know when to expect payment of the claim from the estate. You may also need to check on a claim of heirship if you are asserting that you are an heir of the deceased who should participate in the final distribution of estate assets.

Step 1

Contact the personal representative of the estate, also known as the executor. Most wills designate an individual to serve as personal representative, thus the person's name can likely be found in the text of the will. If you know where a copy of the will is or were given a copy by the deceased before his death for safe-keeping, read it and determine who the personal representative is. Contact him and ask about the probate claim.

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Step 2

Contact the clerk of the court's probate division in the county where the decedent lived, if you cannot find the name of the personal representative. If you have the probate case number, relay that number to the clerk. If you do not have the case number, give the clerk as much information as you can, including the full name of the deceased, dates of birth and death, and county of residence. Ask the clerk to look up the case and give you the status of the claim. Also ask for the case number and name of the appointed personal representative to make checking on the claim easier next time.

Step 3

Log on to the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court's eAccess website. Active probate cases are searchable through this site. Searches may be conducted using the case name or number. Search instructions are provided to help you find the right probate case. Search the database, find the relevant probate case and read the docket entries to determine the status of the claim.

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References

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