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.

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.

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.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

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.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Find Out If a Deceased Person Had a Will


Related articles

How to Find Lost Inheritance Money

Just because a loved one leaves assets to you in his will, that does not guarantee that you will immediately receive those assets. If the probate court cannot locate you following your family member's death, it will turn the unclaimed funds over to a holding office regulated by the state. While some state agencies, such as West Virginia's treasury department, make an effort to locate the rightful owners of unclaimed property, not all agencies are as thorough. If you suspect that a deceased relative may have left you an inheritance, targeted sleuthing helps you uncover and claim the missing funds.

How to Request an Inheritance From an Executor

If you are either a named beneficiary or an heir of a deceased person, you are entitled to an inheritance from the deceased's estate. Beneficiaries are given rights to their inheritance because they are mentioned in the will. Heirs are those entitled to inherit usually because of their familial relationship with the deceased. Beneficiaries and heirs rarely have to request their inheritances from the estate executor, but it is always smart to know exactly what you are supposed to inherit, and how to ask for it if you need to.

How to Locate a Person's Last Will & Testament

The only time you can locate a last will and testament -- legally -- is after the testator is dead. During a person's lifetime, her will is private and attempts to view or abscond with it are considered criminal. A will is the written description of the testator 's intentions for her property after her death. It includes devises and names an executor to administer the will. When the testator dies, the executor files the will in probate court; that is where you -- and any other member of the public -- can locate it.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How Can I Get a Copy of a Will?

TV shows often portray a lawyer reading the last will and testament to the assembled family. In real life, you usually ...

How to Get a Copy of a Probated Will

A copy of a probated will is useful for a variety of reasons, including family tree research, property title research, ...

How to Find Out If You Are a Beneficiary in a Final Will When a Relative Dies

During a person's lifetime, her will is private; she determines who views the document. After she dies, the will ...

How to File a Claim Against the Estate of a Deceased

If a person dies while owing you money, you may file a claim against the deceased's estate in probate court. Filing a ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED