Avon area MA Estate Planning Atty. Brigitte von Weiss: Executors, etc.

By
Real Estate Attorney with an Expertise in Estate Planning and Elder Law

The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an Easton MA estate planning and elder law attorney.  

Website:  vonweisslaw.com

Who can be the personal representive (formerly known as executor)?

The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) became effective as of March 31, 2012.

Under the MUPC, the person in charge of the estate of a deceased person is called a “personal representative”.  Before the MUPC, we used the terms "executor"--if a person died with a Will--and "administrator"--if a person died without a Will.

Whether or not there is a Will, § 3-203(a) of the MUPC has a “priority ladder,” which establishes who has priority to be appointed as the personal representative.  Generally, the order is as follows: (1) the person named in the Will, (2) the surviving spouse who is also a devisee, (3) other devisees, (4) the surviving spouse, (5) other heirs of the decedent, (6) if no known spouse or next of kin, a court-appointed public administrator.

 As a side note, a "devisee" is the term referring to a person who is to inherit property under the Will, "heirs of the decedent" are those who would inherit in the absence of a Will, and "decedent" is the term referring to the person who died. 

A person with priority may decline to serve as personal representative.  Moreover, a person named as personal representative in the Will can decline and nominate a successor if and only if the Will explicitly provides that the named personal representative has the power to nominate a successor.

 

Rather than let the law determine who will be in charge of your estate, one should have an estate plan and name a personal representative in one's Will.  One should also name a successor personal representative (backup person) and/or give your named personal representative the power to nominate a successor of his or her choosing. 

Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice as this is a complicated area of the law.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 

The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC)   

Bristol County Family and Probate Court   

Plymouth County Family and Probate Court  

Norfolk County Family and Probate Court 

Alzheimer's Association

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Chapter of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Area Agency's on Aging (AAA's)
  and Aging Service Access Points (ASAP's)

MassHealth form

Bristol Elder Services

Old Colony Elder Services

Hessco Elder Services  

Avon MA

Avon MA Local News

Avon MA Council on Aging

Avon MA Council on Aging Calendar

Avon MA Council on Aging Newsletter

ESTATE PLANNING

AARP estate planning article

Forbes magazine estate planning article

Kiplinger magazine estate planning article

USA newspaper estate planning article 

American Bar Association's Estate Planning FAQ's

New York Times article on estate planning

US News article on estate planning

Fox Business article on estate planning

Los Angeles Times article on estate planning  

COA'S

Abington MA Council on Aging  

Attleboro MA Council On Aging 

Avon MA Council on Aging  

Bridgewater MA Office on Elder Affairs  

Brockton MA Council on Aging  

Canton MA Council on Aging  

East Bridgewater MA Council on Aging  

Easton MA Council on Aging  

Foxboro MA Council on Aging 

Mansfield MA Council on Aging  

Norton MA Council on Aging  

North Attleboro MA Council On Aging 

Norwood MA Senior Center 

Plainville MA Council On Aging 

Randolph MA Council on Aging  

Raynham MA Council on Aging  

Rehoboth MA Council on Aging  

Rockland MA Council on Aging  

Sharon MA Council on Aging  

Stoughton MA Council on Aging  

Walpole MA Council On Aging 

West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging  

Whitman MA Council on Aging  

 

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