Under Massachusetts law, are there any circumstances that allow children to contest against the father when there was no will?


My mother recently passed and we don’t know for sure if she had a will. We know that she always said that she had but now our dad is saying that she didn’t.  He is taking control over all of her possessions saying that he can do what he wants. I’ve been living in one of the houses for 22 years and have been paying the taxes but the receipts were in my mother name. Do I have any claim to the property?


If your mother died without a will, she died “intestate”. Each state has its own statute on how property passes to family members and in what percentages under intestate succession. You did not post where your mother was a resident at her death. The laws of the resident state would control.   Any property that your mother owned in her own name alone at her death must go through a probate process. You father cannot automatically claim possession of them without putting the property through the probate process. You may or may not have rights to your mother’s probate estate. I suggest that you consult a probate attorney in order to determine your rights.

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The attorneys at The Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for estate planning (wills and trusts), Medicaid (planning and applications), probate (estate and trust administration), business law (formation and operation), real estate (residential and commercial), taxation (federal and state), and civil litigation (in connection with these practice areas). The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Salem, New Hampshire.

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