What is the procedure for determining the validity of a Will in Massachusetts
Attorney Answer: The search for the true “last will and testament” is a classic search for the truth. Just because a will shows up in an attorney’s files doesn’t mean that it is in fact the decedent’s last will. Only by carefully–perhaps even diplomatically–inquiring of family members will you be able to piece together the factual “fabric” necessary to at least create a question as to whether there was in fact a more recent will. One thing to keep in mind is the attorney who the decedent would have engaged to prepare a later will, and/or the family members who would have been nominated by the will as executor or executrix. Persons or even charities who you believe would have benefited from the later will might have reason to know of an amendment.
If and when you have additional facts to call into question whether the will asserted to be valid truly is valid, you should then engage an attorney to dig more deeply and make it uncomfortable for those persons who may be trying to defraud the Probate Court and potential heirs by misrepresenting the state of the decedent’s will.