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Massachusetts Last Will and Testament

Massachusetts Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

January 3, 2023
·

6 mins

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Whenever people hear about making a Massachusetts last will and testament or managing their estate, it seems like something only rich people need to do. However, all of us have some assets that need protection. It can be a family heirloom, your house, or your car that could be on your asset list. Furthermore, your will would determine who would be your minor kid's guardian if you mention it. You definitely don't want to leave all these decisions in a stranger's hand who has no knowledge and understanding about your family relations and dynamics. That's why it's crucial to handle your online last will as a priority and complete it as soon as possible. 

You'll find that every state has varying rules for a last will and testament. Read to know more about Massachusetts last will and testament laws.

Requirements for a Massachusetts Last Will and Testament 

  • Written will: A Massachusetts last will and testament must be on paper to be legal. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. Massachusetts state doesn't allow self-written or holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age 
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for a Massachusetts last will must understand the will procedure, nature of their estate, and beneficiaries. For the will to be valid, they must have a sound mind and memory.
  • Signed by the testator: To make it legal, you must sign your Massachusetts last will and testament before your two witnesses.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have at least two witnesses for the will. They should acknowledge and sign the will before the testator. 
Last Will and Testament Massachusetts
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses for a Massachusetts Last Will and Testament? 

Your witnesses for a Massachusetts last will must follow these conditions:

  • Massachusetts allows anyone who is competent to become a witness. 
  • They should be able to testify about what they saw and the will-making process.
  • It's better not to select beneficiaries as witnesses as they could lose the estate portion or any gift you leave them.

Massachusetts rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Choosing an executor for your Massachusetts last will would be better than leaving it to uncertainty. However, an executor should follow these guidelines to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. Massachusetts doesn't restrict people convicted of a felony from being executors.
  4. Massachusetts allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor. 

Last will and Testament Notarization in Massachusetts 

There's no need to notarize your Massachusetts last will and testament. However, you should add a self-proving affidavit to the last will to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a self-proving affidavit for the will. 
  • You and the witnesses must go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you know you're signing a will.

Massachusetts Last Will Revocation 

You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your Massachusetts last will and testament:

  • Destroy your last will by tearing, burning, obliterating, shredding.
  • Asking someone to destroy the last will before you and two witnesses 
  • Making a new legal will, which revokes any part or the entire previous will.

What if you have more than one Massachusetts will?

If it's not clear whether your new Massachusetts will revoke the old one, the state will follow these rules:

  • It'll replace the old will if the new one has varying or contradictory terms to your previous Massachusetts will.
  • The probate court assumes you wanted to revoke the previous will if the new one disposes of your entire estate.
  • If the new will doesn't dispose of the entire estate, it would be treated as a supplement to the old Massachusetts will.

Massachusetts Last Will Amendment Rules 

If you wish to make some minor and simple changes to your Massachusetts last will, you can do it through a Codicil. It will allow you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.

Massachusetts rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Massachusetts law revokes any gift you leave to your spouse.
  • Revokes any appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor 
  • However, the provisions will stand if you state otherwise in your Massachusetts will or remarry your ex.

What happens if you don't have a will in Massachusetts?

Case

What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children, no parents 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has parents, no children, no spouse 

Parents inherit everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings inherit everything 

Has a spouse and children (Children you share with that spouse)

The spouse has no other children 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has a spouse and children (Children you share with that spouse)

The spouse has children from another relationship 

Spouse gets the first $100,000 of your estate and half of the remaining estate


Your children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and children (Children you share with someone else)

Spouse gets the first $100,000 of your estate and half of the remaining estate


Your children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and parents 

Spouse gets the first $200,000 of your estate and two-thirds of the remaining estate


Your parents inherit the balance 

Last Will and Testament Massachusetts Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Massachusetts free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new Massachusetts last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable Massachusetts last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?

There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.

Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?

Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.

What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?

If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.

What does a personal representative/executor do?

The executor of your will would be responsible for managing and settling your estate distribution after you pass away. It's always better to name a trusted adult as your personal representative.

Can I leave or donate my estate to an organization or charity?

You can leave all your assets to a charity organization. The court would follow your wishes and provide the organization with everything. However, consult an attorney to avoid any problems.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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