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Matthew Bresette and Sara Goldman Curley publish “What you need to know about the new MUPC”

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12.08.2011 | Article

Matthew Bresette, a partner in the firm's Trusts and Estates practice group, and Sara Goldman Curley, an associate in the practice group, published “What you need to know about the new MUPC” in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on December 8. The article discusses the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC), which was signed into law nearly three years ago and will finally come into full force and effect. Come the New Year, Massachusetts will have an almost entirely new system, beginning with the basic premises on which the system is constructed and extending through different terminology and processes all the way to approximately 80 newly created forms. By enacting MUPC, Massachusetts joins 17 other states and territories that have adopted versions of the Uniform Probate Code. One of the main purposes of MUPC is “to promote a speedy and efficient system for liquidating the estate of the decedent and making distribution to the decedent’s successors.” G.L.c. 190B, §1-102(b)(3).

MUPC also allows for more streamlined processes for administering estates and adds flexibility that currently doesn’t exist in Massachusetts probate law. MUPC shifts responsibility for administering estates from the Probate Court (as under existing law) to interested parties (heirs, named beneficiaries, creditors, etc.). It creates new proceedings with varying levels of court involvement, which can be used for testate and intestate estates alike. It also allows flexibility in choosing how to proceed and breaks down the current notion of continuous court supervision of the entire process into separate proceedings so parties can be “in and out” of the court as needed. Matt and Sara note that while it will undoubtedly take time for lawyers to become comfortable with the new procedures and language, in the end MUPC promises to create a more efficient and less costly system for administering estates, which will relieve clients and the court of many unnecessary burdens.

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