Massachusetts Agencies

License to Sell: Notice

Deeds and Conveyances: Special Rules Regarding Fiduciaries

Under G.L.c. 202, §19 it is provided that before the license is issued the petitioner has to file an affidavit "containing the names of all persons known to him as having or claiming any interest in said real estate from any deed of conveyance or mortgage by, through or under any of the heirs," and that if there are any such persons "they shall be made parties to the proceedings, and notified in such manner as the court orders." How the petitioner gets this "knowledge" is not specified in the statute, but presumably there's some requirement of a due diligent effort to identify such persons (whether that effort is successful or not), which probably would include a title examination. Whether the court will order actual service (which would require finding these persons) or whether only notice by publication will be required by the court is in the court's discretion.

Nearly a century ago, the question of notice to persons claiming under the deceased heirs was addressed in Giles v. Kenney, 221 Mass. 262, 108 N.E. 940 (1915). The Giles court ruled that notice to such persons was unnecessary. In response to that case, the statute was immediately thereafter amended to require such notice to avoid the obvious inequities that the lack thereof produced.