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Serving
Massachusetts Agencies

List of Heirs

Probate

The list of heirs in a probate is not conclusive. See Hopkins v. Treasurer and Receiver General, 276 Mass. 502, 177 N.E. 654 (1931). If there is a decree of distribution, however, the identity of those persons entitled to take the estate of the deceased would be established and, although technically applying only to personal property, the decree would appear to resolve the matter even as to real estate.

REBA Title Standard 41 cites the Hopkins case and states that although the list of heirs in a probate petition "may be relied upon as complete and accurate," it also states, for some unknown reason, that "[t]his standard deals only with conveyances appearing in a title at least two years subsequent to the date of approval of the bond of the executor or administrator."