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How do I properly notify the VA and Attorney General of a petition for probate of will?

Scituate, MA |

After petitioning the court to be appointed executrix, I received a "notice of petition for probate of will" from my county's courthouse. The notice indicated that I'm to send a notice to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as the Attorney General.

The court's letter doesn't specify what person, title or department within each of these organizations needs to receive this notification. How can I appropriately notify each organization, in order to fulfill the court's requirement?

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


The usual solution is to retain an estates attorney to assist you in these and other duties you are required to fulfill. The other way is for you to make inquiries to these organizations as to the proper person to serve. You may have to make numerous calls or check on the internet to see the proper party. You may want to send such notices through regular and certified mail.

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The Attorney General's office must be notified where a charity may have an interest in the estate. You send a copy of the will, the Petition for Probate and the citation to the Charitable Bureau. You send the VA's notice (will, petition and citation) to its Region I General Counsel's office. You need to use certified mail so you have proof that you've done your duty. Addresses are available with a little help from Google, or you can call the respective agencies.

You would be smart, however, to review the will and everything else with an experienced probate attorney. You are personally liable if you do not carry out your duty according to the law, and you need to know what those duties are, because they are often not self-evident. This is particularly important where there are assets whose disposition have potential tax consequences. You also are responsible for knowing how to value, inventory and account for those assets. The cost for such legal services are usually borne by the estate.