[ Text of section effective until March 31, 2012. Repealed by 2008, 521, Sec. 13. See 2008, 521, Sec. 44 as amended by 2010, 409, Sec. 23 and 2011, 224.]
Section 1. Administration of the estate of a person deceased intestate shall be granted to one or more of the persons hereinafter mentioned and in the order named, if competent and suitable and only if such person is not under indictment for, or has not been convicted of, murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, or accessory before the fact of such crimes, against the deceased, for the discharge of the trust and willing to undertake it, unless the court deems it proper to appoint some other person:
First, The widow or surviving husband of the deceased.
Second, The next of kin or their guardians or conservators as the court shall determine.
Third, If none of the above are competent or if they all renounce the administration or without sufficient cause neglect for thirty days after the death of the intestate to take administration of his estate, one or more of the principal creditors, after public notice upon the petition.
Fourth, If there is no widow, husband or next of kin within the commonwealth, a public administrator.