Print Print
  • PART II REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
  • TITLE II DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION, WILLS, ESTATES OF DECEASED PERSONS AND ABSENTEES, GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND TRUSTS
  • CHAPTER 190B MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE
  • ARTICLE III PROBATE OF WILLS AND ADMINISTRATION
  • Section 3-715 Transactions authorized for personal representatives; exceptions

Section 3-715. [Transactions Authorized for Personal Representatives; Exceptions.]

(a) Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order in a formal proceeding and subject to the priorities stated in section 3-902, a personal representative other than a special personal representative, acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly:

(1) retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper for trust investment;

(2) receive assets from fiduciaries, or other sources;

(3) perform, compromise or refuse performance of the decedent’s contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as he may determine under the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may:

(i) execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining due or the purchaser’s note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the land; or

(ii) deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds, when paid in accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as designated in the escrow agreement;

(4) satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted the pledges completed under the circumstances;

(5) if funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including moneys received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts, readily marketable secured loan arrangements or other prudent investments which would be reasonable for use by trustees generally;

(6) acquire or dispose of tangible and intangible personal property for cash or on credit, at public or private sale; and manage, develop, improve, exchange, change the character of, or abandon an estate asset;

(7) make repairs or alterations in buildings or other structures, demolish any improvements, structures, raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings;

(8) subdivide, develop or dedicate land to public use; adjust boundaries; or adjust differences in valuation by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration;

(9) enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term within or extending beyond the period of administration;

(10) enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement;

(11) abandon property when, in the opinion of the personal representative, it is valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate;

(12) vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy;

(13) pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims;

(14) hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee in connection with the security so held;

(15) insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss and liability and the personal representative against liability as to third persons;

(16) borrow money with or without security to be repaid from the estate assets or otherwise; and advance money for the protection of the estate;

(17) effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend, renew or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. If the personal representative holds a mortgage, pledge or other lien upon property of another person, the personal representative may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by lien;

(18) pay taxes, assessments, compensation of a personal representative other than a special personal representative, and other expenses incident to the administration of the estate;

(19) sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; consent, directly or through a committee or other agent, to the reorganization, consolidation, merger, dissolution, or liquidation of a corporation or other business enterprise;

(20) allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as permitted or provided by law;

(21) employ persons, including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents, even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal representative in the performance of administrative duties; act without independent investigation upon their recommendations; and instead of acting personally, employ 1 or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary;

(22) defend and prosecute claims, or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of duties;

(23) sell, or lease any personal property of the estate or any interest therein for cash, credit, or for part cash and part credit, and with or without security for unpaid balances;

[Subsection (231/2) of paragraph (a) applicable as provided by 2012, 140, Sec. 66.]

(231/2) sell, lease or encumber to an arm’s length third party any real estate of the estate, or an interest in that real estate, for cash, credit or for part cash and part credit, with or without security for unpaid balances and whether the personal representative has been appointed formally or informally; the sale, lease or encumbrance shall be conclusive notwithstanding section 3-302 or any contest of the informal probate proceeding, provided that: (i) if the decedent died without a will, a license has been issued under chapter 202; or (ii) if the decedent died with a will, either: (a) the will, probated formally or informally, empowered the personal representative to sell, lease or encumber that real estate or an interest in that real estate, or (b) a license has been issued under chapter 202.

(24) continue any unincorporated business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death (i) in the same business form for a period of not more than 4 months from the date of appointment of a general personal representative if continuation is a reasonable means of preserving the value of the business including good will, (ii) in the same business form for any additional period of time that may be approved by order of the court in a formal proceeding to which the persons interested in the estate are parties; or (iii) throughout the period of administration if the business is incorporated by the personal representative and if none of the probable distributees of the business who are competent adults object to its incorporation and retention in the estate;

(25) incorporate any business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death;

(26) provide for exoneration of the personal representative from personal liability in any contract entered into on behalf of the estate;

(27) satisfy and settle claims and distribute the estate as provided in this code.

(b) Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order in a formal proceeding and subject to the priorities stated in section 3-902, a special personal representative acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly exercise only those powers set forth in subsections (1), (2), (3), (5), (7), (12), (15), (18), (19), (20), (21), (22), (24) and (26) of paragraph (a).