Worcester County Register of Probate
The Register of Probate is effectively the Clerk of Courts for the Probate and Family Court within the county. Responsibilities include records and case management, assisting the justices in court, and working with the involved parties. The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family-related and probate matters, such as divorce, paternity, child support, custody, parenting time, adoption, termination of parental rights, and abuse prevention. It also handles wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and changes of name. The Register of Probate is a state office within the Judicial Branch, and the term of office is six years. All 14 counties are electing a Register of Probate in 2020.
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John B. Dolan III
Stephanie K. Fattman
State your relevant background and qualifications.
What are the principal challenges facing the Register of Probate?
As the Register of Probate deals with cases involving family-related matters, what skills or experience do you possess to ensure that you will assist and protect all individuals, families and children in an impartial and respectful manner?
Worcester Probate and Family Court: Administrative Deputy Assistant 20 years and Office Manager 5 years
Bentley College, Business & Accounting Degree
Quinsigamond Community College Assoc. Degree
Certified Public Accountant
Associate Member Worcester Bar Association and recipient of its Liberty bell Award for public service.
25 years ands-on experience in every aspect of the Worcester Registry of Probate and has assisted citizens in handling of thousands of probate cases.
- Staff training is insufficient to meet the demand which creates misinformation and unresponsive service delivery
- Timeliness of service delivery does not meet needs of citizens requiring Registry action resulting in unnecessary case backlogs.
- Worcester Registry has fallen behind and failed to utilize all of its potential internet capabilities to make filings simpler and more convenient
- District Court sites underutilized to conduct sessions more convenient for citizens to access.
- Require comprehensive training of ALL staff to increase quality and timeliness of service delivery. Include educating staff on sensitivity issues as well as legal process aspects of cases.
- All staff hiring based on competence and skills. Staff must be trained to assist all ages and backgrounds and be knowledgeable about cases involving death, divorce, paternity, guardianship, estates, probates, adoption and equity.
- Utilize all internet resources available to expand e-filing.
I was elected in 2014, becoming the 1st woman and youngest Register in Worcester County history. With a professional background in corporate management, I ran to make the court accessible and efficient by bringing strong management to government.
I am a graduate of Boston Univ., Suffolk Univ. Law School, admitted to the MA Bar, and a member of the Worcester County Bar Assn. I am the only candidate delegated an Attorney Magistrate authorized to allow administrative matters before the Court.
When I first campaigned, the office faced years of scandal from missing cash, to employees working two jobs at the same time, to long waits for constituents. Those days are over.
In leading the Probate and Family court for the past 6 years, I addressed mismanagement through increased training and higher workplace standards of conduct. I reduced case filing time from 3 weeks to less than 24 hrs, and I increased access to our court by opening 2 satellite offices in Northern Worcester County.
My experiences as a wife and mom of 3 ensure my commitment to impartially protecting all.
When people use our office, they are handling difficult situations: filing for divorce, navigating child custody, probating estates. To assist, I created the “Fattman Family Forum” to present court info to our community. I developed the “Fattman Food Initiative” to donate more than 8,000 food items. Finally, I returned $3million in missing money to families in a purge that hadn’t been conducted since 1992.
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