Essex and Middlesex County Probate & Family Court tests ‘virtual registry’

The Probate & Family Court is testing the use of videoconferencing for registry assistance to the general public. The Essex and Middlesex Probate & Family Court registers’ offices have begun using Zoom videoconferencing to operate virtual registries.

The program creates a virtual registry for Probate & Family Court matters using a Zoom videoconference meeting link that operates during normal business hours – Monday through Friday, from 8am – 4:30pm. when a host from a register’s office is logged in.

In Essex and Middlesex, users who enter the virtual registry are placed in a waiting room until the host admits individuals into the virtual registry in the order they were recieved. The host is able to answer general questions and send a participant into a pre-designated “breakout room” for additional assistance on more complex matters.

Breakout rooms are staffed with registry employees, as well as a lawyer with a Lawyer for the Day program, to answer questions. The host manages the breakout room access, so as one guest leaves a room, another guest is able to enter.

Other Massachusetts counties, such as Barnstable is testing a similar program. You may learn more about these pilot programs at

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