Healey recommends Ames for register of probate

The governor  has recommended the appointment of Mark Ames as Hampshire County register of Probate and Family Court. He has been filling the position on a temporary basis since the retirement of Michael Carey on Jan. 16.

The governor has recommended the appointment of Mark Ames as Hampshire County register of Probate and Family Court. He has been filling the position on a temporary basis since the retirement of Michael Carey on Jan. 16. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 04-03-2024 10:51 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Gov. Maura T. Healey has recommended the appointment of Mark Ames as Hampshire County register of Probate and Family Court.

Ames has been temporary register since Michael Carey’s retirement Jan. 16.

“Mark Ames has dedicated his career to supporting families and children across Hampshire County,” Healey said in a statement.

The register of probate is the keeper of record for all matters that come before the court, which concern divorce, child support, name changes, guardianships and estates.

In the case of a vacancy, the governor has the authority to appoint the register with the advice and counsel of the Governor’s Council to serve out the remainder of the term, which currently goes through the end of 2024.

Ames, who is gathering signatures to get his name on the November ballot, said he was honored to be recommended for the job by the governor.

“I’ve spent my career working with families who are going through incredibly tough moments in their lives, and hoping to give them the support they need as they do,” he said in a statement.

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As temporary register, Ames has been overseeing the day-to-day aspects of the Probate and Family Court. He has prioritized community outreach, by attending health and safety fairs in western Massachusetts to discuss estate planning. He has also provided staff trainings to make the experience of coming to the court as efficient as possible.

Ames has worked at the Hampshire Probate and Family Court for 27 years. He manages the introductory mediation and conciliation programs, which provide professional assistance in reaching agreements on legal issues.

He also helped establish the Lawyer for a Day program that allows self-represented litigants an opportunity to get free legal advice about their case. He was instrumental in creating and staffing the court’s satellite office in Belchertown.

Part of the job of register is to maintain the records of the court. Ames wrote a successful grant application that funded a preservation project that was completed in 2016. Documents from 1660 to 1890 were digitized and cataloged, making them available to the public for free through the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Ames is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and lives in Northampton with his family.

The governor’s announcement also included statements of support from Carey, Sen. Jo Comerford, Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, among others.