Maryland Probate Lawyer

While representation by a Maryland probate lawyer is not required, many people choose to take advantage of the guidance offered by an experienced legal advocate. Failure to fulfill legal requirements could delay the distribution of assets or even result in personal liability or penalties. Help from a dedicated trusts and estates lawyer could prevent mistakes and make the process more efficient.

Administration of an Estate in Maryland

The term estate refers to the assets and liabilities held by an individual. This means everyone has an estate, even if they own a relatively small amount of property. Whenever an estate is opened and must go through the probate process, it is important to for the person carrying out the process, or the personal representative, to meet certain requirements. For assistance, reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer.

Qualifying the Personal Representative

When someone passes away, another person will usually be chosen by the court to administer their estate. This person may be designated in a will, but the will alone does not give that person authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Instead, the person named as executor or personal representative must file a petition in the Orphan’s Court in Maryland to receive authorization to serve. A Maryland probate lawyer could file the petition on behalf of the personal representative.

If there are no conflicts regarding administration, the individual will be granted the necessary authority to administer the estate. When the court grants authority, the executor will receive a Letter of Administration, which will give the personal representative the ability to take actions such as paying creditors with assets of the deceased.

Fulfilling Requirements to Notify Creditors

One purpose of the probate process is to provide those owed money by the deceased the opportunity to file a claim against the estate so they can be paid. In many cases, the law requires notification of the death to be published in a local newspaper for a certain period of time.

Tax Requirements

The personal representative may need to obtain a tax ID number for the estate. Income taxes must be paid on behalf of the deceased person as well as the estate itself. In addition, it is also important to pay attention to property taxes and any other taxes owed on the property of the deceased.

Duties of a Personal Representative

The personal representative will need to determine the value of all the assets and liabilities of the estate. When there are not enough assets to cover all debts, the law specifies how creditors should be paid.

Once all debts are satisfied and tax obligations fulfilled, the personal representative can oversee the distribution of assets in accordance with the terms of a will. If the deceased person did not leave a will, the laws of intestate succession determine inheritance.

Most people who serve as personal representative are not familiar with the probate process and requirements. Fortunately, an experienced Maryland probate lawyer could guide them through the process and take certain actions directly on their behalf.

An Experienced Maryland Probate Attorney Could Help

The death of a close family member or friend often causes emotional turmoil, and the additional duties involving probate can impose an unwanted burden. However, assistance from a knowledgeable Maryland probate lawyer could lighten the load considerably.

An experienced probate attorney understands the process as well as the personal challenges that come along with the situation. To learn how a probate lawyer could help make the process as smooth as possible, call now for a consultation.