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What is the Role of a Personal Representative?

A Personal Representative (aka executor) is a person appointed in an estate plan, or, when there is no will, appointed as a matter of law or by the court. This role involves ensuring that the decedent’s wishes are fulfilled when distributing assets, as well as managing the decedent’s affairs, including paying taxes and other bills. […]

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What Is a Surviving Spouse Entitled to Receive Under Maryland’s Elective Share Statute?

Maryland’s Elective Share Statute was designed to prevent a surviving spouse from being disinherited. House Bill 99, signed by Governor Hogan in 2019, expanded the assets included in calculating what a surviving spouse could inherit.   Under the previous bill, only probate assets were subject to the elective share statute. Under the augmented statute, non-probate […]

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Must I Open a Maryland Probate Estate if the Only Asset is a Motor Vehicle?

If the motor vehicle is co-owned, and the other owner is alive, then the vehicle will not be subject to a probate estate. However, if the vehicle is in the decedent’s name only, with no surviving co-owner, then a probate estate is necessary. If the vehicle is worth less than $50,000 then a small estate […]

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Letters of Administration for Foreign Small Estate in Baltimore City

If property is located in Baltimore, Maryland, and needs to be transferred via an estate opened in another state, a Foreign Proceeding must be opened. When a Foreign Small Estate is opened in Baltimore City the Register of Wills Office does not issue a Letter of Administration as they would in a regular Small Estate. […]

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How Long Do Creditors Have to Bill an Estate in Maryland?

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In Maryland, the creditors have six (6) months to file a claim. The bill must be sent to the Personal Representative and filed with the Register of Wills. If you are a Personal Representative of an estate and waiting for a bill from the hospital or other creditor, it might be a good idea to […]

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My Spouse Died Without a Will in Maryland, Can I Manage Their Estate?

In Maryland, if you are married at the time of your spouse’s death, then you may have an interest in being the personal representative of the estate and inheriting their property. However, if your spouse has adult children, they may also have a property interest. Or, there may be a shared property interest depending on […]

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Do I Need a Bond for the Personal Representative of my Maryland Estate?

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Whether or not you need a bond for your personal representative depends on your specific circumstances. Generally, a personal representative bond is a surety bond to protect the beneficiaries of the estate against fiduciary misconduct. If the bond is in the form of an insurance, then there also needs to be a power of attorney […]

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For How Long is a Maryland Will Valid?

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As a general rule, a will governs the distribution of assets only after the testator dies. Any changes to a will that are made during the testator’s lifetime will be valid. A will is not active until the owner of the assets passes. For example, if a testator wills her home to her son, but […]

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Who Can Be Personal Representative if a Minor is the Heir of the Estate in Maryland?

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If a Minor is the listed heir in an Estate then the Minor cannot gain access or control to the estate until becoming an adult regardless of when or if the Personal Representative fies. While this individual is the rightful heir of the Estate someone will have to be the Personal Representative of it and […]

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Maryland Probate; Should I File a Small or Regular Estate?

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In order to know how to file an estate, one must know the value of the estate. If the estate is valued at $50,000 or less, then you should file it as a small estate. Also, if the spouse is the sole legatee or heir then a small estate can be up to $100,000. For […]

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