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Questions Answered by Mark Oakley
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for District of Columbia on
Q: If I went and filled a will with the courts and was appointed executor would any new wills have to be contested

I filed my father’s will and was appointed executor by the courts but a few days after I did this someone else has presented a new will. Would they have to contest mine since the court already filed it or would theirs automatically be valid since it was more recent? And would they automatically... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 19, 2024

The Register of Wills will automatically convert the proceedings to Judicial Probate, and schedule a hearing to determine which Will is valid. You will likely be converted from a PR to a Special Administrator, which limits what you can do, pending determination by the court as to which will is the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Maryland on
Q: My husband was arrested and charged with assault on me after I called the police. I made a mistake. Please help!

My husband and I were trying to reconcile our marriage after a protective order I got for 1 year. However, this time I put my hands on him while he was sleep after suspecting that he was cheating with other woman, and in reality he was not. He put his hands up (because he was sleep) and I bit my... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 5, 2024

First, your husband needs a lawyer. Second, you can only do two things: communicate to the State’s Attorneys Office your desire to not go forward with charges against your husband and your intent to invoke your privilege not to testify against your spouse; and then invoke your privilege on the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello, can a Disclaimer of Inheritance be signed electronically in Maryland? Thank you so much.
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 20, 2024

Yes, but before you do so, make sure that the disclaimer achieves the results you want it to achieve. A disclaimer by law is treated as if the person disclaiming died before the decedent. If the Will directs that a deceased heir’s share be distributed “per stripes”, or by some other method,... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: I need to know if I should go to the police to file a report concerning a car/ tags that is missing?

its a bit complicated, the car title and tags are in my name, the person I had an agreement with has disappeared and I can't locate the car. I don't want to be responsible for the expenses if the car is towed to the county lot.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 15, 2024

Unless the agreement included a date the person was to return the car back to you, and they deliberately failed to do so with the intent to deprive you of the vehicle, then there is no crime to report (theft or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle), so going to the police will not likely help,... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Tax Law, Business Law and Social Security for Maryland on
Q: My current employer sent my form 1095C to a another employee with the same first name and exposed my SS#, can I sue?

They exposed my SS# and other private info. What recourse do I have?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 15, 2024

Perhaps there is a federal or state governmental agency that has regulatory authority to impose a fine or other sanction for failing to safeguard employees’ personally identifiable information. You would need to consult an employment lawyer in your area as to the existence of such a legal... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Maryland on
Q: What does MHIC guaranty fund pay for?

Concrete sidewalk/steps/handrails installed - paid in full $3900. MAJOR issues with the work and home inspection deemed all of work unsafe. Every other contractor said all concrete had to be removed and redone - basically start from scratch. Total paid to redo - $7100. Filed claim and have... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 2, 2024

The regulations governing the adjudication of claims against the Guaranty Fund specify the formulas to be used by the Commission when calculating an award for actual loss from the Guaranty Fund:

Unless it determines that a particular claim requires a unique measurement, the Commission shall...
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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My husband and his dad are on the deed for his dad's house. If his father dies and the will says otherwise, who owns?

My husband and his father are on the deed to his father's house. His father died but the will says that all 3 kids get the estate. So that would mean all 3 kids would be on the deed when he passes. Since my husband was originally on the deed before he died, does that mean it's officially... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 2, 2024

If the deed is owned as joint tenants, then your husband is now the sole owner and the house is not an asset of his father’s estate, so it doesn’t matter what the Will says.

If the deed is owned as tenants in common, then your husband now owns 50% of the house outright, and the other...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: My employer requires me to be available 40 hrs/week, 5 days a week. I’ve only worked 5 hours. Can I find part time work?

Employer made me sign a contract and said I have to ask and be approved to work at another business within the same industry (flight instruction). There is a termination fee of $2500 if I breach the contract or quit before 12 months working for them.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 25, 2024

I do not believe either provision in your contract is enforceable. The financial “penalty” of $2,500 smacks of an unenforceable penalty; however, if it is tied to an actual out-of-pocket cost to the employer, such as reimbursement for a paid training course the employer incurred to train you in... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Can I transfer a house that I own into my mom's revocable living trust in Maryland?

I own a fully paid house in Rockville MD. I want to sell it to my mom but also have her put it into a trust with me as the beneficiary. Can I transfer the deed directly into her trust, or does the title first need to be transferred to my mom before she can transfer it into her trust?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 25, 2024

Before you do this, consult an estate planning lawyer! First, you would be making a gift to your mother in excess of the federal gift tax exclusion for a single donee in one year, which may not be of any consequence depending on the total value of your estate by the time you die, but it will also... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: Will having 3 counts (one for each message) of violation of protection order not allow me to practice law?

I plead in 2023 and won't be attending law school until 2027. That was my first time and last ever getting in trouble. It was an overall abusive 7 year relationship from HS until our early 20's; Verbally/emotionally from me and physically from my girlfriend. Only reason I decided to plead... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 2, 2024

I believe you mean a “probation before judgment” — there is nothing called a “pre-trial before judgment.” If you received a PBJ, then you will be eligible to expunge the record of the offenses from any background check. The date you can file for expungement is three years after your... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Maryland on
Q: At what point are cancellation fees in a contract unreasonable?

I am involved with a greek organization chapter currently facing a contractual dilemma and am seeking legal advice on how to navigate this situation. Three years ago, an officer, who has since left the chapter, signed a perpetual service agreement with a greek organization management platform. The... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 25, 2024

There is caselaw on this issue in Maryland, and as always, every case and contract turns on its peculiar facts and contract terms. If the cancellation fee (called “liquidated damages” in the law) exceeds a reasonable estimate of actual damages incurred, then it may be deemed an unenforceable... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: In the state of Maryland can you be charge with both 5.612 and charge 5.602 together or will the two merge into one

CR.5.612 Charge description: CDS possession-large amount

CR.5.602 Charge Description: CDS possession W/I Distribute Narc

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

They do not merge because the two offenses have separate elements, specifically, the possession of over a specific weight or amount of CDS is a separate element of that offense, which is not present in the possession with intent to distribute charge, if it does not contain the same enhancement... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: Good morning If the landlord doesn’t have a renters license what legal action can I take or what rights do I have

Landlord is asking me to vacate property by February 29, 2024

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

Rental license laws are local to the county (or City of Baltimore) where you live, and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Without knowing your location it is difficult to be clear on what laws apply. Also, the type of rental unit matters. Renting a room in someone’s house with a common... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for Maryland on
Q: I inadvertently hired an unlicensed contractor. I'm unhappy with the work, but I haven't paid yet. What happens now?

I hired a Virginia-based company to repair a leak in my home. I asked if they were licensed to work in Maryland, and they said they were, but the document they provided me says "Out-of-state contractor (not for home improvement)," and neither the business trade name nor any of the... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

Performing a home improvement without a license is a criminal offense in Maryland, and the civil courts will not enforce the contract for the contractor. In other words, the contractor cannot legally accept payment, or sue you if you don’t pay, so no, you do not have to pay. I would immediately... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Maryland on
Q: Can a video be posted

I was recorded on video tape taking a tablet at the gym. I returned it.

the tablet has been there for over a week I thought it was a forgotten item.

Can the video be posted? On social media

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

You were in a publicly accessible place, not in a place where you had an expectation of privacy. So yes, it could be posted. However, if the posting intentionally or suggestively puts you in a false light, such as accusing you of being a thief, you might have a defamation of character claim, and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am one day away from closing on a home, but no longer wish to move forward with the purchase.

What type of penalties might I face or right to back out at this point in the process?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

The obvious one is forfeiture of your earnest money deposit (EMD). It is possible you would be sued to specifically enforce the contract and force you to buy it, but that is a long expensive suit that will tie up the sale until it’s over and the seller would prefer to just sell their home—so... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed and I am selling her house. She had a reverse mortgage with balance of 393,000. The appraised value

is 473,300. How much would the estate tax be? I live in Md

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

If this is the primary asset and all estate assets are being distributed to a spouse or lineal heirs (children, grandchildren, siblings, parents) there are no inheritance taxes, and no estate tax for estates having a value below $5,000,000. For calculating estate value for estate tax purposes,... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Q: I plead guilty to working with a contractor license in Maryland 2023 my previous lawyer filed a motion for

Reconsideration within 90 days I was ordered to pay restitution which that will be paid off within 90 days what is my chance of convincing the judge to switch the guilty plea to a PBJ and what is my chances I am trying to change my life and this charge is preventing me from getting another charge... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 1, 2024

Need to know more about your other charges and criminal history. But ordinarily, there is a reasonable expectation that a judge will grant reconsideration and convert your guilty conviction to a PBJ, assuming you perform well on probation and comply with all conditions. If this sentence just... View More

2 Answers | Asked in DUI / DWI for Maryland on
Q: MD DUI: DR15 form ADVICE OF RIGHTS is the same as Miranda Rights?

Defendant arrested for suspicion of DUI & taken into custody to police station. Arresting officer advised rights on form DR-15 to submit to test but defendant didn’t sign right away handcuffed to table. Observation period 20-30 minutes.. Breath tech officer asked defendant “are you going to... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 1, 2024

Unless you made incriminating statements, there’s nothing to suppress. Review the evidence in the case with your lawyer. If there’s a basis to file a motion, then it can be filed. I’m not reading anything in your post to support such a motion. Nor am I reading anything in your post to suggest... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland on
Q: Can another state site me for an vehicle equipment violation that is not a violation in the state I live in?

Example - driving a car from Florida, where it has legal but dark tint, through a state like PA, where no addition tint is aloud.

Would it make a difference if your driving on an interstate highway? vs. local roads?

PA laws are typically written. No vehicle shall operate... or no... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 7, 2024

Unless Pennsylvania has adopted a policy not to issue citations to out-of-state registered vehicles with legal equipment that would be illegal in PA, then you may have to fight it all the way to the US Supeme Court, and test the application of the law to you under the Equal Protection Clause, the... View More

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