Q: Hello! My case is about intestacy and lawyers as personal representatives in the State of Maryland (Montgomery County).
My mother passed away last year and I was placed as the PR. I handled all her debts and creditors but, did not file the first account. Due to the delay in filing, there was a hearing (without my knowledge) and I was taken off as PR and a lawyer was placed in. He wants to sell the real estate property to pay off his fees as PR instead of just re-deeding the property to the beneficiaries, so I filed a petition to the judge but it was denied. Then I filed a motion to the judge (explaining all the details about what the lawyer has been doing) so that he may review the entirety of the case. However, now the lawyer states he will work with us but wants me to withdraw my motion to the judge. He wants us to pay the estate a large sum of money instead of going to a hearing to see the judge and has stated that there is no point because my motion for reinstatement will be denied. Should I withdraw the motion to judge and pay the PR or let it go to the judge and take a chance of being reinstated?
A: You should hire a lawyer to represent you, have the lawyer learn what the facts are so the correct action can be evaluated and taken (you don’t post any facts to properly advise you).
Richard Sternberg agrees with this answer
A: Mr. Oakley is spot-on. You are telling us far too little to help, and you should not tell us more in an open forum like the web. You need a consult with a lawyer. But, from what I can glean from your facts, it looks like you were removed for gross incompetence because you failed to file the account, failed to request an extension, failed to deal with re-deeding property. and then failed to notice that you were noticed for a hearing. Forget the defense that you didn't get the notice; once appointed PR, it is your responsibility to make sure the notices find you, and you'll need to prove -- at the hearing you didn't attend or soon thereafter -- that the clerk made a mistake when mailing it. You are very unlikely to be re-appointed to be PR. It is also rather unlikely that the lawyer appointed by the court to fix your mess is going to be removed, and it is supremely unlikely that the judge isn't going to get him paid for his reasonable fees, and if that means the house must be sold, so be it. The lawyer is going to be paid for that, and, most likely, paid for the time responding to your motion. But, if you get a lawyer (which now means paying out of your pocket instead of the estate), you might be able to arrange a mortgage, buy the house from the estate, and use your proceeds to pay off the debts and distributions. Or, you can continue handling it yourself, because you have done quite a job of that so far.
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