Winter Haven, FL asked in Estate Planning for Maryland

Q: My grandmother died in 2011, my father never performed her estate. He died in 2019. Does he inherit from her estate?

I have one biological brother, and my father was married at the time of his death. he is not alive to claim his share from my grandmother who gets that share under Maryland law.

Edited to add details. My grandfather passed away in 1975. Only the house was left and no will was found. My father has one sister. As it stands now the proceeds will be split 50 50 with my aunt and my father but I was told since he is passed away his share goes to his children not his estate is that true?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: So many more facts will be needed. It is common for married couples to own everything jointly, with right of survivorship, which means upon the first spouse to die, the other spouse owns all such titled property and none of it is an asset to be distributed from the deceased person’s estate. Joint assets like bank accounts, cars, real property, are common. It could be that your grandmother had no assets to open an estate for, and the only items would be monetarily valueless clothing and personal effects. So, first you would need to know more about what your grandmother owned in her sole name, and then you’d need to know whether she had a will or not. Once that information is known, your questions can be better answered.

Nina Whitehurst and Cedulie Renee Laumann agree with this answer

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: In figuring out who inherits, the law tends to only looks at who survived the Decedent AT THE MOMENT OF THEIR DEATH. The answer may vary a bit depending on whether the Decedent had a will or died without a will. (Wills commonly specify that someone needs to survive by a brief period, say 30 or 45 days, to count as surviving).

If a beneficiary who survived the Decedent dies themselves, the beneficiary's estate would normally get the beneficiary's share. Sometimes, where many years have passed without opening an estate, multiple estates need to be opened to pass the assets through to the ultimate beneficiaries.

While I hope this general information helps, it doesn't take the place of getting legal advice on the specifics of a particular situation.

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