Q: Can I submit a claim for hospice caregiving services rendered by me against my mother's estate in probate
A: If all interested parties agree that you should be paid, you should be able to work it out as either a claim or a partial renunciation. This is a matter to be discussed with the personal representative or the lawyer.
A: All heirs generally can agree on such an arrangement, and the PR of the estate can approve of it, although the Orphan's Court will have to approve the payment of the claim as part of the estate account audit. In the absence of agreement among the heirs and the PR, such a claim against the estate would be denied if you cannot prove there was a contract or agreement in place at the time you rendered these hospice care services that entitled you to compensation. Under Maryland law, when there is not an express agreement for compensation between the decedent (when living) and the family member, such services are presumed to be provided gratuitously without expectation of payment when rendered by a family member. Overcoming this presumption requires "clear and convincing evidence" which is a burden of proof somewhere between "preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not) and "beyond a reasonable doubt" (the criminal standard). So, in reality, if the heirs and PR are not all on board, you will not likely prevail without a written caregiver's agreement signed by your mother, or proof of regular periodic payments proving such an oral agreement existed and the amounts owed that were not paid. The Dead Man's Statute precludes you or anyone else from testifying about anything your mother allegedly said verbally to you that would support a claim against her estate (meaning, you cannot testify your mom told you she would pay you for your services or how much she said she'd pay).
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