Towson, MD asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland

Q: "A Personal Representative has an obligation to appraise everything in the probate estate." This was in response to a

question I previously posted. (1) I noticed on the MD court website for my mother's estate, with the docket of forms already filed with the court, the PR has listed $0 in inventory of household belongings filed. I've become aware an appraiser was hired to sell, donate or gift belongings to family without my knowledge and to participate as an heir myself. What can I do about this at this point!

(2) The PR is settling on the sale of our family home next week and I haven't seen any update on this website to indicate an approval by the court or a judge was given to settle. Does the PR need permission from the court to settle?

(3) In the inventory report, under "real property", the value of the house is listed for taxation purposes (SDAT) instead of the market value or the appraised value. Why is this? Can I assume the PR can sell the house for at least this base price?

Thank you in advance for your response!!!!

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

A: To get specific legal advice on a particular estate you may want to reach out to an estate attorney for a consultation.

To answer the general question "Does [a] PR need permission from the court to settle?" Usually no, under most circumstances a Personal Representative in Maryland does not need to get permission from the court before selling a house.

To answer the general question "In [an] inventory report, under "real property", the value of the house is listed for taxation purposes (SDAT) instead of the market value or the appraised value. Why is this?" Maryland law allows a Personal Representative to use the assessed value as the starting value for any real estate. It usually costs the estate (and correspondingly the heirs) less money to just use the assessed value. The inventory value doesn't dictate what a particular property will actually sell for - real estate can (and often does) sell for higher or lower than assessed value. The Personal Representative will need to distribute the actual sale proceeds in accordance with the law and the Decedent's will (or the laws of intestate succession), regardless of the starting value.

While not legal advice I hope that this general information about estates addresses the general questions.

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