Q: Decedent lived in Florida. Only real property owned was in MD. No Will. Where do I open the estate?
A: Open the estate in Florida. You will need a certified triple seal copy of the proceeding and appointment as executor/personal representative. You then file a foreign personal representative petition to set inheritance tax (there won’t be any if spouse or lineal heirs like children will inherit) which is part of a foreign proceedings packet you obtain from the Register if Wills and file it in the county where the property is located. Or just hire a Maryland lawyer to do all this for you. The proceeding is a summary one, meaning other than the initial filing the proceedings are then closed and you can do whatever you need to do with the property (sell it, e.g., and then report the proceeds in the Florida estate proceedings for distribution to the heirs at law). Only the court appointed executor/PR of the estate can sell or transfer title to the property, and it can only happen after filing the foreign proceedings packet of forms. Opening an estate first in Florida is therefore a necessity.
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