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Maryland Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: How do you phrase a will to prevent unknown heirs from applying for inheritance?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 21, 2022

Anyone not named in a Will gets nothing if your will specifically names those whom you want to receive your estate. The only exception is the statutory right of a surviving spouse (married at time of death) to elect one-third of your estate regardless of what your will says. If you are concerned... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: A relative of my elderly mother is trustee. He has been using funds personally but says she will run out of money.

He is a very ruthless attorney but presents well. He has been unresponsive to her care team and myself for replacement hearing aid at one point (which I had to fight for), he is not authorizing additional care for a fractured elbow and has instead suggested things like giving her sleeping pills,... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 8, 2022

Why is there a trust? Who created the trust? How was the trustee appointed? Is this a court appointed guardian as opposed to a private trustee? What is your evidence supporting your claims that the attorney and his family have taken funds for their personal use? (If this is true that is a crime--a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Health Care Law and Elder Law for Maryland on
Q: For medicaid payments for my dad, can my disability be used shelter his savings? Where can I find written info?

My dad's in his late 80's in NY. If he needs medicaid to pay his care, can my disability (I'm on SSDI), age 60 in MD) be used to pass his savings to me, so our family can keep it? Is it just an exemption for a house or for other assets too?

Where can I find the gov'ts... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 25, 2022

Your father would need to seek out an elder care lawyer to map out a strategy to protect his assets from counting towards Medicaid eligibility. Your disability is irrelevant and will not shelter his assets. He would need to get his assets out of his name five years before applying for Medicaid if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Can someone be buried on their family farm where they lived their entire life in Allegheny County Md?

Farm will be inherited by other family members who are in agreement with the request of the person to be buried.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 15, 2022

Private burial plots on an owner's land is only permitted if the county code for the local jurisdiction allows it; otherwise, it is prohbited by state statute, which requires that bodies be buried in a licensed cemetery. This is a health code issue, as well as a land use issue to protect... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: My uncle passed away without a will with minor beneficiaries. The executor of estate wants to buy property whats process

Executor is family member who is not a benficiary is this possible for fair market vallue, minor will be turning 18 before sale.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 16, 2022

If I am understanding your scenario, the executor of the estate intends to purchase real property owned by the estate, and the cash from that sale will then replace the real property in the estate for purposes of distribution to the heirs. There are conflict of interest issues here since the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My question would be What is the difference between power of attorney and an executor of the estate?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 5, 2022

A POA is a legal instrument that appoints another person to act as the "attorney-in-fact" or agent of the person creating the POA (the "principal"), who can do things in the name of the principal as if they were the principal, to the extent set forth in the POA. The POA is only... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Can I, sole beneficiary, take control of my Maryland GST from my still living dad due to breach of fiduciary duties?

I was not informed a GST with me as the only beneficiary, existed until my cousin recently lost her mother (my aunt), and she sent me the paperwork from the GST now that her and her brother are dissolving theirs(other half of the original trust).

I have severe health issues including a... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 23, 2022

A beneficiary of a trust has the right to obtain a copy of the trust and receive an accounting of the assets, to include investment performance of the assets and transactions in and out of the trust. Your starting point should be a written demand on the trustee for both of these things. Upon... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: If someone passed intestate in MD can their real estate property be put up for action prior to court granting sale
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 19, 2022

A property can be foreclosed upon. The personal representative of the estate can sell the property. You need to provide more details and context as to how and why the property is up for auction.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How to transfer a deed in puerto rico notarized in Pennsylvania
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 12, 2022

You need to consult a Puerto Rican lawyer of title agent. While the notarial seal of another US jurisdiction is likely to be honored, the jurisdiction where the land lies will have transfer rules, filing requirements, and tax protocols to follow.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Revocable Trust in Maryland. Amicably divorcing couple with executed Separation Agreement, waiting for court date.

co trustees currently. Issues with home being under trust and dealing with Title transfer prior to divorce being final. One spouse buying out the other. Lender wrote $500k check to name of the Trust. Bank won’t deposit in trustees personal account to complete buyout without setting up new bank... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 7, 2022

If the trust is the seller of the property, the sale proceeds need to be paid to the trust, not the personal account of an individual trustee. The trust then can distribute the agreed buyout amount to whomever is supposed to receive it. You will need a lawyer to look at the trust instrument and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can’t someone just write a resignation letter to resign as trustee of revocable trust? Maybe notarize?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 30, 2022

Most revocable trusts name the creator of the trust, known as the grantor, as trustee. Once the grantor has died, the trust typically becomes irrevocable. The trust should provide for successor trustees. It is unclear what the nature of the trust is, if there are beneficiaries who are minors or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Are capital gains owed on real estate sold by the executor if the sale price exceeds the value on the date of death?

The real estate was solely titled in the name of the decedent and left to two heirs as part of the residuary estate. The executor is selling the house for $380K; the house was valued at $360K on the date of death (stepped-up basis), therefore there will be a capital gain on the sale of $20K, less... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 27, 2022

If the PR sells the property, the estate pays the taxes as part of the estate tax retrun. Have an accountant prepare the estate returns.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: How do I revoke or modify power of attorney? Must the current agent(s) sign or be notified of the new PoA terms?

I'm 23 years old, and my parents have power of attorney over me - I agreed to it at the time, they presented it in a way that seemed reasonable and I didn't realize THAT'S CRAZY. They have both the medical kind (HIPAA permission?) and durable PoA for non-medical stuff.

I... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 22, 2022

You can revoke at any time in writing. Ideally, you simply create a new POA that revokes all prior POAs. You should send written notice to whomever is named agent under your POA being revoked. That way, if they attempt to act, they are doing so knowing their authority or revoked, which makes them... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Maryland on
Q: Do i have to respond to a discovery request while im in the middle of switching lawyers
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 17, 2022

The procedural rules do not have an exception in their time deadlines for switching lawyers. Written discovery responses are due 30 days after service of them upon you. That said, the discovery deadlines in most cases in circuit court can encompass a 4-6 month range, and it is common for parties... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed away April 10th in Maryland

My mother passed away April 10th, I went to the court and found out that she had a Will. Looking at the Will I noticed that I was not listed at all on the WILL and as being her only child I found that odd. when she became sick she made her friend her POA, she felt she was able to be there for her.... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 7, 2022

Of course you can challenge the Will. It is not an easy process, but if there was undue influence, lack of capacity, or the signature isn't genuine, those are all grounds to caveat the Will. You will have no chance of success without legal counsel, and you will almost surely need to pay... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: I completed an online will, but my bank does not notarize wills. In Maryland, where can I get this will notarized?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 23, 2022

A Will does not require notarization in Maryland, and in fact, signing before a notary public alone is insufficient to make a valid Will in Maryland. To be valid, a Will must be in writing, and signed by the maker in the presence of two witnesses who also sign the Will in the presence of the maker... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is a spouse (no issue) entitled to the $10k family allowance if they renounce the will and take the elective share?

The husband's will left the spouse less than 25% of the residual estate. She has elected to take the elective share (50%) and has filed the necessary documents to do so. Is the Executor still required to pay her the $10,000 family allowance?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 15, 2022

Yes. The alowance is in addition to the elective share. In adition, you reference the elective share "of the residual estate." The elective share is against "the value of the estate subject to election, reduced by the value of all spousal benefits" where "spousal... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: I'm settling my mom's estate in Maryland and gave the grandchildren her furniture. Do I need to hire an appraiser?

Used furniture - not antique.

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2022

An appraisal is required for most tangible personal property that the decedent dies owning. Under Maryland law a Personal Representative can only value certain kinds of personal property (e.g., automobiles with a blue book value). Unfortunately furniture is not in the list of items a Personal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Insurance Bad Faith and Insurance Defense for Maryland on
Q: My father passed recently. He named me, his daughter, as beneficiary for his life insurance policy back in 2014.

He had to get his life insurance papework notarized due to state of Michigan retirement/pension rules, which he did, and then sent it in to be filed. In 2021, he remarried and went through the state of Michigan online system and put his new wife down as the beneficiary. He did not go through a... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2022

I am sorry to hear of the recent loss of your father.

The post states that the policy holder "went through the online system and put his new wife down as the beneficiary." That is almost certainly the answer to the question "who the true beneficiary is of his life...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: When typing a deed, title, or will, does the text have to be single-spaced or double-spaced?

I'm taking a Real Estate course at college and have been tasked with writing a deed. However, our instructor did not clarify the spacing of the text.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Apr 1, 2022

It need only be legible. If you research old deeds, they are hand-written, single spaced, in cursive. Recording is charged a flat fee, up to a page limit. Thus, longer documents can be in very small, single-spaced text, to minimize the cost of recording.

Go to the land records, on-line, and...
Read more »

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