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Maryland Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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...
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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...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: For a life estate deed, how do I describe the grantees? Ex: A is transferring to B for life of C with remainder to D?
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2022

The Grantees are persons receiving an interest in property. So if B holds a life estate during C's life (it isn't clear why one would do this), "C" wouldn't be a grantee.

There are a variety of ways one can transfer lifetime interests in property, with a host of...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I was appointed personal representative of an estate by consent and the will was admitted to probate.

The estate is still open. I just found a later dated will that appoints me as personal representative and sole beneficiary. If the beneficiaries under the original will consent to admitting the later dated will, do I just need to file the later dated will with the written consents? Will this start... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 30, 2022

You plainly need to file the newer Will, because it voids the older Will unless it is a codicil. I do not think this gives you a new case number, but it plainly requires a new petition and notices. This sounds complex enough that using a lawyer may help.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: What are the court cost of the removal of an executor
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 29, 2022

The court does not impose a cost. The person who is seeking to remove the PR files a motion with the court, setting forth the grounds for removal. The court then either holds a hearing on the motion or rules on the motion without a hearing. If the person who is seeking removal hires a lawyer to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can estate executor refuse to sell house to family?

My mother passed and my sister is executor. I want to buy the house and mg daughter my be interested as well. My sister has said I cannot buy the house and my daughter can’t either because she doesn’t think it’s a good idea. The will only states that money from house sale will be split... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 26, 2022

The executor is supposed to sell the house at fair market value to maximize its value to the estate. The executor can sell the house to anyone for that price, or at a lower price if all the heirs who are to receive a share agree. You do not say how many heirs the house is to be divided among.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Does the MARYLAND UNIFORM TRANSFER-ON-DEATH (TOD) SECURITY REGISTRATION ACT include LLC businesses?

Owner of LLC business in Maryland passed. Does the LLC business go to heir, next of kin or does it go to the Probate Court?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 25, 2022

The Maryland Uniform Transfer on Death Security Registration Act only applies to securities that have been registered with a beneficiary form that specifies a TOD beneficiary. While it may be possible to register a TOD beneficiary for an ownership interest in an LLC, it is not automatic. Most... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: My aunt passed away last fall and her lawyer has not released her will and is pretty much unavailable to talk.

I believe the lawyer has broken Md. Code, Estates and Trusts § 4-202 by willfully hiding the will and not exercising it in a timely manner. I am not referring to closing the estate: the will has not been released yet and it has been over half a year.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 20, 2022

The person appointed as personal representative or executor under the Will needs to make written demand to the lawyer to either file the Will with the Register of Wills or turn it over to the Personal Representative do they can file it. Give a reasonable deadline, after which the Personal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I am the sole beneficiary of an estate. Can I assign my interest in the estate to a non-family member?

This includes real property. The non-family member is not related to me or the deceased. In addition, what are the tax implications?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 18, 2022

Yes, it is possible to assign your interest, but it will be treated as a gift from you to the other person. You should be careful not to "disclaim" your inheritance, as that would prevent your ability to direct the inheritance to anyone (the disclaimed inheritance would go to the next... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I am the sole beneficiary of my mother's intestate estate.

I would like to assign my interest in the estate to my stepsister. Is this possible?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 9, 2022

You can always decline an estate, but there may be much better ways to put property in the hands of your step-sister to avoid significant taxes. I assume your step-sister is from a union of your father with another mother, because if she is your mother’s daughter and your mother died intestate,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: executor is telling me we will need to transfer the $ fr. me &my moms joint account to estate.any legality if I don’t
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 2, 2022

My previous answer should be sufficient, but if you are being bullied or threatened with some legal consequence if you do not do as you are being told, then you should consult a lawyer to go over in more detail exactly what the circumstances are that give rise to your concerns. The surviving owner... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Had joint bank account with my mother had rights of survivorship- does money need to be given to estate?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 1, 2022

No. A joint owner with rights of survivorship is vested with sole ownership upon death of the other owner. The funds in the account are not assets of the deceased joint owner’s estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Funeral expenses are paid shortly after a X's death by Y who is not beneficiary or administator. Can

Y, who is not a beneficiary or administrator, claim as a creditor against estate?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 1, 2022

Yes, Y is a creditor of the estate and may file a claim for funeral expenses paid. Y should submit a formal claim together with the invoices/receits showing the amounts incurred. If the Personal Representatve fails to pay or denies all or part of the claim, Y can petition to court to order the PR... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Valuation for inheritance tax and buyout in Maryland for a house inherited by two siblings

My brother and I inherited our aunt's house, and I want to buy him out. We are trying to determine a value for the buyout and the estate lawyer recommended an appraiser. His appraised value came in considerably higher than the last tax assessment (by about $200k) as well as the approximate... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 27, 2022

Yes. Make a lower offer. If refused, when the house is put up for sale, bid on on it like anyone else. You may end up being the higher bidder, but don’t bid more than you think it’s worth.

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