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Maryland Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: If someone kills their parents & commits suicide & they’re in parents will,does his descendants receive his portion

Would this fall under slayer rule, which would kick him out of the will, therefore his descendants would not inherit his portion?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 19, 2021

It depends on the Survivorship Clause of the Will. The murderer is, of course, excluded, but his heirs are not. If the Will contains a fairly common clause that defines a person as predeceased if they die within 60 days of the testator, then the murderer is considered to have pre-deceased. If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for Maryland on
Q: Rules on checks written to minors. How do you do this correctly?

Can I write a check to my 2 year old grandson in his name. Of course, his father would have to endorse it. Would he have to set up a new account for the child?I recall getting a check as a child and it read pay to the order of my name (minor).

Please let me know. Thank-you

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 18, 2021

Maryland law allows for minors to hold funds in special accounts under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act. Such accounts have the minor's name PLUS an adult "custodian" who acts on behalf of the minor until they reach majority. The funds belong to the minor but the adult can make... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: are CD'S included in the estate to be reported to the county for their fee
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jan 17, 2021

All estate assets are included in the accounting and the gross value of the estate. If the CDs (Certificates of Deposit, I assume, and not compact disks) have named beneficiaries on them then the CDs pass directly to the beneficiary and are not part of the estate or included on the accounting or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: What is the necessary legal phrase or sentence to ensure that a handwritten will is acceptable/legal in Maryland?

Not the name, spouse, who gets what, how much but the finishing phrase or wordage that oks the handwritten will so it does not have to go to court to be approved).

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jan 16, 2021

A simple will is the cheapest most reasonable flat fee most lawyers charge, so please go to a lawyer for this basic necessity and insure that not only the will itself meets the necessary requirements to be legally valid, but also that the will actually distributes your assets how you would want.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: On my will, I have my 2 daughters listed as beneficiaries. I want to split everything evenly. On the line for property..

On the line for what property I want to leave them, is there a certain wording for "half of assets" or 50%? Or should I leave that line blank? I don't necessarily need to leave each of them each anything in particular. It would basically be the house and everything in it. They will... Read more »

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Jan 13, 2021

I give to my daughters, DAUGHTER 1 and DAUGHTER 2, in as equal shares as possible, my principal place of residence and any real property that I may...

I give the balance of my personal and household effects, automobiles and other tangible personal property to my daughters, DAUGHTER 1 and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can any type of lawyer sign a "proof of execution of will" in Maryland?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jan 12, 2021

The “proof of execution of will” form is signed by any person who was present and witnessed the decedent sign the will, including one of the person’s who signed as a witness. The space for the lawyer signature is only there if the Personal Representative of the estate retained a lawyer to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Maryland on
Q: How many signatures are required for an agreement paper between husband and wife later inserted as part of a will?

In maryland

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Dec 30, 2020

A lawyer would have to look at both documents. A will requires two witnesses, and agreement can be signed by just the parties to the agreement. The will would have to specifically reference the agreement if it was to be given effect in place of or as part of provisions in the will.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Maryland on
Q: How do prove that a wife did not sign or agree to a document that relinquished her rights to her husband’s estate.

In maryland

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Dec 30, 2020

It depends on the facts, but one might look to the provenance of the signature using a handwriting expert or the circumstances of the signing. I had one case where the signature was attacked by investigating the notary seal, which turned out to be forged. There are many sets of facts, and it is the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: I was the executor of my mothers estate. My sister was accusing me of estate theft. I decided to get an estate lawyer.

I found out later, I was not reimbursed for approximately $20,000. Can I sue the estate lawyer??

Thank you

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Dec 25, 2020

So, assuming you were still the personal representative of the estate throughout the time the estate lawyer charged fees, then the lawyer was supposed to petition the court to approve payment of his fees from the estate. A PR has authority to retain estate counsel, and in addition, petition for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: If my wife or I become incapacitated, what is the legal procedure to selling a joint owned home in Maryland?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Dec 13, 2020

If both you and your wife have durable general powers of attorney in place that are drafted in accordance with the updated statutory requirements during the past decade, then it is easy and no trouble at all. If you do not, somebody will need to hire a lawyer and petition the court to be appointed... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Dear Sir/Madam, regarding to returning deposit to tenant + interest in Maryland

it says: " Within 45 days after the end of the tenancy, the landlord shall return the security deposit to the tenant together with simple interest which has accrued at the daily U.S. Treasury yield curve rate for 1 year, as of the first business day of each year, or 1.5% a year, whichever is... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Dec 7, 2020

For many years the statute required that landlords return at 3% interest, even if they were earning 1/10th of 1%. This law was changed in recent years to be somewhat more reflective of current interest rates and more favorable to landlords because it cut the minimum interest in 1/2.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can I bring a lawsuit against a sitting judge who failed to register a Will when she was a Lawyer and paid to do so now

May 2003 paid Lawyer to do power of Attorney and Will was paid to register with Orphan court and she did not I have the information on paying the bill on my checking account

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Dec 1, 2020

Not sure what you mean by "paid to do so now." If you want to sue a sitting judge, you cannot sue for judicial acts in most cases as judges enjoy immunity. If you are asking whether you can sue a judge in the capacity as an attorney, the answer may be yes. But you may also be well outside... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: My husband died with no will, he was left most everything from his mother, if she passes do I his spouse receive it?

He has 2 grown daughters, and the will does not specify anything. I am in Maryland

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Nov 19, 2020

It is not possible for any attorney to predict what someone might inherit in the future from a now living former mother-in-law because that person could change their estate planning anytime until they die.

In the event that any property is at some point disbursed in the name of your late...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: In Maryland, does estate need to go into probate for a $250,000 house that had deceased mom's name on the deed?

I am administering the estate for my father-in-law and I was named as the executor in his will. PG County granted me special administrative rights so that we could complete the sale of his house. The house went under contract before he passed and sold after he passed -- his will states that his... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 18, 2020

Your father-in-law became the sole owner of the property when his wife died (assuming, as is normal, he owned the house as "Tenants by the Entireties" with his wife). When he died, ownership of the house immediately vested in the estate, meaning the only person authorized to close on the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: In Maryland, if the PR closed an estate 17 years ago without selling it can she reopen it easily at this time to do so?

I would like to please know how unique this situation is where the personal representative went through probate 17 years ago, closed it and now wants to sell the house in 2020 and it is still in closed status. She has filed an updated letter of Administration. She has not taken the deceased... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 15, 2020

It's going to take a bit of time, particularly if the property is in PG County. The quarantine has hit the Recorder of Deeds fairly hard, and the backlog seems to be a couple months on recording. The Register of Wills Offices across the state are closed and documents are being filed by remote.... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Can disclaiming inheritance from a Trust be used as a method of tax avoidance between beneficiaries of that trust?

Person A and B are tenants in common in a property that is valued at $1,000,000 and has a basis of $200,000.

Their mother dies leaving them $2,000,000 in a trust to be distributed equally.

Person A disclaims $500,000 of his inheritance from the trust.

Person B signs a... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 11, 2020

A gift tax return should be filed by Person B for the gift of their interest in the property to person A, but at person B's option, no estimated gift tax need be paid at this time, since the amount will be added back into Person B's gross estate when Person B dies for purposes of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My father died no will my grandparents both died and had a will it goes a third my dad and a third uncle my and a third

My other uncle how is my grandparents estate going to be split up now grandparents house was left as a third my dad and 2 uncle's got a third how is it distribution now since my dad's died no will and my grandparents have both passed away

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 3, 2020

Sorry, your question is far too confusing as to specific facts (and punctuation, which is creating a lot of ambiguity). A lawyer will need to know the order of death for each person who has died, as well as a better description of the terms of your grandparents' wills (specifically, whether... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Maryland on
Q: Asset Protection and Medicaid Benefits

My parents and I are planning to sell our houses to buy a bigger house to live together. What should we do to protect our asset but still legally having Medicaid benefits for my parents if they need to apply?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 24, 2020

You should schedule an appointment with an elder law attorney. There is more than one way to do this. There is no one-size-fits all solution. A personal consultation is needed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Public Benefits and Social Security for Maryland on
Q: 64, disabled, and on SSI and Medicare/Medicaid. About to inherit about $50,000. How can I avoid losing benefits?

Dad's original will set up a Special Needs Trust with all funds just for me. He later amended the will so funds are immediately disbursed among each of the children. I think I'm in a bind and don't want to lose my only income source as well as my health insurance due to having... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 7, 2020

You are legally allowed to direct a gift or inheritance into a special needs trust, without receiving it directly yourself. You can have such a trust created when the time comes to receive the inheritance, or if one already exists, you can direct the funds into the existing special needs trust. Not... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: If a house has black mold, can money from the estate be used to repair before selling?

There was no will and it was agreed that two of the siblings would receive this house since a much more expensive home was given to the other two siblings years before the deceased passed. They now want the money from the repairs. Do we have a case to not give it to them since they agreed to take... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Oct 6, 2020

It is not clear to me from your description exactly what the issue is, and you will need to discuss this with a Maryland lawyer. I assume what you are saying is that the estate consists of this older property, plus other cash assets. You initially ask if you can perform mold remediation before... Read more »

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