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Maryland Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: 17-111 requirements: 2 witnesses signed in presence of the principal. notary is 1 witness. Is lawyer the second witnes

Maryland annotated code 2010

Mark Oakley answered on May 26, 2019

Under Estates Code 17-110, a Maryland power of attorney under the statutory provisions must be (1) notarized and (2) signed by and before two witnesses. The Notary may also sign as one of the two witnesses in addition to signing as a notary. A lawyer may act as a witness.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: How can I get reinstated as a Personal Representative? I never received notification of a show cause meeting.

My Dad passed away and I am his only child and he was divorced. I was appointed as his Personal Representative. The Estate Attorney passed away in November 2007. The Law Office of Peter G. Angelos is handling his Asbestos settlement cases. They will not release funds to me until I am reinstated... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Apr 28, 2019

If you were appointed as his PR, why do you need to be “reinstated”? Either you are the PR, or you’re not. Only the PR can claim funds due to your father, as those funds are assets of his estate. It is irrelevant that you are his sole beneficiary. Hire an estate lawyer to assist you in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on

Q: In Maryland, can a trust contain the power/authority to hold $150,000 from the beneficiaries indefinitely?

150,000 is to provide funding to place flowers on three gravesites two times each year.

Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 27, 2019

You probably ought to pay someone to review the actual trust, because some trust purposes can be undercut by the beneficiaries due to changes circumstances, but there is nothing fundamentally problematic with a trust holding property perpetually. A grant of property must resolve title within 21... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: When a loved one passes away are you required by law to open up an estate if they have a house in a reverse mortgage

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Apr 17, 2019

If someone dies with property titled in their sole name, then yes, an estate should be opened. Very generally speaking family has no obligation to open an estate (unless they are the named personal representative in a will) but it is usually in their interests to do so.

A reverse...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on

Q: Do you still go by a will if a spouse elects against the estate?

Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 5, 2019

You really need counsel if a spouse elects against the Will, but, generally, spousal share trumps the Will as to the spouse, who takes only through the election, and the rest and remainder goes according to the Will. The computation sometimes get hairy.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: My father, no will & my grandmother went before him, no will. There r only 3 blood relative my Aunt Amy brother and me

Cheryl Sellers Johnson answered on Feb 17, 2019

I am sorry to hear about the passing of your father and grandmother. You have presented some bare facts but not really a question. If your grandmother and father had valid Wills, their estates would be distributed according to the provisions of their Wills. If neither had a Will, just based on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Arbitration / Mediation Law, Civil Rights and Social Security for Maryland on

Q: I need representation for probate of my mother's estate. I need someone who deals with special needs trusts

I am on social Security

Mark Oakley answered on Jan 24, 2019

Try to find a lawyer in the jurisdiction where the estate is filed, for convenience. Most estate lawyers understand special needs trusts. You cannot solicit (and attorneys cannot solicit) business on this site per the site rules. You can, however, call lawyers who answer questions on this site,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: In Maryland, our mother died intestate. My brother and I are co-representative of estate. How to resolve disagreement ?

We have a house. We are co-representing the estate. I want to sell. My brother says he wants to buy. He refuses to sign contract to buy or list house and sign contract to sell on open market. He continues to run his business out of house while estate pays the bills. How can I halt his business... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 10, 2019

Get counsel. File petition to list and sell house in the form of Sale in Lieu of Partition.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on

Q: what is the proper written code for a quit claim deed from father to daughter for tax exemptions

I live in MD. My father is transferring the house to me. I need to site the code to exempt me from the state and fed taxes

Mark Oakley answered on Jan 10, 2019

The recording office of the county where you file will know and allow you to fill in the cited section that applies. They are the authority who has to approve whether you have a tax exempt transfer. However, the list of exempt transactions generally appears in the Maryland Tax-Property Article,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Foreclosure and Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: I am a trustee on a property that's in pre foreclosure. I would like to buy the home. Trust doc says we can buy and sell

The second trustee is not communicating with the family after helping herself to funds from the trust for her own use.

What can I do to redeem the property from the bank? Can I take over the loan and have the fees removed? Can I refinance although I'm not on the loan? The borrower has been... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Dec 28, 2018

Your facts are dripping in self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duties, and the claim that one trustee stole funds while the other stole the property are just oozing from your question. The notion that trust instructions give you the power to buy and sell does not mean that you can buy and sell to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: can the guardian of a living disabled adult (senior citizen) re-write a properly executed will?

Mark Oakley answered on Dec 19, 2018

No. But a guardian may be able to make other estate planning decisions, including establishing a trust in the name of their ward and funding it, with distribution of the trust assets upon death being set forth in the trust. You should not do anything without first consulting with experienced estate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: What happens to my foreign bank accounts if I die in America without a valid will?

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Dec 7, 2018

If you are domiciled in Maryland at the time of your death, die without a will and an estate is opened up here, your probate property passes under the laws of intestate succession. Who gets the probate property and in what percentage depends on what relatives survive you.

Some property...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: who pays inheritance tax/

I have looked online and can't find this info. My 1st cousin died and listed me as a beneficiary in her will. I live in MD as did she. Will I have to pay inheritance tax on any thing I receive from the estate or am I considered a direct family member?

Mark Oakley answered on Nov 14, 2018

Only the decedent's spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or descendant of the decedent's child (or their surviving spouse) qualify for the exemption from Maryland's state inheritance tax of 10% ("lineal" relatives). First cousin is not "lineal" does not meet the exemption. However, certain assets... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on

Q: As the sole beneficiary of father's estate, can I use the estate's money for non-estate reasons while still in probate?

I am the sole beneficiary and executor of my father's estate. Home was placed in a trust but his bank accounts were not and money (approx. $400,000) is now in the estate account. At the time of his death he had no debt. Prior to his death, we needed to do major updates to or home in order for him... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 3, 2018

Once you have filed the petition for probate, received your Letters, and have filed the Inventory, you can do an advance to the heirs. Since you are the only heir, that would mean you. But, you will be responsible if your advance exceeds the available resources of the Estate after payment of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: What is a family limited partnership and how would it relate to my estate planning strategy?

Mark Oakley answered on Oct 20, 2018

It’s simply a vehicle to hold assets coupled with an agreement on how to manage and distribute the assets given various scenarios. It is not typically part of an estate plan for most people, as there are usually far better methods. As far as how any particular strategy best relates to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: My dad died and had a wife. Can she take everything from the kids if they're not her biological kids but are his.

He was married in Georgia had 3 kids with her moved to Maryland had 2 kids stayed in Maryland for over 20 years and died in Maryland. Can she take everything 401k pension ect and leave us dry if he had no will.

Mark Oakley answered on Oct 20, 2018

She can only claim $15,000 plus 50% of everything else. The rest goes to his children in equal shares. However, any assets that were jointly titled may go 100% to the surviving owner. That includes real estate, financial accounts, etc. Also, assets like 401Ks, IRA accounts, etc., have named... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Social Security and Estate Planning for Maryland on

Q: I have an adult daughter receiving SSI disability.Her name is on my utility bills, bank accounts, etc., as I want her to

be the beneficiary for everything. I already have a will designating her to be the recipient of my assets. I received a letter from Social Security wanting to discontinue her benefits because I have her name listed on my bank accounts, and I believe they are probably computing the money in my... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Sep 23, 2018

She should not have any assets in her name or jointly with yours. You should establish a special needs trust to hold any assets you leave her in your will. That will protect the assets from disqualifying her from her benefits, while at the same time preserving the assets for her benefit and needs.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on

Q: How do I write up a Bussiness trust 12-2004

I wanna write up a Unicorporated Bussiness trust

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Sep 19, 2018

The first question any business attorney will likely ask is: what are you looking to accomplish? A business trust is an old but relatively unusual way to conduct business, except perhaps in the case of real estate held in a grantor's revocable living trust. The question doesn't give any facts... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: How would I find real property ie. real Estate on the Maryland probate search website? it is a little confusing

Also is there a way to filter out the probates that do not have real estate attached to them? Thank you!

here is the link i am using:

https://registers.maryland.gov/RowNetWeb/Estates/frmEstateSearch2.aspx

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Sep 18, 2018

To find real estate in Maryland, one typically searches land records, not probate records. Probate searches will show what probate estates have been opened.

There is no way to search for what is in a particular estate (whether real estate or otherwise) without going into each estate's...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Maryland on

Q: Can the estate in probate make mortgage payments for the joint tenant/spouse?

My mother passed unexpectedly a few months ago. She'd been separated from my father for over a decade but they were still legally married when she passed and he is also on the mortgage and now has full ownership of the house. My father lives out of state, I don't. We would like to keep the house in... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 31, 2018

While it is best to have a lawyer look over the Will, if any, and examine the situation, as a general matter, if all of the potential beneficiaries agree, there is nobody available to complain. If you have available assets and wish to pay off the mortgage so you can change the title, I'm not sure... Read more »

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