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Maryland Probate Questions & Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: My blood sister recently passed away intestate. Would I be able to assume her mortgage?

I live in Maryland so I know I would need to go through probate court. Our parents are deceased and she had no children. If granted by the judge would the lender just let me assume the mortgage or would the check my credit and make me refinance. I really want the house to stay in the family but I... Read more »

Brian Robert Gormley answered on May 7, 2019

Actually, you would not need to assume the mortgage. There is a federal law called Garn St. Germain that allows you to retain the property as an inheritance without the lender accelerating the debt under its due on sale clause or performing any other underwriting. Obviously, each estate is fact... Read more »

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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 Probate for Maryland on

Q: My husband passed away, no will. He was the sole owner on the house and one vehicle. Will I be forced to sell home

Husband has credit card debt. There are no cash assets as all bank accounts were jointly owned.

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Mar 20, 2019

When someone dies without a will, the laws of intestate succession apply. Depending on what other family they leave behind, property may have to be split with the children or parents of the person who died. Generally the person handling the estate will want to wait before paying credit card... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: Upon death of disabled person who outranks who the guardian or the executor/per. Rep?

Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 18, 2019

The guardianship or any power of attorney ceases to exist when the ward or principal dies. There is no outranking, because the sole remaining duty of the guardian is to account to the PR or the court.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: In Maryland, it appears that witnesses to a will must appear to verify a will in probate. However, must they be found?

Must witnesses to a will be found and accounted for in any way in an uncontested probate? What about a self proving will? Must the witness's verifying statement be sworn before a notary? What if only one of the witnesses is alive and can be found?

Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 15, 2019

Proper attestation creates a presumption of authenticity, so it will usually be adequate in an uncontested probate. Beyond that, retaining a lawyer, whose fees are subject to review by the court and who is paid from the assets of the estate, is a good idea.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: In Maryland if there is no will and the estate representative doesn’t sell the home of the deceased in the allotted time

And the state takes over and puts it up for auction, does the state have to sell it at the appraised amount? There are no taxes owed , however because of other heirs Maryland State allows a certain length of time to sell and distribute all monies .

Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 13, 2019

What!? Get a lawyer. Find out why the state is selling the property. Intestacy has nothing to do with it. If there is an open probate and an appointed personal representative (PR), we need to ask why they have decided to forfeit the property. Is it "underwater" with the mortgage debt and taxes? Is... Read more »

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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.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Probate for Maryland on

Q: Need help getting my 21 yr. old daughter access to her title 13 bank account established for her as a minor.

From a dog bite attack at the age of 3 my daughter has funds in a Title 13 account in a local bank. She is now 21 years old and wants access to the money. The bank is refusing to let her have it, stating she needs a court order to do so. What can we do to prove there is no court order needed?... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Dec 28, 2018

Maryland Estates & Trusts Code, Sections 13-405(a) (applicable to funds recovered in personal injury/tort claims) and 13-501(b) (applicable in all other scenarios), both provide that full payment may be made to the minor child upon attainment of 18 years of age, without a court order. A court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: My father and mother died three months apart. I am the sole heir and my name has been on all accounts for years.

Is there a law in MD that requires filing wills? The MD State Retirement System will not release the $2200, owed from dad's final pension, to my mother's estate/me, without a Letter of Administration from the court. I live in another state and this is extremely difficult for me to do. I already... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on Dec 26, 2018

Call the Register of Wills in the county where your father resided at the time of his death. You will have to open a small estate, file his original will, and be issued Letters of Administration to act as Personal Representative of his estate. You can then execute checks, documents, etc. and... Read more »

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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: My adult brother has passed, our mother paid to have an apartment over his detached garage built. ($108K). 1 month later

My brothers wife is telling my mom she has to move. (age 75) Can she go after her cost for building her home in probate?

Agreement was witnessed by mother, father, myself and brother. Only my mother and myself alive. She would be able to live there until her death or my brother sold and... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 19, 2018

There are multiple potential arguments, but you need to review all of the facts with a competent attorney. Some interesting issues to explore include whether there was a lease arising from the written communications of your mother and your brother; whether the development has unjustly enriched the... Read more »

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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:

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...
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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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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: Hello In Maryland does the Bonding Agency require that an attorney be listed? If so can the attorney be out of state

In the state of Maryland, The Office of Wills requires the designated Personal Representative to be bonded.

Q: Do all Bonding Agencies require that an attorney be listed on the bonding application or is this a requirement per respective Bonding Agency .

Q: If attorney is required... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Aug 29, 2018

1) Most of the time bond companies (at least those issuing fiduciary bonds in Maryland) consider a Personal Representative who is represented by an attorney to be a lower risk. That is because the bonding company expects the attorney to already know the rules and to handle the estate in accordance... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: In Md, if a house is put in Trust, must it go through Probate?

Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 20, 2018

Property in a trust does not go through probate, but before you move your home into a trust, you might want to sit down and discuss your situation with a lawyer. Probate administration was massively simplified starting in the mid'1980's, and yet charlatans continue on the lecture circuit telling... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on

Q: HELLO, I have a question about my deceased dads handling of his will and moneys.

my dad passed 5 years ago. He named 5 of of his children in the will although 3 of us were not given equal amounts of his money i am finding out. We were named in the will but i found out he had multiple 401ks/stocks/savings/insurance, cash etc that was not distributed to three of the children. I... Read more »

Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 31, 2018

Five years is a very long time for you to first to wake up. Your chances are poor, but the statute of limitations has exceptions, and it is even possible that the statute hasn’t run if the estate was filed recently. The only way to know is to pay a lawyer to review it.

Reading an answer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Probate for Maryland on

Q: My mom passed I am her pr her home that I live in has a mortgage that has her and her ex husband 03 names what do I do

Ex husband took me to court he wanted to put me out of home was unsuccessful but I want to keep it as I reside there with small child and he wants to sell in the divorce she was supposed to have his name removed from the mortgage and all things that pertain to home but she never did what can I do... Read more »

Mark Oakley answered on May 16, 2018

You need to have a lawyer review the deed, the will, and any divorce judgment and separation agreement between your mother and ex-husband.

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

Q: father died. Will said house goes to ex-GF and everything else to me. GF said will sent to probate but still no proof

Father died April 2017. GF took the housed said she had filed the will in probate court a year ago. I checked today and still nothing was filed. Could something be amiss? Could she be collecting his retirement checks and other payments without my knowledge? How do I protect my interests?

Richard Sternberg answered on May 15, 2018

You should retain counsel to file a probate petition. Filing the Will is merely a first step. And, yes, I’m the meantime, she might be committing all sorts of frauds.

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

Q: In the state of md When a beneficiary of will dies after the maker of the will , who inherits from the beneficiary

The beneficiary and her two sons were named in the will. The will was written in 1988 the maker of the will died in 2009, and the will was probated in 2018 thirty years later and none of the heirs have been notified. The beneficiary has no living siblings just children and nieces and nephews

Mark Oakley answered on May 8, 2018

Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide an answer without more details and facts. Consult with a lawyer who can review the will, the dates of death of the maker of the will and the beneficiary, and the beneficiary’s will, if any.

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

Q: do you still need an atty when spouse passes away leaves surviving spouse everything & jointly own home & bank accts?

Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 22, 2018

If everything was planned perfectly, so that you don’t need to file a probate, there might be no need for counsel. Even if there are small omissions, the surviving spouse might do just fine handling the estate pro se. If they need to evaluate the work to be done, a simple one -hour consult with... Read more »

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