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Maryland Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can a lawyer be a beneficiary in a will and insurance policy, and leave their children out of it?

My father is mentally unstable. He would have doctors comit him to have his attorney have him released, for a large fee. My father died because the doctors and family was afraid to authorize treatment for a infection. His attorney is is sole benefactor in his life insurance and will. Isn't... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 10, 2024

It's not inherently illegal for a lawyer to be named as a beneficiary in a client's will or life insurance policy, but this situation can raise questions of undue influence or conflict of interest. If your father's mental capacity was in doubt, there could be grounds to challenge the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: sisters want to sell a house they inherited, one wants reimbursed for paying the mortgage before the sale is that legal?

Two sisters inherited a house, one is the executor of the will. They both wish to sell the house but the executor payed the mortgage for the last two months out of pocket instead of out of the estate funds. She now wants reimbursed saying there were no estate funds only the bequeathments as set by... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 5, 2023

Yes. The sister can petition the court to remove the Personal Representative, who is not doing the job properly. There is no reason to pay a mortgage if the estate is insolvent. It just means the house must be sold. The bank will get all its money at settlement, if the price is high enough. The... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: sisters want to sell a house they inherited, one wants reimbursed for paying the mortgage before the sale is that legal?

Two sisters inherited a house, one is the executor of the will. They both wish to sell the house but the executor payed the mortgage for the last two months out of pocket instead of out of the estate funds. She now wants reimbursed saying there were no estate funds only the bequeathments as set by... View More

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Dec 5, 2023

An online post cannot fully answer specific questions about a specific estate, but generally speaking one way or the other the mortgage needs to be paid and in nearly all scenarios this legally is treated as an estate expense.

If an estate lacks liquid funds (cash) to pay the mortgage,...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for the executor of an estate to force a benificiary to pay for a mortgage on a house they inherited?

Two sisters inherited a house with a mortgage now one sister wants the other sister to quit claim deed the house. Said sister is also the executor of the estate and is forcing my wife to either pay half the mortgage or quit claim on said house

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Dec 5, 2023

"inheritance" doesn't mean the bank loan is forgiven. It must be either paid off from Estate funds, or refinanced by the person inheriting the property. A "quitclaim" deed (one without the usual warranties of title) means the mortgage lien/loan obligations of the dead... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for the executor of an estate to force a benificiary to pay for a mortgage on a house they inherited?

Two sisters inherited a house with a mortgage now one sister wants the other sister to quit claim deed the house. Said sister is also the executor of the estate and is forcing my wife to either pay half the mortgage or quit claim on said house

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 5, 2023

It might be easier for you to think of this a different way. If the course was inherited by both sister, each has the right to use the undivided whole, and either has the right to demand that it be sold and the proceeds after paying off the mortgage split. If you cannot reach another agreement,... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for the executor of an estate to force a benificiary to pay for a mortgage on a house they inherited?

Two sisters inherited a house with a mortgage now one sister wants the other sister to quit claim deed the house. Said sister is also the executor of the estate and is forcing my wife to either pay half the mortgage or quit claim on said house

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Dec 5, 2023

When a house has a mortgage on it, the mortgage will need to be paid one way or another. Either the estate will pay off the loan with other cash and deed the house free and clear, the house will be sold and the loan paid at closing or the house will be conveyed to heirs "subject to" the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My brother and I inherited our father's house with no lien (equal shares). I am buying his 1/2 interest in the property

based on the FMV. I am paying cash, no loan needed. I am wondering the pros/cons of either (1) transferring the property into our joint names first, then completing the buy-out after the estate is closed, or (2) doing the buy-out through the estate, then we distribute the house/funds accordingly.... View More

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Aug 31, 2023

Thanks for your post. One beneficiary/heir buying out the other(s) presents a fairly common scenario.

When an estate has enough other liquid assets, then to eliminate transfer taxes it often makes sense to distribute the real estate entirely to the child who wants to acquire it and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: How long should it take to be appointed personal representative in Maryland?

My wife applied to be the personal representative of my MILs estate on April 21, 2023. As of June 5th, there is no response from the court. The register of wills did not have the latest will and we don't have an original, but we had a copy. My wife is listed as the primary representative... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jun 5, 2023

Ordinarily, you are required to make a court appearance and produce the original will to be appointed as the personal representative of a decedent's estate. The fact that you don't have the original, but do have a copy, tells me that you may be trying to do something without an attorney... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: How long should it take to be appointed personal representative in Maryland?

My wife applied to be the personal representative of my MILs estate on April 21, 2023. As of June 5th, there is no response from the court. The register of wills did not have the latest will and we don't have an original, but we had a copy. My wife is listed as the primary representative... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 7, 2023

Wow. You don't have the latest version of the will, and what you do have is only a copy. No, that's not good enough. You're heading for judicial probate on this one. That's why it's taking so long. There has to be a proceeding regarding what happened to the most recent... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Hello, I am attempting to make sense of what rights I may have as tenants in common with my brother in my fathers's Will

In the Will, he states, "I give and devise unto my wife my real estate [home address] for the remainder of her natural life, or until she shall decide to reside elsewhere on a permanent basis, or until she shall remarry...she shall pay all maintenance cost, insurance, and property taxes at her... View More

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Jun 5, 2023

Hi and thanks for posting a real estate question.

The first variable is whether your father's wife is still living. This appears to be a life estate to your father's wife, with the life estate ending if the life tenant moves out or remarries.

You describe a position...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Hello, I am attempting to make sense of what rights I may have as tenants in common with my brother in my fathers's Will

In the Will, he states, "I give and devise unto my wife my real estate [home address] for the remainder of her natural life, or until she shall decide to reside elsewhere on a permanent basis, or until she shall remarry...she shall pay all maintenance cost, insurance, and property taxes at her... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jun 7, 2023

You may only have a future interest after your father's widow (your mother?) no longer is residing in the house. You have no present rights to enforce, unless it has to do with an accusation that your father's widow is causing "waste" to the property (e.g., not paying the taxes... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Any legal ramifications for withholding a will when someone passes ?Also related, anyway to find attorney who prepared

My boyfriend of 10 years passed away April 1. He told me in 2020/2021 he had done a will & it was with his papers at his shop. He told me who the executor was & that his son wasn't to get anything. It was not filed with register of wills

I believe his son found the will.... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 31, 2023

Have you checked with the executor to see if he has a copy of the Will, or any correspondence regarding being named executor? Do you or anyone you know have access to the shop where the Will supposedly was stored? Do you know who he named as beneficiaries under his will?

The purported...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Probate for Maryland on
Q: How long can creditors make claims on a decedent's estate? All notices were given and the estate closed in Dec 2022.

The decedent died on 3/08/2022. The Notice to Creditors was published in March 2022 just after the decedent passed. The estate closed on 12/19/2022. I am personal representative and am still getting bills for medical services provided back in May 2021 thru January 2022. Am I obligated to pay them?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 29, 2023

If these bills are Medicare or Medicaid-related, and are requesting reimbursements for benefits paid through those programs, then maybe. Otherwise, creditors have an outer deadline of 6 months from the date of death to file a formal claim in the estate (not simply mail bills--the claim if a formal... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: My 2nd home is in Maryland. My 2 kids live there. My will gives it to them equally but can they live there thru probate?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 4, 2023

Yes, they can live there through probate, so long as the PR permits it (or the Will directs that they may). Are the contents of the house also going to the two children in the home, or are other persons receiving some of those contents? Until the house is distributed by deed to your two children,... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: My 2nd home is in Maryland. My 2 kids live there. My will gives it to them equally but can they live there thru probate?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 2, 2023

You need to discuss your situation with a lawyer. There are way too many unanswered questions. Is the home free & clear? Are there other heirs? Will the two heirs share it equally and get along in it? Do you want them to have the house or the proceeds from the house?

The short, and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Maryland Inheritance tax calculation. Based on amount before or after federal and state tax deductions?

I think I understand the "death" taxes in Maryland, but I am not positive on the calculations.

Are all taxes based on the value of the gross estate, or are some calculated based on the value after other taxes have been deducted?

For example:

Gross value of estate... View More

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Feb 27, 2023

Maryland inheritance tax is based on the relationship of the giver to the recipient, and is not tied to other death taxes, so on a $20M estate this could be $2M, $0 or nearly anything in between. (And if the tax is paid "outside" of the gift, Maryland will "tax the tax" and... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Maryland Inheritance tax calculation. Based on amount before or after federal and state tax deductions?

I think I understand the "death" taxes in Maryland, but I am not positive on the calculations.

Are all taxes based on the value of the gross estate, or are some calculated based on the value after other taxes have been deducted?

For example:

Gross value of estate... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 26, 2023

Taxes are imposed on the gross estate. There are exemptions, credits and deductions that are/may be applicable. You absolutely need to pay a CPA to do these taxes for this size of an estate, as well as have estate counsel for the estate administration (or trust distribution). There are too many... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Will excuses the need to post bond for the performance of duties. Do I still need nominal bond in MD?

Maryland probate estate value is $10,000 or more.

Will states: "I hereby excuse those persons named in or appointed pursuant to this Will as Personal Representatives from the necessity of posting any bond or other security for the faithful performance of their respective duties."... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Feb 22, 2023

I agree with Ms. Laumann in almost all respects. I've never seen or heard of nominal bond being waived by prepaying taxes or probate costs. I believe that is because the nominal bond also covers potential unfilled claims of creditors, but I haven't researched that in a really long time.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Will excuses the need to post bond for the performance of duties. Do I still need nominal bond in MD?

Maryland probate estate value is $10,000 or more.

Will states: "I hereby excuse those persons named in or appointed pursuant to this Will as Personal Representatives from the necessity of posting any bond or other security for the faithful performance of their respective duties."... View More

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Feb 22, 2023

In a word, yes, even where a Will waives bond the Register can still require a nominal bond to cover anticipated inheritance tax and other court fees.

Wills almost always waive the bond requirement for monies going to people who may inherit. However the government doesn't...
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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: if someone owned a small business and you are co-president of the company and he dies with a non signed witness will,

and you are running the business do I have any rights?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 31, 2023

Your use of pronouns "someone", "you", "he" and "I" is beyond confusing. It is unclear who these pronouns are referring to, other than the "I."

I'll take a stab: the owner of the company died without a will, and you are...
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