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Maryland Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: My mother died with no will and her only asset is car worth less than 20,000. What can I do?

My mum passed away leaving only a car with a trade in value of $17000. The car has been paid off by credit insurance but the bank has reposed the car and would not release it to me until I prove am authorized to be given account information. I am the only imediate family member residing in the... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 18, 2020

Contact MVA. Call Center- 410-768-7000. Email- MVACS@mdot.state.md.us. I believe Maryland law allows an expedited change of car title at the MVA by producing the death certificate and whatever else they need to show you are next of kin. It's not something lawyers tend to get involved in resolving.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Am to get guardianship for my autistic 25 year old son, but am in south Carolina. Can you help
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Mar 11, 2020

Where is your son? Does he agree that he needs your guardianship? Will he move to you in SC? You should get a lawyer where your son will be living at the time of the petition.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My uncle died two years ago. His mother and his wife are alive. Does my uncle's mother the right to inherit?

he lived in Maryland, USA.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Mar 7, 2020

Need more facts. Did he have a will? How were his assets titled? We’re there “transfer on death” beneficiaries on any financial accounts? Did he have children? Are any of them minors? His spouse has statutory election rights even if there is a will and she is left less than what her statutory... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Mom and I got a joint checking account a year before she started to get bad. Is this account legally mine?

My mom passed away and a year before she passed her and I got a joint banking account together. Now that she has passed my sister is taking me to Court for the money in the account. How can she do this when I have survivors rights to the account and it's not part of the estate. She's saying I... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Mar 2, 2020

You are probably on solid legal ground, but anybody can sue anybody whether they can prove the legal right to win or not. Injunctive relief is permitted when there is an immediate irreparable harm that will occur if the court does not issue an immediate temporary order to stop another party from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Do I have rights to my deceased father’s estate after his second wife remarried soon after his death?

My father married my stepmother in 1987. He passed in 2011 while they were still married. My stepmother ended up selling the home that she and my father lived in before his death to her daughter (my step sister). My stepsister, in turn, sold the home a few years later for a nice profit. My... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Mar 2, 2020

Yes, by all realistic scenarios, there is no inheritable estate left, assuming the absence of fraud. Your stepmother could not have sold the house and transferred title to her daughter without having sole title herself, either as joint tenant with right of survivorship on the deed, or by a will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Father's estate is being sued by surviving spouse after his passing - question is addressed in more info below - thanks!

Estate is being sued by surviving spouse for 1/3 of value of the family farm that was premarital asset (in fam for years). The property is owned f&c now but was used as collateral to purchase other assets/property that created financial gain/property & assets that the surviving spouse has already... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 3, 2020

There is no way to evaluate this competently from your incomplete description. You need an estate or probate lawyer in the state where your father resided at the time of his death. Spousal share cases are complex and often fact-dependent. In other words, the facts you described may or may not... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can I keep the house after my mother died. I was living with her. The only other heir is my sister. She was not married.

There is a mortgage fro $250,000.00 and house is worth $375,000.00. She owed $10000.00 in credit cards.

I want to keep the house. My sister does not want house. I am Personal Representative. There is no money to pay credit cards.

Do I have to sell the house to pay the credit cards?... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jan 4, 2020

The just debts of the decedent must be paid out of assets of the Estate, before distribution to the heirs. So, the house must be sold or refinanced to pay off the credit card debt. This can be wrapped in with the sister disclaiming her interest (if she doesn't want the value of her interest),... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Elderly parent relocating from LA to MD. Is the will from LA void, or should I have dad update his will for MD?

Elderly parent must relocate to my home in so. MD. His will is under LA. Does this matter at time of death?

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Dec 30, 2019

Generally speaking, wills valid in the state of original domicile remain valid if the planner moves. A will may become void in some cases of changed circumstances, such as if a planner both marries and has children after creating their will, but a valid will does not become "void" based solely on... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Hello! My case is about intestacy and lawyers as personal representatives in the State of Maryland (Montgomery County).

My mother passed away last year and I was placed as the PR. I handled all her debts and creditors but, did not file the first account. Due to the delay in filing, there was a hearing (without my knowledge) and I was taken off as PR and a lawyer was placed in. He wants to sell the real estate... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Dec 12, 2019

You should hire a lawyer to represent you, have the lawyer learn what the facts are so the correct action can be evaluated and taken (you don’t post any facts to properly advise you).

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is a testamentary will sufficient to avoid probate in Maryland VA even if you own a home?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 20, 2019

First of all, where in Virginia is Maryland? Which state's law is at issue?

Second, a testamentary will is one of the two ways (intestate being the other) to get INTO probate. A Will does not avoid probate.

Third, other than learning it from a poorly written TV script or a...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Legal Malpractice and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Trust Fund Mis-use

My uncle is a fiduciary to my sons trust fund. The fund was created when my mother passed. We have never seen an accounting of the money. How do we find out what's going on with the fund? He is not returning phone calls or emails or snail mail in regards to this matter.

Paul E. Draper
Paul E. Draper answered on Nov 8, 2019

Your uncle as trustee of a trust for the benefit of your son is required to provide your son or, if he is a minor, his parents with an accounting of the trust assets. Unfortunately, since your uncle is refusing to communicate with you, your son or you will be required to institute litigation... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: What document can be used to support/prove intestate inheritance in MD for the death of a spouse 21 years ago?

My husband died without a will. All our "known" assets were joint owned so we did not see a need for probate since all he had went to me as surviving joint owner. I need some documented proof of inheritance to claim & sell some previously unknown property out of the country inherited by my... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 28, 2019

There is no statute of limitations on filing a probate. I've filed DC estates that were over 20 years old. Your biggest problem may be that $30,000 was more than a small estate 21 years ago in Maryland, so I think you need to file a regular estate, and the procedures last millennium were less... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I was the PR for my father's estate and I closed out the account about 5 years ago when I thought I had accounted for

everything, however, I found a claim in MD via the unclaimed property unit. I received a check made payable to the estate of my father care of me (the PR). How can I cash that check so I can pay the distributees? Check is for $102.86

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 15, 2019

I know of no way to do it other than reopening the estate. It isn't hard, but it means filing a new accounting, and that certainly isn't worth the effort using a lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: How do we handle a case involving a trust fund in Maryland while we are living in another state?

My wife's brother administers her trust fund in Maryland, but we live in another state from him. Recently, she feels he is not administering it properly and that we need legal assistance. Her brother has stated that the trust fund will not pay for a lawyer if we do. The fund is her only income at... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 10, 2019

If you hire a lawyer and succeed in getting a court to replace her as trustee, at that time the trust will most likely have the right and ability to reimburse you for your attorney fees. But if you lose, you bear the expense.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: I have 2 text messages from my deceased spouse saying I can have the house, Can I submit this to the court.

He died without a will and now I need to pay his adult children he had before we married, becasue oft he value of the home. My name is not on the deed. I am in Maryland

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 20, 2019

You should sit down with a lawyer to review the estate and your rights. While a text is not a Will, and it will not be binding, you have certain rights as the spouse.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My mom and stepdad were never married but purchased a home in both names with rights to survivors , mom dies, he never

Goes through probate so both names are still on deed. He’s getting remarried, the house was always to go to us kids if something happens to him. Is this new marriage going to change this?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Aug 12, 2019

By law, the house is solely his, regardless of whether he retitles it into his sole name. If he dies without a will, his stepchildren (unless legally adopted) will not inherit any part of his estate. The only way you as stepchildren can inherit property of his estate is if he drafts a will and... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: What if a person doesn’t go through probate, does the property go to the decendents
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 12, 2019

Probate IS the process by which property of a decedent is retitled.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My father left a will when He passed away I was 5 and it says that my mom and I are on the deed.

I’m from GlenBurnie Md and In my fathers will he left the house to my mom and me so I guess her and then it goes to me when she passes??? If my name is on the deed can I live in that house with my wife and children without being thrown out now sense I’m 41 and technically it’s part my house????

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jul 20, 2019

A lawyer would have to look at your grandfather’s will to ascertain how the house was to be distributed to you and your mom, as well as review the deed to the house to see whether it was titled in accordance with your grandfather’s will. Assuming that your name is on the deed together with your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: If a non custodial parent dies and he has a spouse how can I find out if there is an estate if child support is owed?
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jul 12, 2019

Probate estates are opened in the jurisdiction where the deceased person died. You can find out whether an estate has been opened by contacting the Register of Wills (or going to the Register of Wills' website and performing a search with the deceased person's name).

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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
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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