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Maryland Probate Questions & Answers
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...
Read more »

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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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Mom lives in house in MD and does not have a will. House is still titled as joint tenants with Dad deceased 19-years ago

Four siblings are living in house with Mom. When Mom dies will probate sell house or can siblings still living in house prevent sale?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jan 2, 2021

Mom solely owns the house in this scenario. Without a will, all her children inherit equally. Somebody must petition to become Personal Representative of the estate. If more than one petitions, or there is an objection to anyone petitioning, then the court will decide who gets named. The PR must... 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: My brother was killed by his wife, last year my father passed without a will. My stepmother is the executor, what happen

To the share owed to my brother. It was a 50/50 split between us and my stepmother

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Nov 28, 2020

Your stepmother is entitled to the first $40,000 and then 50% of the remaining balance of your father’s estate if she and your father were still married when he died. The other 50% would go to you alone if you are the only living child of your father AND your deceased brother has no living... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: How long would the process take of making a complaint for the sale in Lieu of Partition in Prince George's county, MD?

An elderly disabled person is being forced out of his home that he lived in all of his life by the personal representative. The home had been closed with probate many years ago, and it's still closed, but the personal representative has now decided to sell the home after all this time. The... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Nov 16, 2020

Your posting does not provide sufficient information for a reliable response, and I suggest that you review all of the facts with counsel during a consult. If the house is titled to the decedent, and there is an open estate with a qualified PR, there is no need for a complaint for sale in lieu of... Read more »

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 »

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 Real Estate Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My father died in the state of Maryland without a will. What steps do I take to sell his house?

His fiancé still lives in the house, but I am his next of kin

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 19, 2020

I think I answered another question from you a minute ago. If your father died leaving a house and a motorcycle, and you are his only heir at law in an intestate estate, you need to open an estate, get Letters, list the house, and sell it. It is likely that there are enough assets in the estate to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can my deceased dads girlfriend take his motorcycle to the dealership with only a death certificate?

She’s not his next of kin, his daughter is his next of kin. He still owes 5,000 on the motorcycle, we were going to pay it off but she went behind our back to take it to the dealership.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 19, 2020

Unless the girlfriend is in your father's will or is actually a spouse, or, unless she held title to the motorcycle in joint tenancy with right of survivorship with your father, it isn't her motorcycle. Tell the dealership to give it back. If the note was from the dealership and the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: I had POA prior to my mom's death on 9/24/20. I signed a contract for the sale of her home on 9/10 prior to her death.

I have been named as the Personal Rep effective October 7, 2020. Can I sign the closing documents and sell the property?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 13, 2020

The PoA expired upon your mother's passing, but the contact was still valid. As appointed personal representative, you can close the sale on behalf of the estate. It will be a slightly unusual case, so you should check with the title agent picked by the buyer if they need anything else to close.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: I retained an attorney to handle my Mother's estate but months later decided to release him.

My Mothers has minimal assets. Can I represent my Mothers estate and if so, what are the next steps?

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Oct 8, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. Based on the little detail provided, I do not suggest you administer the estate yourself without consulting with an attorney. There may be steps you overlook by doing so. Contact a local attorney for a consult to discuss whether you can do this on your own.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: We have an old will for my mother, my brother is has the Power of Attorney from the existing will. We want revocation

Of the old will and make a new one

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Sep 29, 2020

You need a lawyer in the state where your mother resides (you list Charlotte, NC, in the posting). So long as your mother is mentally competent, then she can execute a new Will. However, a Will does not act as or grant someone the authority to act as someone's attorney-in-fact like a power... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Sister died owning mortgage on house we shared 35 yrs. I want to stay. I’m not on deed. What to do?

I am personal representative for her estate. If I have to qualify for mortgage in my name I am afraid I would not (bad credit). I have kept up the payments

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Sep 19, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. If your sister passed away owning a home, the home, depending on how it's titled, has to go through probate. If you are the only sibling, no spouse, and none of your parents are alive and she didn't have any children, then you can rightfully inherit the house.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My father died in Maryland without a will.He has credit card debt. A home worth 53000 where my mom lives.

Do we have to sell the house to pay 4000 in credit card debt? My mom and I would like to take over the house. Brother doesn't want anything and all my dad had was the house. He took my mom's name off of the deed in 2001. We don't know why. We don't want to loose our home.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Sep 17, 2020

Discuss this with a lawyer. One option: Wait 6 months after date of death before opening the estate, and do not talk to the credit card companies or volunteer that he died, just stop making payments and ignore their calls. After 6 months open the estate and if the credit card companies file claims... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Probate for Maryland on
Q: If someone is under legal adult guardianship in one state and living in another, which state do I contact APS in?

If I need to contact Adult Protective Services for someone in an abusive adult guardianship situation, should I be contacting them in the state the person is living in or in the state of jurisdiction for the guardianship?

Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste answered on Aug 30, 2020

To be safe, I think you should contact both. There is no penalty for doing so. Especially if you believe that this person is being abused in some way.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: My fiance' has a case in probate. She was raised by and lived with her father all her life .he died without a will.

Her uncle came and took all of his personal property vehicles etc.. she was distraught over the loss s he retained a lawyer to stop uncle from taking money Wich is 1.8 million dollars the lawyers told her they would release some monies to her because she has to live and pay bills and eat and now... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 19, 2020

It surely sounds like your fiancé needs to talk to a lawyer who will review whatever documents her uncle has and the probate file. If she is the sole heir of an intestate estate, it is difficult to imagine why the $1.8M isn't in her hands after two years unless some conservatorship was... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Probate, Trusts and an Un-trust worthy executor

My uncle died in Aug 19 leaving his assets divided into 4ths among me, my brother and cousins. My father is the executor and we are estranged. My 25% was put in a trust with my father as the trustee. My father did not tell me of my inheritence I only received life insurance. He seems to be dragging... Read more »

Brian Robert Gormley
Brian Robert Gormley answered on Jul 6, 2020

It's sometimes difficult to know how to handle delicate estate situations. As a beneficiary of a trust, you have the right to review the trust itself and receive periodic accountings. I would start there and see what information you get. Hopefully, you will not need to involve the courts in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: A copy of my granddads will was filed in md leaving every thing to me and my sister. Is it valid. It was witnessed by 2

It was filed by his ex girlfriend who stole it from his house. He had it signed and witnessed by two people on 20006. Is it legal

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jun 30, 2020

Well, if it was signed by your grandfather, in the presence of two witnesses, who also signed the will in their and his presence, then the signature requirements of the law are satisfied for making a valid will. Whether the document as a whole makes a valid will cannot be determined by the facts... Read more »

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