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Maryland Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed away April 10th in Maryland

My mother passed away April 10th, I went to the court and found out that she had a Will. Looking at the Will I noticed that I was not listed at all on the WILL and as being her only child I found that odd. when she became sick she made her friend her POA, she felt she was able to be there for her.... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 7, 2022

Of course you can challenge the Will. It is not an easy process, but if there was undue influence, lack of capacity, or the signature isn't genuine, those are all grounds to caveat the Will. You will have no chance of success without legal counsel, and you will almost surely need to pay... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is a spouse (no issue) entitled to the $10k family allowance if they renounce the will and take the elective share?

The husband's will left the spouse less than 25% of the residual estate. She has elected to take the elective share (50%) and has filed the necessary documents to do so. Is the Executor still required to pay her the $10,000 family allowance?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 15, 2022

Yes. The alowance is in addition to the elective share. In adition, you reference the elective share "of the residual estate." The elective share is against "the value of the estate subject to election, reduced by the value of all spousal benefits" where "spousal... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can the beneficiary get the stepped-up basis if an executor sells the house through the estate?

I am executor and beneficiary to a rental house. I want to sell it to the current tenant. I want to avoid capital gains liability. If I sell the house through the estate now as executor versus waiting for it to be transfered into my name and then sell it, will the estate then be liable for the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Apr 6, 2022

The estate has a stepped up basis and can sell it and avoid capital gains assuming the net sale proceeds are equal to or less than the date of death value. If instead the estate distributes the house to you and then you sell it, the result is the same. You will get that same stepped up basis.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I was appointed personal representative of an estate by consent and the will was admitted to probate.

The estate is still open. I just found a later dated will that appoints me as personal representative and sole beneficiary. If the beneficiaries under the original will consent to admitting the later dated will, do I just need to file the later dated will with the written consents? Will this start... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 30, 2022

You plainly need to file the newer Will, because it voids the older Will unless it is a codicil. I do not think this gives you a new case number, but it plainly requires a new petition and notices. This sounds complex enough that using a lawyer may help.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can estate executor refuse to sell house to family?

My mother passed and my sister is executor. I want to buy the house and mg daughter my be interested as well. My sister has said I cannot buy the house and my daughter can’t either because she doesn’t think it’s a good idea. The will only states that money from house sale will be split... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 26, 2022

The executor is supposed to sell the house at fair market value to maximize its value to the estate. The executor can sell the house to anyone for that price, or at a lower price if all the heirs who are to receive a share agree. You do not say how many heirs the house is to be divided among.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: Does the MARYLAND UNIFORM TRANSFER-ON-DEATH (TOD) SECURITY REGISTRATION ACT include LLC businesses?

Owner of LLC business in Maryland passed. Does the LLC business go to heir, next of kin or does it go to the Probate Court?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 25, 2022

The Maryland Uniform Transfer on Death Security Registration Act only applies to securities that have been registered with a beneficiary form that specifies a TOD beneficiary. While it may be possible to register a TOD beneficiary for an ownership interest in an LLC, it is not automatic. Most... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I am the sole beneficiary of an estate. Can I assign my interest in the estate to a non-family member?

This includes real property. The non-family member is not related to me or the deceased. In addition, what are the tax implications?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 18, 2022

Yes, it is possible to assign your interest, but it will be treated as a gift from you to the other person. You should be careful not to "disclaim" your inheritance, as that would prevent your ability to direct the inheritance to anyone (the disclaimed inheritance would go to the next... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I am the sole beneficiary of my mother's intestate estate.

I would like to assign my interest in the estate to my stepsister. Is this possible?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 9, 2022

You can always decline an estate, but there may be much better ways to put property in the hands of your step-sister to avoid significant taxes. I assume your step-sister is from a union of your father with another mother, because if she is your mother’s daughter and your mother died intestate,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Is the information in MD code, estates and trusts re: heirs statute 3-110 correct and in practice? I'm told otherwise.

All but 3 siblings of the deceased died years before the deceased. The deceased has no children and no parents. Are the children of those predeceased siblings heirs? Acc to this statute they are not. There are only 3 living siblings. The deceased died interstate.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 1, 2022

Yes, the children of the pre-deceased siblings are heirs: they take the share of their deceased parent. Section 3-110 does not apply to this scenario and you misunderstand it. Section 3-110 simply states that anyone who dies within 30 days after the decedent shall be treated as if they died before... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My M-I-L passed away and my husband’s siblings have yet to notify him. We found out via a 3rd party. Any rights?

We live in NC. My M-I-L lived in Maryland. Funeral director was informed not to tell us anything. Sister-in-law will not return any messages. What rights does my husband have?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 20, 2022

Once an estate is opened, it is public record, and all proceedings and filings, including the Will, can be copied and obtained (they are available online, for download, through the Register of Wills' website, which has an estate search option you can search by decedent's name and county... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I am included in someone's will and I don't know how to get what was willed to me. The Executor now acts hostile.

The deceased is my Ex husband who died in Jamaica(1 year ago). I live in the house that was willed to me for 12 years in Baltimore Md. I am 62 on SSi and cannot afford legal help. The Executor is the deceased's grown daughter who gave me documentation of death and the will and now will not... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 11, 2022

You will need to speak with a lawyer and provide more details if you have them. For instance, has an estate been opened, and where? I cannot answer for Jamaica, but in the United States when an estate is opened the will must be filed and it, along with all other filngs in the estate (the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Funeral expenses are paid shortly after a X's death by Y who is not beneficiary or administator. Can

Y, who is not a beneficiary or administrator, claim as a creditor against estate?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 1, 2022

Yes, Y is a creditor of the estate and may file a claim for funeral expenses paid. Y should submit a formal claim together with the invoices/receits showing the amounts incurred. If the Personal Representatve fails to pay or denies all or part of the claim, Y can petition to court to order the PR... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Valuation for inheritance tax and buyout in Maryland for a house inherited by two siblings

My brother and I inherited our aunt's house, and I want to buy him out. We are trying to determine a value for the buyout and the estate lawyer recommended an appraiser. His appraised value came in considerably higher than the last tax assessment (by about $200k) as well as the approximate... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 27, 2022

Yes. Make a lower offer. If refused, when the house is put up for sale, bid on on it like anyone else. You may end up being the higher bidder, but don’t bid more than you think it’s worth.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Libel & Slander and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I inherited a house that I lived in with my mom for 30 years it’s not been transferred to myself and sister yet

She is the executioner of the will but she has been stealing valuables from the house so I added security cameras and she is making false claims she didn’t go through my personal possessions can I have her removed as the executive of the will? She inherited the house in a 50/50 split? Until it... Read more »

Shaneka Johnson
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Shaneka Johnson
answered on Jan 13, 2022

The personal representative of a estate is give certain authorities in the will. It is common for the PR to have authority to enter into contract and collect rents on property in the estate for the benefit of the estate. If you are not on the deed and are not the PR your rights have not fully... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Can my sister charge me rent as a beneficiary in a 50/50 undivided inherited house before it’s titled in both our names?

If I move out to I have to pay utilities I already pay electric bill but plan to move out soon

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 11, 2022

The property is owned by the estate, not by you or your sister, despite the fact that the Will or the law of intestate succession directs the property be deeded to you both at some point in the future. Until that happens, you are occupying estate property. The PR of the estate, your sister, has... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I inherited the house I’ve been living in with my mom in a 50/50 undivided split

Can I rent a room out without my sisters approval who owns the other 50% it hasn’t been transferred into both our names yet as my mom just recently passed away. Can she say no even when I will split the income with her?

Shaneka Johnson
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Shaneka Johnson
answered on Jan 10, 2022

Who is the personal representative of your mother's estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: I inherited my mother’s property with a 50/50 undivided split I want to rent out a room do I need her approval to rent

I know I would have to give her half the rent money and she doesn’t want to buy me out can the land be subdivided and then. I would sell my half ? This is in Maryland

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 6, 2022

No, a court cannot subdivide a house. What you can do is petition a court to “sell the house in lieu of partition,” a legal action that results in the court appointing a trustee to list and sell the jointly owned property and divide the proceeds among the owners in accordance with their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Sister & I inherited real property in MD 50/50. Can I relinquish my 50% to sister w/out filing a deed?

My sister is executor. Currently in probate with Will. I want to relinquish any/all right in favor of sister (in gratitude for mother's care, and I want avoid any responsibility for this property). What is required: Deed to be recorded; gift my 50% to her (OUCH gift tax); notarized... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 3, 2022

Heirs to an estate can, by mutual agreement, settle property distributions under the Will, even if the settlement changes what each heir is supposed to receive under the Will. A lawyer can help you work this out. It is not difficult.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Maryland on
Q: Hello, my question has a part one I am a license RE My client has a property working through pro-bate, I can I buy it

and stop the probate. Or will the client have to complete the probate process which just started on 11/22/2021. 2)The Deed is in the father's only. But he was married, and she has recently passed 11/14/2021. 3) The father's daughter's would like to just sell the property. But... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 1, 2021

There is nothing that prohibits the sale of real estate by the Personal Repesentative of the estate, so long as the sale is either based on fair market value, or if not, then if all the heirs and other interested persons agree (typically, "other interested persons" means creditors if... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can mortgage company foreclose on a home owned solely by my brother whose estate is in probate?

Brother died intestate on 8/13/2021. Probate court date is 27 October, at which time personal representative will be selected. Creditors will have 6 months to come forward. House is major asset and there are insufficient cash funds in the estate at present to pay mortgage payments. Equity in... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 16, 2021

No chance the mortgage company can foreclose and sell that fast. It takes at least 90 days of no mortgage payments to trigger the foreclosure notices, and if the PR communicates to the mortgage company the death of the borrower and that an estate is open and the house will be sold, then they will... Read more »

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