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Maryland Probate Questions & Answers
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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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
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
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
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
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
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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