When a loved one dies, their assets enter probate to allow the courts to oversee management of the estate and use assets to pay final expenses, taxes, and debts. Beneficiaries don’t see their inheritances until after the assets pass through the probate process.
If you are an estate executor or administrator—officially called a personal representative in Maryland —and need help managing a loved one’s assets through the probate process, contact our experienced probate lawyer serving Charles County.
At The Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr., P.C., we have over four decades of experience serving clients in Charles County, Prince George’s County, Calvert County, and the surrounding areas. Our team can help you manage estate administration and make important decisions. Call us today at 301-627-1000 today to schedule an initial consultation with our probate lawyer.
How Probate Works
Probate is the process of the court overseeing the management of a decedent’s assets to pay final debts, expenses, and taxes. In Maryland, the personal representative files a petition and presents the will (if it exists) to the court for validation to begin the probate process.
The court reviews the documents and will to verify who has the legal authority to administer the estate. An experienced probate lawyer serving Charles County can manage the rest of the probate process on behalf of the representative and estate, including:
- Taking inventory of assets and evaluating their worth
- Paying final federal income, state income, and estate taxes
- Settling creditor debts
Only after the assets pass through probate do the beneficiaries receive their inheritances according to the decedent’s will. If your loved one died intestate (i.e., without a will), the state will distribute the assets according to intestate succession laws.
Is There a Way to Avoid Probate?
During a person’s lifetime, they can prevent your family from having to wait for probate to receive their inheritances by transferring their assets into a trust (either revocable or irrevocable). Those assets then belong to the trust and will bypass probate. The person can protect other assets from entering probate by writing a pour-over will, which will add any other assets to the trust upon their passing.
I Never Received My Inheritance—Do I Have Legal Recourse?
You may be able to pursue litigation if you feel the executor (personal representative) of an estate failed to uphold the wishes of your loved one by not giving you your due inheritance. You may also be able to contest certain debts or taxes.
If you need help filing a claim, contact our law office. We are experienced in probate litigation and have helped clients in cases involving:
- Federal or state tax claims
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Contesting wills and intestate inheritance
- Undue influence
Contact a Charles County, MD, Probate Lawyer
At The Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr., P.C., we have provided legal advice and legal services in several areas of law, including powers of attorney, personal injury, and probate law, for over 40 years. Call us today at 301-627-1000 or contact us online to speak with a probate lawyer serving Charles County, MD.