Let an experienced probate lawyer ease the Maryland probate process for your family
At a time when you are dealing with the emotional pain and life changes that go along with losing a loved one, the confusion of the Maryland probate process can be overwhelming. The state imposes numerous requirements that must be completed in the proper order following proper protocol. Mistakes can delay the process or even subject you to personal liability.
An experienced probate lawyer from the Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr. P.C. can help you avoid the headaches and potential pitfalls of probate. We guide you through the process and manage many tasks on your behalf so that you can focus on other needs during this challenging time.
Probate is a legal process for handling someone’s financial affairs after they pass away. The court supervises the process to ensure that creditors receive money that they are owed and that heirs or beneficiaries the property they are entitled to under the law.
The person in charge of handling all matters is known as the personal representative, although sometimes people still use the traditional term executor. If the deceased person named a personal representative in a will, the designated representative usually opens the probate process by presenting the will for validation, along with appropriate legal petitions. The court reviews the document and determines whether it is valid and whether the person named should be granted authority to represent the estate. A probate attorney can handle all of this on behalf of the estate. Then the attorney can go through the required steps of probate either managing tasks directly or guiding the representative through the requirements.
If the deceased person did not leave a will, the estate could still need to undergo the full probate process, depending on the value of the assets involved. The court will appoint a representative based on statutory priorities, and the property will be divided according to the laws of intestate succession.
Steps in the Probate Process
While each process differs depending on circumstances, there are several steps that most estates go through in probate. An estate is just a term that refers to the money and property left by the deceased person. During probate, the personal representative or probate lawyer will need to:
- File a petition in probate court
- Get authorized by the court to manage affairs on behalf of the estate
- Follow legal requirements for notifying creditors and heirs
- Inventory and value assets
- Open a bank account and get a tax ID number for the estate
- Review and pay claims against the estate
- File income tax returns and possibly estate tax returns
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries of the will or heirs if there is no will
- Develop a final account and file it with the court
If someone objects to the will or the naming of the representative, the process can be much more complex. But even a “routine” probate case can be very confusing and frustrating.
Experienced Guidance Can Make All the Difference During Maryland Probate
When you allow a knowledgeable Maryland probate lawyer to manage the process, probate is much less stressful and can be much more efficient. You won’t have to worry that paying bills in the wrong order or other mistakes could subject you to personal liability.
Contact the Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr., P.C. today to learn more about how we can assist with the duties of probate.