Probate Attorney In Maryland
If you die with no estate planning at all or with a will that directs the distribution of your assets when you die, your assets will be subject to probate. Probate is the name of the procedure by which your estate is settled. The Court, through the Register of Wills, oversees all aspects of probate.
A Personal Representative (sometimes referred to as an executor or executrix) is the person responsible for initiating and completing the probate process. You can appoint a Personal Representative in your will. If you do not have a valid will, the Register of Wills will appoint a Personal Representative for the estate. Its choice of probate attorney may not be one you would have made.
Probate begins with the filing of several documents, including your Will (if you have one), a Petition for Probate (in which the petitioner asks to be appointed Personal Representative), a List of Interested Persons (which identifies your heirs entitled to inherit your estate if you have no will), a legal ad called a Notice of Appointment/ Notice To Creditors/ Notice to Unknown Heirs (which must be published in a local newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks), and a bond (which ensures that court costs will be paid). The Register of Wills will issue Letters of Administration to formalize the appointment of your Personal Representative.
Additional filings are required to complete a probate.
An Inventory must be filed within three (3) months of the appointment of the Personal Representative. The Inventory identifies all of the assets in your probate estate, as well as the value of those assets. Often, appraisals will be needed to determine the value of certain assets such as real estate and household items.
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