Estate Administration Attorney in Bethesda, Maryland
When an individual creates a comprehensive estate plan, they will often have to choose someone to act as the administrator of the estate. This is a role of great significance and should not be accepted lightly. The individual who is chosen to act as the personal representative of one’s estate should understand before accepting that they will be responsible for completing all steps of the probate process and closing the estate. It is important to speak with an attorney whether you are in the process of choosing an individual to act as your personal representative or if you have recently been chosen to fill this role. The legal team at JD Katz understands that settling an estate is a very complex process. Our firm is here to help. Contact the Maryland estate administration attorneys at JD Katz today.
Responsibilities of the Personal Representative
When an individual dies, their personal representative’s job will truly begin. Of course, this is an emotional time but it also requires that the representative starts to get the affairs of the estate in order. The personal representative must take the following steps in order to complete the process of closing the estate:
- First, they must file the decedent’s will with the Register of Wills. This should be done in the county where the decedent resided, regardless of whether the will has to go through probate.
- If necessary, the personal representative may also have to file a petition for probate with the Orphans’ Court.
- They will have to create an account of all of the decedent’s assets, beneficiaries, and any remaining creditors. An inventory that includes the assets and all of their appraised values must also be taken.
- They are required to publish a statement in the local newspaper that instructs anyone who has a claim to make against the decedent do so.
- Ensure all outstanding federal, state, and estate taxes are filed.
- Distribute all assets to beneficiaries named in the will.
- Handle any contested matters of the asset distribution amongst heirs.
- File a Certificate of Compliance to close the estate.
It can feel overwhelming for a personal representative to coordinate with all parties that may play a role in closing the estate. This may include trustees, attorneys, financial planners or accountants, beneficiaries, and creditors. It is best to speak with an experienced legal team that can help you navigate this complex process.
Contact Our Firm
How an estate is administered depends on the deceased person’s estate planning decisions, specifically whether he or she adopted a will and/or placed his or her assets in a trust. Each type of administration involves specific tasks, responsibilities, and potential complications. Our attorneys help our clients get appointed as personal representatives, gain control of estate assets and efficiently carry out their probate and trust responsibilities following the letter of the law. Our firm also represents estate administrators, trustees, and other interested parties in estate and probate litigation, including will contests and claims for breach of fiduciary duty. In these cases, we diligently protect our clients’ interests while pursuing resolutions to estate disputes.