What is Probate and How Does it Work in Maryland?

Oftentimes in Maryland, those who’ve been chosen to administer estates have no choice but to go through the probate process. Probate can be complicated, however, as long as you retain the services of a knowledgeable Maryland estate planning attorney, it does not have to be. Please continue reading and contact our firm to learn more about probate in Maryland and how we can help you through every step of the legal process ahead. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is probate and how does it work?

Essentially, when courts determine that probate is necessary, it is to determine whether the decedent (the person who passed away) has a valid and enforceable will. Generally, in Maryland, probate matters are dealt with in the Orphans’ Court. That being said, decedents’ property only enters probate if the property is exclusively in their name. If the property is jointly owned by a survivor, that individual will receive the property, bypassing the probate process.

What is a simplified probate proceeding?

Essentially, when someone passes away who has less than $30,000 in assets, that individual will be considered to have a “small estate.” In this case, those in charge of administering the estate may choose to follow an alternative probate process, which will allow their estate to close within a matter of months. Since the Orphans’ Court will not have to approve Administration Accounts, the inventory will not need to be filed. Furthermore, surviving spouses who are to receive assets worth less than $50,000, you also have the option of participating in simplified probate proceedings. Certain individuals may also qualify for the “Modified Estate Administration Procedure,” wherein those people can avoid the Orphans’ Court and close their estates within 10 months.

What does the probate process look like in the state of Maryland?

Once you begin the process, you and your attorney will have to file the decedent’s will in the Register of Wills. You will do so wherever the decedent lived at the time of his or her passing. Next, the estate’s personal representative must file a petition for probate and supplementary forms at the Register of Wills. The personal representative will then locate all beneficiaries of the will, identify all remaining creditors and pay off all outstanding debts, create an account of all assets included in the will, and then distribute those assets to all beneficiaries included in the will. Finally, we will close out the estate by filing a Certificate of Compliance.

Contact our experienced Montgomery County, Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.