"Is Formal Probate Required?" by Attorney Beth Burgee (Audio) If you are in charge of administering a decedent’s estate, either because you were appointed in a Will or because you volunteered, you have an important job ahead of you. One of your first responsibilities as part of that job is to determine if the estate must go through formal probate or if an alternative for small estates is … [Read more...] about Is Formal Probate Required?
The process of probate is often overlooked by people who don't know much about estate planning. If you haven't done any research, you may assume that a will is something that takes care of itself after you die. You name an executor in the document, and this individual will distribute assets in accordance with your wishes without any particular supervision. This is a commonly held belief, but in … [Read more...] about Prepare for Probate
"Sorting Household Stuff: A Guide for Personal Representatives" by Attorney Alex Pagnotta (Audio) At the death of a family member, there is a lot of planning for what happens to property after a person passes away. Having advanced plans will make life easier for loved ones after death and will allow more control over what happens to the decedent’s assets. After death, most estates must go … [Read more...] about Sorting Household Stuff: A Guide for Personal Representatives
Trust administration occurs when a person has created a trust as part of an estate plan and the trust creator passes away. Assets held in the trust transfer through trust administration, rather than transferring through the probate process, and the steps involved in facilitating the transfer of trust assets are very different than in probate. In Maryland, trust administration has … [Read more...] about How Trust Administration Works Better Than Probate
Making decisions when you are highly emotional is not usually a wise idea; however, there are a number of practical and legal decisions that often must be made shortly after the death of a loved one. You may, for example, be thinking about contesting a parent's Last Will and Testament. Such an important decision should never be made without first consulting with an experienced attorney. An … [Read more...] about How to Decide If Contesting a Parent’s Will Is a Good Idea
For most people, a Last Will and Testament serves as the foundation of their estate plan. As such, it is usually the first estate planning document executed. If you are in the process of creating your Will, be careful not to overlook the importance of the Executor you appoint in that Will. One of the most common estate planning mistakes people make is to appoint someone as the Executor of their … [Read more...] about How to Choose the Right Executor
"When Should Assets Be Distributed After The Death of a Loved One?" by Attorney Alex Pagnotta (Audio) If you are a Personal Representative or Trustee, the chances are high that you will want to settle the estate and distribute the assets from the estate to the beneficiaries as quickly as possible. However, if you distribute the assets too soon, you may be held personally liable. This could … [Read more...] about When Should Assets Be Distributed After The Death of a Loved One?
"Three Categories of Assets at Death" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser There are many ways to hold title to assets during your life. Upon your death, the title to each asset must be reviewed and transferred according to how it was titled. In order to determine how to transfer the assets of a decedent, we must place the assets in three different categories. The first category is Probate … [Read more...] about Three Categories of Assets at Death
How Long Does it Take to Probate an Estate in Maryland? By Attorney Victor A. Lembo (Audio) At some point in your life, you will likely be involved in the probate of an estate. You may be the Personal Representative for a loved one’s estate, or perhaps you are a legatee under the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. Regardless of the reason for your involvement, you will undoubtedly have … [Read more...] about How Long Does it Take to Probate an Estate in Maryland?
"Helping You Cope with a Loved Ones Death" by Attorney Victor A. Lembo (Audio) Coping with death can be devastating when a close family member or friend dies-- and unfortunately, there is a lot of technical legal and financial issues to deal with, as well as the emotional ramifications of your loss. While there's nothing we can do to alleviate the sadness you feel about losing your loved … [Read more...] about Helping You Cope with a Loved One’s Death