"Why Might an Estate Become Involved in Litigation?" by Attorney Beth Burgee (Audio) Probate is the legal process typically required after an individual’s death to settle and distribute the decedent’s estate. The probate process can be costly and complicated even without disputes; however, when a dispute turns into litigation, it can wreak havoc with the administration of the estate. The Bowie … [Read more...] about Why Might an Estate Become Involved in Litigation?
Meeting with a Maryland probate attorney can be very important if someone you love has passed away. The individual the decedent has named as executor of an estate should meet with a probate attorney as soon as possible in order to get advice about fulfilling his or her duties. If you are an heir or beneficiary, you may also consider meeting with an experienced attorney to understand your options … [Read more...] about Preparing to Meet with a Probate Attorney
The differences between the role of a trustee and the role of a personal representative can be confusing because the lines often blur. These two roles are often fulfilled by the same person and have similar duties. However, there are also differences that are important to know when one is carrying out either of these roles. First, let us take a look at what exactly both of these roles are. … [Read more...] about Comparing the Roles of Trustees and Personal Representatives
"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?