The Maryland probate process takes place through the Register of Wills and Orphan’s Court when someone has died with property in the state. However, probate may be avoidable if one chooses to work with an estate planning lawyer to structure ownership of assets and facilitate the transfer of those assets outside of probate.
There are many reasons why it makes sense to arrange for your asset to transfer outside of probate. One big reason why individuals choose to avoid probate is due to the impact the process can have on families. Sinclair Prosser Gasior can explain the possible consequences and downsides of probate for your family members and assist in taking steps for probate avoidance. Our legal team also helps families who are going through the probate process and we try to make this process as stress-free as possible.
Unfortunately, probate can be complex and have complicated court proceedings, while already grieving a loss. Some of the ways the process can impact families include:
- Causing delays in receiving an inheritance. If you are waiting for money that was left by the decedent that you plan to use for education, support your household, or accomplish other tasks, it may take up to a year. At times, it may be takes less, but could also stretch for a longer period, depending upon the size and complexity of the estate and whether problems arise like a will contest.
- Reducing the value of an inheritance due to costs, mismanagement or delays. Probate costs could reach around three to seven percent of the estate’s value, which may leave less money and property for beneficiaries to inherit. Also, the executor is not guaranteed to always make the best decisions to manage assets or act timely.
- Causing stress and confusion a troublesome time. The probate process is complicated for most families and requires legal knowledge to navigate the court system.
Sinclair Prosser Gasior can provide assistance to help avoid the probate process. With the use of trusts or other estate planning tools, you can minimize what assets transfer through probate, or even try to limit the need altogether, in order for your family to avoid the additional stress.