The probate process is generally necessary after someone passes away in Maryland. During probate, the appropriate steps are taken to make an accounting of the assets the deceased person owned. A determination is made on whether a deceased person had a valid will and on who will inherit based on either the will or intestacy laws. Creditors are given the chance to assert claims, and state and federal estate taxes are assessed. Finally, assets are officially transferred to new owners, which can involve changing deeds, titles, and account ownership.
The Maryland probate process can be complicated and it is important that all interested parties know what to expect throughout the process. This includes executors or personal representatives who have the job of overseeing the probate process and taking care of issues like filing court paperwork, paying taxes and creditor claims, and facilitating asset transfers. Beneficiaries who inherit through a will or heirs who inherit through intestacy laws also need to understand their rights.
Getting help from an Annapolis, Maryland probate lawyer is the best way to ensure you fulfill your obligations and protect your interests during probate. SinclairProsser Law is here to help. Our experienced legal team can represent you and provide you with advice throughout Maryland probate. We’ve also prepared some resources which can help you to find out more about what to expect.
Maryland Probate Resources
Probate occurs in the location where a deceased person resided and/or owned property. It is imperative to understand local probate laws. If someone you love has passed away in Annapolis, MD or surrounding areas, you must know the Maryland rules. These resources can help:
- The Office of the Register of Wills: This site provides links to different offices throughout Maryland where probate and estate matters are handled. There is also a FAQ page which provides answers to some of the most common questions that people have about probate and estates within the state of Maryland.
- The Anne Arundel County Orphans’ Court: In Maryland, the court where wills are probated is referred to as the Orphans’ Court. These courts exist in each county, including Anne Arundel where Annapolis, MD is located. The telephone number to reach the Anne Arundel County Orphans’ Court is 410-222-1418.
- Maryland Courts’ FAQs: This page provides details on what Orphans’ Courts do, how many there are, the number of judges, and the cases Orphans’ Courts oversee. The FAQs also provide answers to questions about probate, which estates end up in probate, what kinds of property transfers outside of probate, and what the requirements are for a will to be probated.
- Wills and Estates from the Maryland Bar Association: This page provides general details on wills and on how wills are treated in a probate court. You can learn about formal requirements for a valid will, details on restrictions on how wills can dispose of property, and information on what happens when someone in Maryland passes away without first making a legally valid last will and testament. You can also find out some details about the taxes due after a death occurs within the state of Maryland.
General Probate Resources
Although state laws differ on probate and the process can vary from on state to another, there are some general probate resources which are helpful to anyone in Maryland or throughout the U.S. who is going through probate. Some of the resources which can be helpful to you include:
- Estate planning FAQs from the ABA: The American Bar Association is a nationwide professional organization for attorneys. The ABA has prepared a list of some common probate questions and answers.
- The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys: This resource is invaluable when looking for a probate lawyer. The Academy is a premiere organization of estate planning attorneys. You can look for a lawyer who is a member and make sure any attorney who you are considering hiring is a member. By finding a lawyer who is part of the Academy, you can rest assured your attorney has probate experience and undergoes regular annual continuing education, as experience and continued learning are both membership requirements.
Estate Tax Resources
Both Maryland and the federal government tax estates exceeding a certain value. It is important to determine if the estate which you are involved in probating will be subject to federal or state estate taxation. These resources can help you to better understand the estate taxes which may have to be paid during probate.
- IRS Estate Taxes Information: Basic information is provided by the Internal Revenue Service about what the estate tax is and how it works. This website also details the annual excludable amount. If your estate falls below a set value ($5.45 million in 2016), no federal estate taxes are assessed. Find out the excludable value and other important details about federal estate taxes.
- Estate Tax FAQ: These FAQs have been prepared and answered by the Internal Revenue Service to provide essential details on federal estate taxation.
- Maryland Estate and Inheritance Tax Information: The Comptroller of the state of Maryland explains inheritance and estates at this helpful website. This important resource provides details on when estate taxes are due, how to file estate taxes, how to pay estate and inheritance taxes, and how to find a local branch office of the Comptroller who can provide assistance.
Getting Legal Help from an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
While these resources provide much of the basic information that you require about probate in Maryland, you need to make sure you receive personalized advice specific to your situation so you can protect an inheritance and honor the wishes of the person who passed away. SinclairProsser Law can help. Give us a call at 410-573-4818 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which we can assist you. We represent all interested parties, including executors and heirs, so contact us now to get a knowledgeable advocate on your side as you move through the probate process.