Are you prepared to take responsibility for the transfer of your friend or relative’s assets after a death? Unfortunately, many people find this process is much more complicated than they had anticipated it being. Whether your loved one had money in trust or assets have to pass through probate, there are many legal steps which must be taken and the process can be very complex.
Whether you need help with trust administration, probate, or both, SinclairProsser Law is here to help. We provide representation to executors, trustees, heirs, and other interested parties in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland. Give us a call today at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080 for personalized assistance after a death and to get answers to important questions including:
- What are trust administration & probate in Maryland?
- Who should get help with trust administration & probate?
- How can an Maryland probate lawyer or trust administration lawyer help?
What are Trust Administration and Probate in Maryland?
Both trust administration and probate are processes which can be triggered by a death, depending upon the specific estate planning steps that the deceased person has taken. Trust administration and probate work differently in important ways, although they both are intended to accomplish the goals of transferring assets to new owners. While probate takes place in a probate court, trust administration should happen outside of a courtroom unless a problem arises.
Trust administration occurs when a trust was created by the deceased. The trust document used to create the trust specifies who will act as trustee upon the trust creator’s incapacity or death. The trustee will take on the responsibility to follow the instructions contained in the trust document, as well as to follow Maryland laws for transferring trust assets to beneficiaries after a death.
Probate occurs to facilitate the transfer of all assets except those which specifically transfer outside of probate, such as assets held jointly or assets held in trust. The deceased should have named an executor who will be put in charge of probating the will; however, the court can appoint a personal representative if the executor is not able to act or if no executor was named.
The executor ushers the will through probate, files court paperwork, provides appropriate notice, gets the estate assets valued, manages the estate, and facilitates the asset transfer to the new owners.
Both probate and trust administration can be complex legal processes which require you to know technical and procedural rules; however, trust administration can generally occur more quickly than probate.
Who Should Get Help with Probate and Trust Administration in Maryland?
Trustees and executors should get help with the trust administration process and with the probate process. Both trustees and executors are supposed to manage the assets of the deceased person and are supposed to make certain that proper notice of the death and distribution of assets is provided to interested parties.
Both trustees and executors have a fiduciary duty, or the highest duty under the law, to protect the assets left in the trust or estate and to act in the best interests of beneficiaries. Both are also responsible for the legal process of transferring title and complying with tax rules, which can be complicated.
Trustees and executors are not the only ones who can benefit from getting legal help during probate and trust administration in Maryland. Probate lawyers and trust lawyers can provide help to beneficiaries and heirs in monitoring the process to make sure that the trustee or executor is fulfilling all of his responsibilities.
Attorneys can also help heirs and beneficiaries to take legal action if a trustee takes too long to move the trust administration or probate process forward; if they wish to contest the will or trust; or if they are concerned that an executor or trustee is not managing assets correctly.
If you have been given responsibility in a trust document or will, or if someone you love has passed away and you want to preserve the deceased’s legacy and your own inheritance, you should have legal help to guide you through the process of asset transfer after death.
How can a Maryland Trust Administration & Probate Lawyer Help?
If you live in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf or nearby Maryland locations and you have been named executor, named trustee, or simply lost someone you love, SinclairProsser Law is here to help you. Give us a call today at 410-573-4818, 301-970-8080 or contact us online to find out about the ways in which we provide assistance after a death has occurred.