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Is Probate Always Required in Maryland?

At the time a person passes, surviving loved ones are often overcome with emotion. At the same time, they must deal with the complexities of distributing the assets of the deceased. Maryland has a detailed statutory procedure for the probate process. The executor is authorized by the Maryland probate court to act on behalf of the estate to transfer assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. Experienced and dedicated estate planning attorneys can assist clients navigating probate.

Avoiding probate

If a will exists in which an individual is cited as the personal representative of the estate, then the individual has the duty of administering the will. The personal representative must be officially appointed by the probate court to supervise the estate. Probate accomplishes these functions: 

  • Protects creditors by requiring payment of debts
  • Disperses the decedent’s property to those cited in the will after creditors are paid
  • Provides evidence of transfer of title to the new owners as dictated by the probated will or by decree of intestate succession 

The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) is illustrative of Maryland’s Estate and Trusts statutes providing probate procedures. It is possible to avoid going through the probate process. To circumvent the process, the property owner must transfer all property into a joint tenancy or a revocable or irrevocable trust. However, it is frequently problematic for an individual with an array of assets to dispose of all property by non-probate methods. A probate attorney can review a client’s situation and offer all the available legal options to navigate Maryland’s probate courts. 

Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. provides clients with experienced counsel to protect estates from unnecessary taxes and processes. The firm offers probate help in Calvert, St. Mary’s and Charles counties.   

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