The Maryland Probate Process: What to Bring to the Register of Wills
When someone dies, their estate must go through the probate process. This is the legal process of identifying and distributing the deceased person’s assets to their heirs.
The first step in the probate process is to open an estate. This is done by filing a petition with the Register of Wills in the county where the deceased person lived. The petition must include the deceased person’s name, date of death, and the names of their heirs.
When you open an estate, you will need to bring the following documents to the Register of Wills:
- A certified copy of the deceased person’s death certificate
- The original will, if there is one
- Car titles
- Funeral contract and expenses
- Names and addresses of interested persons
- Real estate deeds
- Your driver’s license
Once the estate is opened, the Personal Representative will be appointed. The Personal Representative is the person who will be responsible for managing the estate and distributing the assets to the heirs.
The Personal Representative has a number of responsibilities, including:
- Identifying and valuing the assets of the estate
- Paying the deceased person’s debts
- Filing tax returns
- Distributing the assets to the heirs
The probate process can be complex, so it is important to seek legal advice if you are the Personal Representative of an estate.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the Maryland probate process:
- There are two types of estates in Maryland: small estates and regular estates. Small estates are those with a value of less than $50,000. Regular estates are those with a value of more than $50,000.
- The probate process can take several months or even years to complete.
- The Personal Representative is entitled to a fee for their services. The amount of the fee is determined by the court.
If you have any questions about the Maryland probate process, you should consult with an attorney.
Here are some tips for avoiding common mistakes in the Maryland probate process:
- Keep your personal and estate funds separate.
- Maintain the status quo of the deceased person’s property.
- Insure and secure estate property.
- Value property accurately.
- Communicate with beneficiaries throughout the process.
- Understand the tax implications of probate.
- Make sure that distributions are made to valid beneficiaries.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that the probate process goes smoothly and that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out.