Wills/Estates/Probate

General Wills/Estates/Probate Articles

An introduction to Estate Management, explaining the first steps to take to administer an estate after death occurs.
Unfortunately, some funeral homes try to take advantage of customers. Planning a funeral may be a very emotional time for you. It’s important to know your rights so you can avoid paying thousands of extra dollars for goods and services that are too expensive, falsely advertised, or simply unnecessary.
At 18, your child may enter into contracts and sign legal documents for herself. As she becomes an adult, she may wish to give you some access to information and authority to make decisions in order to have your continued help. For example, she can put in place a HIPAA release authorization form, an advance health care directive, and a durable general power of attorney.
This article describes a general process for giving away property rights to someone else for no money. For example, you may wish to make a gift of property, or you may wish to add a family member to your deed. You should be aware that simply adding someone to a property deed can have very different results depending on the exact words used in the new deed. If you are buying or selling property, it is important to get professional help.

Advance Directives

An advance directive (or living will) allows you to decide who you want to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

Estate Administration & Probate

This page gives an overview of estate administration and links to a number of resources for people who need to open an estate.
Obtaining the will to be filed and determining the personal representative.
How to determine whether the estate you need to file is classified as a Small Estate or as a Regular Estate.
What forms need to be filed to open a Small Estate, and where.
This article describes how to manage a Small Estate, once the necessary paperwork to start management has been filed.
Unfortunately, some funeral homes try to take advantage of customers. Planning a funeral may be a very emotional time for you. It’s important to know your rights so you can avoid paying thousands of extra dollars for goods and services that are too expensive, falsely advertised, or simply unnecessary.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that gives someone legal authority to act for another person.
This is the wording of Maryland's Statutory Form Limited Power of Attorney, from Md. Code Ann. Estates and Trusts, Section 17-203

Trusts

This article defines and describes the basic law of trusts.

Wills

A Will is a written legal document prepared for one person, called the testator, which sets forth what is to happen after death to his or her property, called the estate, and who is to be named as guardian to care for any minor children.
This article contains information on different kinds of personal banks accounts, who can access them, and what happens when the owner dies.
An explanation of the laws that govern inheritance of property if there is no will, an invalid will, or an incomplete will.
Contact information (and some supplemental information) for each county office of the Register of Wills in Maryland.
File the will promptly. You can file the will now, and open an estate later. It is a crime to change or destroy a will.