Estate Administration Lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD
When you pass away, who will distribute your assets to beneficiaries and close your estate? Assigning that person, known as your personal representative, plays a vital role in your estate planning process.
At Chesapeake Wills & Trusts, we have an in-depth legal understanding of all estate planning matters. Contact our estate administration lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD, today at 443-233-1430 to schedule your consultation.
What Is Estate Administration?
Estate administration involves closing a person’s estate after their death. When a person dies, several legal matters come into play regarding their assets, property, will, and beneficiaries.
A personal representative is in charge of closing the decedent’s estate. You can name a personal representative in your will. If you don’t, the court can name someone to this position, usually a close family member or friend.
Steps in the Estate Administration Process
Personal representatives must follow orderly processes to distribute a person’s assets and close the estate. These are the steps your personal representative will need to follow after your death:
- Find your estate planning documents: First, they will locate your will, trusts, and other documents expressing your wishes for the estate.
- File a petition to probate: Next, your personal representative will “open” the estate by submitting forms to the probate court. They will need to determine whether you have a small estate (under $50,000) or a regular estate (over $50,000).
- File a list of interested persons: This list contains the names of all the heirs listed in the will and the heirs at law.
- Create an inventory of assets: The personal representative will need to inventory your assets within three months of your death. Having your financial information in order can streamline this process.
- File the “First Account”: Your personal representative must file the First Account, which contains the inventory of your assets, within nine months.
- Respond to any claims: If any creditors or unknown heirs make claims against the estate, your personal representative will need to respond within six months of the date of your death.
- File ongoing financial information: Next, your personal representative will file additional accounts with further information about your financial activity. This step may include filing your final tax returns as well.
- Distribute the estate: Finally, after approval from the Court, your personal representative can distribute your assets to your beneficiaries.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Estate administration is a sizeable task, even for those with legal experience. That’s why many people work with an estate administration lawyer throughout this process.
At Chesapeake Wills & Trusts, we assist in creating an estate plan that minimizes the work for your personal representative. For example, we can help you draft trusts to avoid probate, removing several of the above steps.
If you are serving as a personal representative for a friend or family member, our law firm can walk you through the process to ensure you abide by all Maryland probate deadlines.
We have extensive experience guiding clients through estate administration. Contact us today at 443-233-1430 for assistance in Glen Burnie, MD.
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