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A Probate Attorney Can Help Your Family Manage Estate Assets During the Probate Process

When a family member passes away, their estate assets enter probate, an often lengthy process that involves collecting records of the decedent’s assets to submit to the court. The court then uses the probate assets to repay the person’s final expenses, debts, and taxes.

Having a probate lawyer to help you and your family navigate the complex issues of probate is essential for peace of mind. At Chesapeake Wills and Trusts, a probate attorney with our firm can offer legal advice and help your family administer the estate of your loved one through the probate process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process by which the court assesses the value of a person’s estate assets after they pass away and use those assets to repay any final taxes or debts before allowing the remaining assets to distribute to beneficiaries as outlined in the decedent’s will.

Some assets naturally bypass probate, including distributions from life insurance policies, assets held in trust, real property held in joint tenancy, and transferrable on death accounts. Assets that enter probate are those held solely in the decedent’s name.

How Long Does Probate Take?

Probate is a lengthy process that can take 12-18 months in Maryland. The decedent’s family and the personal representative of the estate must take several steps to move estate assets through probate, including the following:

  • Filing a petition with the probate court
  • Appointing and authorizing a personal representative of the estate
  • Notifying creditors and heirs of the decedent’s passing
  • Creating an inventory of probate assets
  • Opening a bank account for the estate to manage liquid assets
  • Determining which creditor claims are valid and paying valid creditor claims
  • Filing a final income tax return and any tax returns for the estate
  • Distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries or intestate heirs after settling the estate
  • Closing the probate estate with a final accounting of all relevant documents

A probate lawyer with our firm can help your family navigate these complex legal processes to find all necessary documentation, follow the correct procedures, and ensure that all beneficiaries receive their fair shares of estate assets following probate.

How Much Does Probate Cost?

There are estate and attorney fees associated with probating an estate. The typical administration fees depend on the value of the estate. The costs associated with the probate process must be considered when determining final distributions to the beneficiaries.

Contact a Probate Attorney With Chesapeake Wills and Trusts

When you need help probating an estate after the death of a loved one, turn to the experienced team at Chesapeake Wills and Trust in Glen Burnie, MD. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a probate lawyer serving Maryland.

Our Maryland probate attorneys take the stress out of the probate process.

We’ve worked with many people just like you to help reduce the stress of probate and make sure your loved one’s assets go where they belong.

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You deserve a probate attorney who truly listens and works in your best interest. We’re always here for you.

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For over 20 years, we have been committed to serving Anne Arundel, Maryland and surrounding communities.

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A Step Beyond

Get more than just the right paperwork. Get the extra care you deserve in the most difficult of times.

What our clients are saying

Greg Jimeno and his staff were delightful to work with and extremely competent and thorough. We heartily recommend Chesapeake Wills and Trust for anyone hoping to make their future secure.

G.C. – Client

We had a revocable trust drawn up. Greg Jimeno did an excellent job. Answered all of our questions thoroughly. Highly recommend Chesapeake Wills and Trusts.

C.C. – Client

Jimeno is a knowledgeable and informative attorney. He doesn’t sugar coat your situation. You’ll know where you stand on each issue. One of the best to have on your side.

C.A.K. – Client

Client names redacted for their privacy. Testimonials were submitted by clients to our online location and legal listings.

We know how difficult this time can be and are ready to lift that burden from your shoulders.

Let’s get started.

Maryland Probate Law Firm
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1. Hire Our Probate Team

We review your loved one’s situation and guide you through the process.

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2. We Take Care Of The Details

We’ll take it from here and handle everything for you.

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3. Take Care of Yourself

Take the time you need to grieve and be with loved ones.

Maryland Probate Attorneys

If you’re coming to us for help with probate, you have probably just lost someone you love. We are so sorry for your loss. The last thing you want to deal with right now is the stress and chaos that can go along with litigating a loved one’s assets and debt just after they passed. 

Whether your loved one has a clear estate plan, or no plan at all, the probate process adds unneeded stress to your life during a difficult time. Not knowing how the courts will distribute your family member’s assets can feel scary. 

At Chesapeake Wills and Trusts, we believe everyone deserves the time they need to grieve the loss of a loved one and probate shouldn’t get in the way. That is why our team of Maryland probate lawyers is committed to helping reduce the stress of probate so you have the time you deserve to focus on your family and yourself.

Here’s how it works.

  • Hire our Probate Team. We’ll review your loved one’s assets and any documentation they might have to determine how to handle their estate.
  • We take care of the details and handle everything for you.
  • Take Care of Yourself. We’ll take it from here. You take the time you deserve to grieve and be with family and loved ones.

So, whether your loved one had a plan in place for their estate when they passed, or you’re starting from scratch and worried about what will happen to everything, we’re here for you. Schedule a call today. Our team of Maryland probate attorneys are ready to work for you.

How We Serve Our Clients in Anne Arundel County and All Across Maryland

Estate Planning

Planning for your own end of life, or a situation where due to disability you are unable to manage your assets, isn’t exactly comfortable. However, putting off planning can lead to more stress for your loved ones and unnecessary uncertainty around what happens to your estate.

Learn More from our Estate Planning Lawyers


Trusts are an estate planning tool we often use for asset protection, providing a management care plan for your assets, and to help your family avoid the Maryland probate process.

Learn More About Trusts.

Living Wills

A living will is a legal document that lays out what medical decisions you would like to be made in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. This could include life-saving measures, pain management, organ donation, and more.


Learn More About Living Wills in Maryland


Whether your loved one has a clear estate plan, or no plan at all, the probate process adds unneeded stress to your life during a difficult time. Not knowing how the courts will distribute your family member’s assets can feel scary.

We believe everyone deserves the time they need to grieve the loss of a loved one and probate shouldn’t get in the way.

Learn More From Our Maryland Probate Lawyer

Adult Guardianship

A guardianship is the legal process used by the courts to appoint someone to make legal and financial decisions for people who cannot do it for themselves due to a physical or mental disability. If a guardian is appointed, the person subject to the guardianship loses the ability to make decisions for themselves for as long as they remain disabled.

Learn More About Adult Guardianship in Maryland

Asset Protection

Creditors may come after your home if you file for bankruptcy or if they win a lawsuit against you. If you believe this may be a possibility, we can help you put an asset protection plan in place that protects your family home. We can explain to you how an irrevocable asset protection trust works, and what this means for making future decisions about your property.

Learn More About Asset Protection in Maryland

Last Will and Testament

A will, sometimes called a last will and testament, is a legal document that tells your family and the state your intentions for your assets after your death. We recommend all our clients draft a will. This is true no matter how small your estate or whether or not you use other estate planning tools to distribute your assets.


Learn More About Creating a Will in Maryland

Medicaid Crisis

A common misconception after a loved one enters a nursing home is that it’s too late to protect their assets, or that they will have to spend their life savings before they can apply for Medicaid assistance.

It's not too late! Our Medicaid Crisis Lawyers can help you protect your loved one’s assets and work to make them Medicaid eligible even after they enter a nursing home.

Learn More About Medicaid Crisis Lawyers

Powers of Attorney

We create and use these legal documents for various purposes for the estate planning process. The two most common are financial power of attorneys and health care power of attorneys.

Learn More About Powers of Attorney in Maryland

Chesapeake Care Plan

As life happens - moving, marriage, divorce, children, and many others, we created the Chesapeake Care Plan to keep your life on track. It will work as intended as you need it most. Better yet, by enrolling in the program you will get a wide range of services at a fraction of the cost versus individual out of pocket payment.

Learn More About the Chesapeake Care Plan

Elder Law

3 in 4 senior adults over the age of 65 will require long-term nursing care at some point in their life. Our Elder Law Lawyers offer estate planning, Medicaid crisis response, and other services to help senior adults plan ahead or respond to a crisis in health requiring nursing care.

Learn More About Elder Law in Maryland

Chesapeake Wills and Trusts Attorneys

The Chesapeake Promise

When working with our team, you can expect us to:


Treat you like our own family


Always explain the next steps


Keep you in the loop


Work for your best interests

Probate Guide Cover

An introduction to how to settle an estate through probate.

Losing a loved one is difficult enough without the added stress of having to make important financial decisions while grieving. If you are faced with the prospect of probating a loved one’s estate, chances are you have plenty of questions. This free report has the answers.

Answers to a Few Common Questions We Hear From Our Clients:

The personal representative is responsible for settling and distributing the decedent’s estate as efficiently as possible by following the instructions contained in the decedent’s will.

While every probate is unique, here is a partial list of the duties required to settle an estate in a “typical” probate:

  • Locate and file the Last Will and Testament with the local court
  • File required probate documents with the court
  • Ascertain, and notify, all known creditors of the estate
  • Secure the decedent’s personal residence and tangible personal property
  • Locate, inventory, custody, close, and transfer personal assets/accounts
  • Process and receive life insurance death benefits
  • Pay debts and expenses associated with the last illness and funeral
  • Make payments to creditors, discharge obligations, and obtain creditor releases
  • File appropriate tax returns (federal and state) and make appropriate tax elections
  • Pay estate taxes and final personal income taxes
  • Obtain tax releases and closing letters from local courts and the IRS
  • Make specific bequests, as well as partial and final distributions, to beneficiaries and obtain releases
  • Provide complete, detailed accounting to the local court and estate beneficiaries
  • File closing paperwork/documentation with the court
  • Accomplishing all of this would be difficult in and of itself. When you factor in the grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one, the situation can become overwhelming.

If you have been named as personal representative, we can lift this burden off your shoulders and handle the most difficult aspects of the process: communicating with the court; managing the accountings; resolving conflicts with creditors; and coordinating with other professionals such as accountants and financial advisors.

It is important to note that the personal representative can be held financially and legally responsible for failing to properly settle the estate, even if any mistakes were unintentional. (Learn the Biggest Mistakes People Make in Probate.) Working with a qualified probate attorney can protect you against this possibility.

You are not alone during this difficult time. We are here to help you every step of the way

Get a crash course on the probate process in Maryland

There is a lot to be considered when it comes to handling probate in Maryland. You don’t need to know everything, but you might want to know the basics.

Our attorney, Frank Gray, gives you everything you need to know about probate in Maryland in seven minutes or less. Take a look!

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to a few common questions we hear from our clients.

What is Probate?

Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying the assets, debts, and beneficiaries of the person who passed away (the “decedent”) and making sure those assets go to the right people.  If the decedent had a will, the will tells us how to ultimately distribute their property.  If the decedent died without a will, they died “intestate” and the law tells us who gets what and how much.

I was just named the Personal Representative in a will, what do I need do?

If you have been named the Personal Representative of an estate, your main job is to make sure the wishes of the deceased are honored while also fulfilling the requirements of the probate court. This begins by opening an estate.  After opening the estate with the Register of Wills, you will need to make sure the appropriate paperwork is filed along the way, assets are properly appraised, creditors are notified, and ultimately that assets are distributed correctly.

How long does the probate process take?

The probate process usually takes about 9 months to complete, but sometimes it can take considerably longer if there are challenges to the legitimacy of the will, questions about the value of assets, or doubts about the validity of claims made against the estate. Creditors are allowed 6 months to file claims against the estate. After the required waiting period passes, the Personal Representative can pay valid claims and distribute assets the beneficiaries.

Does everything the decedent owned go through probate?

No. Many assets are non-probate assets, which means they were either jointly owned with someone else or had a designated beneficiary that allows for a quicker distribution. A probate asset means the asset was solely owned by the decedent at the time of their death, and those assets must go all the way through probate before being distributed. 

Learn more about Probate in Maryland

Want to learn more? Here are our latest articles written by our Anne Arundel-based probate attorneys to help you better understand how to protect your home and life savings.

What Happens in Probate in Maryland?

What Happens in Probate in Maryland?

If you are planning to serve as the personal representative for another person's estate, you should be prepared for each of the steps of probate. The probate process in Maryland could last anywhere from 6 to 9 months. However, this can be extended depending on the...

Is it Worth Avoiding Maryland Probate?

Is it Worth Avoiding Maryland Probate?

If you pass away with a will or fail to take extra care in your estate plan, certain assets will end up in Maryland probate. Although this is the official process for closing out your estate, you might not want your heirs to have to work through probate and deal with...

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