After the death of Odette’s uncle, her aunt decided it was time to get her affairs in order. She wanted to make that her wishes regarding her property, assets, and burial were known. Since she had no children of her own, Odette’s aunt asked her to be the personal representative of her will.
Odette’s aunt left her the house and all her property. The will stated that she could sell or keep the house, whatever she preferred. Odette was to pay off any remaining debts and distribute any property specified to additional family members.
Unfortunately, Odette would have to execute the will sooner than she had known. She had not researched Maryland probate laws and decided to start there. After a lot of research, she realized how in-depth and specific the probate laws are in Maryland. Luckily her aunt had taken the first step and registered her Will with the Office of the Register of Wills. Odette had her copy of the Will that her aunt had given her. She was immediately overwhelmed with all that needed to be done to execute her aunt’s final wishes.
She knew the house needed a lot of repairs and that the money just wasn’t there to get them done. Odette, after some further research, saw that Akin Developers bought houses that were in disrepair. She contacted Akin to see how to best proceed with probating the Will so she could sell the house. Using our extensive network of professionals, we connected her with a probate attorney that could help walk her through the process of probating her aunt’s will. The attorney would be able to help her navigate the requirements and deadlines to get the Will probated.
Maryland’s Probate Process
Maryland’s Probate process is very specific. The process order looks like this:
- Filling the Will
- Petition to Probate the Estate
- List of Interested Persons
- Inventory and Information Report
- First Account
- Claims Against the Estate
- Subsequent Accounts
- Final Account
Filing the Will
Since Odette’s aunt had already filed her Will with the Office of the Register of Wills, Odette could go straight to filing the Petition to Probate the Estate.
Petition to Probate the Estate
The clock starts ticking on the probate process once the Petition to Probate is filed. The first step is getting the court to approve the appointed person as executor or naming an executor if the Will does not list anyone. Since Odette’s aunt had listed her in the Will as her representative and there was no one to object, she was appointed as executor. It was determined that the estate was to be considered a “Regular Estate” since it was valued at more than $50,000. Odette was authorized to act on behalf of her aunt’s estate and was given the Letters of Administration.
List of Interested Persons
Odette had 20 days after being confirmed the executor to submit a “List of Interested Persons.” This is just a list of anyone who stands to inherit from Odette’s aunt’s estate. Odette listed herself, and her aunt’s sister as the only interested parties to inherit.
Inventory and Information Report
The next step is filing the Inventory and Information report. This has to be filed with the Register of Wills within a 3-month timeframe. It lists property and assets owned by Odette’s aunt that she owned by herself or with another person. The value of each asset is also listed as well as what assets are left to a specific person. Odette verified the list her aunt had made to make sure all the values and assets were listed and filed the report.
The First Account is the value of the estate including all financial activity. Funeral expenses, mortgage payments, and utilities are all included in this report. Money received from any insurance payments also needs to be included. All of these payments have to be approved by the court. The First Account needs to be filed within nine months of Odette’s appointment as an executor but cannot be filed any earlier than six months after her appointment.
Claims Against the Estate
Anyone who feels they have a claim against the estate can file a claim within six months. This includes creditors or any person who feels that they have a claim with the estate. The other way they can make a claim on the estate is after the executor gives them a copy of the Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors, or Notice to Unknown Heirs form. This is also published in the newspaper for three weeks. If claims are not received in the appropriate timeframe then no viable claims are listed with the estate.
Odette filed this quickly and with no outstanding claims against the estate was able to move closer to getting her aunt’s estate closed.
After the First Account is filed and approved, a Subsequent Account is filed if there are any financial changes in the estate.
There is no specific time for filing this since estates vary in the time they take to get everything in order. This is a final report of everything that has been paid by the estate, the value of assets, and the total value of the estate that is to be distributed. The estate can be distributed after this report has been approved by the court.
After Odette had finished with the probate process and it had come to a close, the assets were able to be distributed. Odette had gone to Akin early in the probate process. We knew that it couldn’t be sold until after the probate process but we were able to assess the property and let Odete know a price range.
If it had been necessary to sell the house during the probate process to prevent foreclosure, there is a process in place. Odette’s aunt, however, had already paid off the house so that was not an issue.
After reinspecting the house to verify the condition had not changed, we formally made a fair offer to Odette. Odette was able to sell the house and use the money to buy a forever home for herself just like her aunt wanted.
It is a good idea when working through probate in Maryland to get the help of professionals. Akin Developers has a vast network of professionals in place to help you navigate the process.