Probate & Estate Administration Attorney in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia
|The loss of a loved one can be a difficult time. There are many things to consider, and one of the considerations is the management of your loved one’s estate. Probate & estate administration can be a burden. Fortunately, each probate & estate administration attorney at Longman & Van Grack, LLC can help administer any size or type estates in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.
What is Probate
Probate is the legal process of determining the validity of a Last Will and Testament (“Will”). In Maryland, each county’s Register of Wills supervises this process. The probate process in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC includes an accounting of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, advising the appointed Executor and distributing bequests to beneficiaries. The probate process can also include assessing and paying estate taxes, though that is usual a federal matter. Our firm’s tax lawyers and estate lawyers can help with those tax concerns as well. Often a personal representative is also appointed through the probate process. There are two types of probate under Maryland law. The first is administrative probate, which occurs when the will is uncontested. The second is judicial probate, which occurs when the will is contested. The Orphans Court of the county of filing supervises judicial probate.
What is Estate Administration
Estate Administration is the process of managing an estate when someone dies without a will. In this case, the administrator of the estate is dictated by statute instead of being chosen by the decedent. This process includes many of the same processes as probate including an accounting of assets and liabilities, advising the administrator, distribution of assets as well as tax issues. Depending upon the situation, administration can be handled by either the Register of Wills or the Orphans Court. In the case of administration, the person charged with management of the estate is referred to as an Administrator.
Probate and estate administration are often complicated, invasive, and tedious processes. Even if the decedent had a solid estate plan in effect, the estate may still be difficult to manage by an administrator or executor. A probate attorney can guide administrators and executors to ensure they are performing their duties as required by law.
Sometimes parties interested in an estate, such as beneficiaries or those who stand to inherit under the intestacy statute, can challenge an estate. This challenge to an estate is called a contest and is handled by the Orphans Court in the county where the estate was filed. Probate and estate administration can be further complicated by a contest. For more information on these types of challenges, go to our estate litigation page.
How Can an Attorney Help
Estates are often a burden on those who have just lost a loved one. They must be handled correctly from their initiation to avoid delay and complications. It is important for executors and estate administrators to consult with an experienced probate attorney in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC as they have a fiduciary duty to perform their functions in accordance with the wishes of the decedent and the law. Please call Longman & Van Grack at (301) 291-5027 for a consultation today and to meet an estate administration attorney at our Maryland Offices (Rockville and Bethesda), Washington DC Office, Northern Virginia Office.
With Offices in Bethesda, MD and Rockville, MD, the attorneys at Longman & Van Grack assist clients throughout Washington, DC and Maryland including Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince Georges County, Chevy Chase, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Potomac, Silver Spring, and Wheaton.
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