A summary of Probate administration
Probate assets are all real and personal property owned by a decedent, which do not pass to another person at the time of the decedent's death, pursuant to the terms of the instrument creating the interest. For example, if a decedent was the owner of a life insurance policy, which did not name a living person or existing entity to receive the proceeds upon their death, then the policy proceeds would constitute a part of the decedent's probate assets, and would be administered through the Probate Court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of their death. Accordingly, it is veryimportant that documentation relative to the titling of all of a decedent's real and personal property be reviewed so that it can be determined what property constitutes probate property. Once a Petition for Probate is filed, a Personal Representative is appointed, and the Court will determine the validity of any existing Will, and supervise the administration of the estate, and the distribution of a decedent's probate assets. All probate estates must be administered pursuant to the requirements of Maryland law. Generally, that law requires that an Inventory of probate assets, as well as an Information Report, listing the decedent's assets which are subject to the payment of inheritance taxes, and periodic estate administration accounts must be filed with the Probate Court. Failure to timely file such documentation may result in the removal of the Personal Representative. The Law Offices Of Valerie A. Rocco, P.C., has been providing legal services in the administration of estates for over ten years. Such services include:
- Determining the validity of a Last Will and Testament;
- Ascertaining which of a decedent's assets constitutes probate property;
- Determining the identity of heirs, legatees, and interested persons, which is an essential determination to be made;
- Preparing the appropriate documentation for the admission of a copy of a Will;
- Preparing Petitions for Estate Administration, Notice To Interested Persons and creditors, Bond Applications, and other documents which are required to be filed for the appointment of a Personal Representative, and commencement of an estate administration;
- Negotiate claims filed by creditors against an estate;
- Prepare distribution agreements between legatees and heirs and Deeds for the transfer of real property;
- Coordinate the preparation of a decedent's Maryland and federal personal income tax returns, and Maryland Estate and federal estate returns;
- Facilitate the opening of an ancillary estate in another state where a decedent's property is located;
- Prepare reports and accounts which must be filed throughout an estate administration for the review and approval of the Probate Court.
An hourly fee is charged for estate administration services, as opposed to charging a percentage of the value of estate assets as permitted under Maryland law.