A Montgomery County Probate Lawyer Provides a Quick Overview of the Probate Process


In some circles, “probate” almost feels like a dirty word.  There are plenty of reasons that a person may prefer to skip the probate process, when possible, but it is a fact of wills and trust administration.  The details of probate can vary somewhat from place to place.  For example, probate in California will likely be different from probate in Maryland.  There are such differences, in fact, that separate proceedings are necessary for an individual with estates in both states.  This means that involving a probate lawyer from Bethesda is usually the best choice for those who are local.

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Maryland Estate Planning that Incorporates Your Pets

Many clients who seek out estate planning in Bethesda and Upper Marlboro have concerns when it comes to caring for their pets.  After all, our pets rely on us for everything, although we all know that we gain so much in return.  When engaging in estate planning with an attorney, you likely want to ensure that your steadfast companion is well cared for after your passing.

One approach is to actually set up a Pet Trust.  This type of trust is created here in Maryland specifically to take care of your special companion animal or animals when you are no longer able to do so.  When setting up a pet trust, your attorney will ask you to make a few considerations:

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Maryland Estate Planning Attorney Discusses 4 Misconceptions About Wills

When it comes to estate planning in Maryland, there are many misconceptions.  Over the years, I have noticed some common themes in the way some people think about Wills. In this post, I will discuss 4 common misconceptions I regularly encounter when helping people in Bethesda and Upper Marlboro get their financial affairs in order.

Misconception #1: A Will avoids probate. No.  A Will is the primary tool of the probate system. Your Will is like a letter to the Court telling the Court how you want your property distributed.  Then you must make sure that you prove to the Court that all your property is collected and appraised, and all your bills and taxes are paid, before your property can be distributed to your heirs.

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Is Your Property Titled to Avoid Probate?

I frequently get questions from my clients about how to avoid probate by retitling property.  If your desire is to avoid probate, a properly funded revocable trust can do that.  However, certain types of property ownership can also avoid probate.  There are three categories of property ownership – property titled in your name, in joint names with others, or by contract.  Below is a summary of each type of property ownership and whether or not you can use it to avoid probate.

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Estate Planning Myth #2

Many people believe that estate plans are only for the wealthy and well-to-do.  This is another common estate planning myth.  More than 60% of all Americans die without an estate plan, leaving their state’s intestacy laws to determine who will inherit their property.  Intestacy laws may also determine who will act as guardian of your … Read more