Annapolis Probate Problems
Probate is a very public process that many people aim to avoid at all costs. Since it occurs in a court, it means that a person’s financial affairs can be seen by others. While the testator is deceased by this time, knowing that their assets will become public knowledge after death can be a burden while they are alive, and can also become stressful to family members during the probate process. In order to avoid probate, a person can establish trusts or set up beneficiaries so that they are left with limited assets, and their estate is considered a simple estate. Probate laws in Maryland do not account for more complex family structures that exist as a result of divorce, and problems can arise when a decedent has been married multiple times. If you want to avoid probate issues, the best step you can take is to contact a qualified Annapolis probate problems attorney who can advise you on your estate.
Why Does Probate Exist?
Probate is the process of transferring a deceased person’s assets to the appropriate beneficiaries. Even when a person has left a will behind, the will must go through probate and it must be determined to be valid. According to Maryland’s Office of the Register of Wills, a will must be signed by the maker of the will along with two credible witnesses. If the will was created in another state, it must follow the probate laws for that state. Probate ensures the following:
- The last will and testament of the decedent is authentic;
- There is an executor appointed for the estate;
- That all creditors have been notified of the death;
- All of the decedent’s assets have been located;
- The decedent’s debts are paid;
- Estate and inheritance taxes are paid; and
- The estate is distributed to the appropriate heirs.
Avoid Probate By Taking Appropriate Steps Before Death
Probate is a strain on surviving family members. They will be in a grieving process while simultaneously trying to settle the legal aspects of your estate. Courts can become back-logged and disputes can arise, which will further delay the distribution of your estate. Furthermore, filing documents for probate costs money and those costs will be subtracted from the estate’s financials. The best way to avoid probate problems is to review your estate with an estate planning attorney before your death.
Probate Problems That Blended Families See
Healthline reported that the 2009 U.S. Census found 16 percent of children live in a blended family and there is evidence that this percentage has increased since the last census. It is also in the best interest of blended families, where a parent has children from multiple marriages, to avoid probate because the probate laws do not consider such family issues and can result in heirs losing their anticipated inheritance.
Contact an Annapolis Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you are trying to protect and provide for your family after your death, the best step you can take is to ensure your estate is properly planned out in advance. An experienced probate attorney will take into account your assets and your wishes for how they should be dispersed after death. Contact the law offices Frame & Frame by calling 410-255-0373 to schedule a free consultation today.