Probate can be a difficult process at the best of times. Dealing with the estate of a loved can be very complicated, even when there’s not much actual property involved. Luckily for Maryland residents, there’s a small estate probate process available. This can simplify things for a family during a very difficult time. There are strict rules about who may qualify for this process, however.
The basics of small estate probate
Maryland’s small estate probate process is limited to estates that fall under a certain dollar amount. For single people who died in October of 2012 or earlier, the limit for a small estate is set at $30,000. For those who died after that date, the estate must have a value of $50,000 or less.
For married people, the limits are higher. For married people who died prior to Oct. 1, 2012, the limit is $50,000. For married people after that date, the limit for a small estate is $100,000. There is an additional caveat for these estates. They will only be considered for small estate probate if the spouse is the only person inheriting.
The benefits of small estate probate
Small estate probate is a streamlined and simplified process. Although the court is involved, judges mainly follow a clear guideline that saves everyone time.
The small estate probate process saves time and money for everyone involved. It allows the probate court to move through uncomplicated cases quickly. It makes it easy for spouses and children to quickly claim the assets of the decedent. The fees for the small estate probate process are also low compared to larger, more complex estates.
For people with few holdings, it can be advisable to consider leaving an estate that can be processed quickly. Having just one legatee is a condition of using this process in Maryland. During the estate planning process, it’s a good idea to keep those kinds of regulations in mind.