Probate refers to the process of authenticating a deceased individual’s will and testament. The probate process in Maryland includes determining asset value, distributing the estate, and paying any remaining bills. Although the process varies depending upon the specific financial situation of the deceased, the probate process is designed to create fair management of the estate.
You may never step into a courtroom.
After a loved one dies, the last thing most people want to do is spend time in a courtroom. Fortunately, much of the probate process involves paperwork instead of time in the courtroom. A lengthy courtroom process occurs only when parties decide to contest the will.
The probate process determines the validity of the will.
Before estate administration can begin, the probate court must determine if the deceased individual’s will is valid. In the state of Maryland, the following conditions must be met in order for the will to be valid:
- The will must be in writing, but handwritten wills are not accepted.
- It needs to have the deceased’s signature.
- The deceased must have been at least 18 at the time that they made the will.
- The will requires two signatures from witnesses.
- Each witness must be at least 18.
The length of the probate process varies.
The administration of the estate by the probate court can take as little as six months. In other instances, it may take up to one year. These are the typical response times in cases that are not contested and the validity of the will is not debated.
You can make the probate process easier on your loved ones.
During estate planning, you can reduce the stress of the probate process for your loved ones by having a well-written will. Comprehensive estate planning will save your loved ones time and money during their grieving process.