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Navigating probate in Maryland: choosing the right estate type

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Estate Planning |

In Maryland, when a person dies, their assets may need to go through a legal process called probate. Probate is proving the validity of a will and distributing the deceased’s assets according to their wishes or state law. One crucial decision during the probate process is determining which type of estate to file: regular or small.

What is a regular estate?

A regular estate is a standard probate process for estates with significant assets. The process generally involves a personal representative appointed to manage the estate, a notice sent to creditors, and a final accounting provided to the court. A regular estate can take several months or even years to complete, depending on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that may arise.

What is a small estate?

A small estate is a streamlined probate process for estates with fewer assets. In Maryland, an estate appears small if the value of the assets is less than $50,000 or if the deceased did not own real estate. The process for a small estate is generally quicker and less complex than for a regular estate.

Determining the right estate type

When determining which type of estate to file in Maryland, it is crucial to consider the value of the assets and whether the deceased owned real estate. A small estate may be appropriate if the estate is worth less than $50,000 and does not include real estate. A regular estate may be necessary if the estate is worth more or contains real estate.

It is also vital to consider the deceased’s wishes and any instructions they may have left in their will. It may be necessary to seek legal assistance to determine the best action and ensure a smooth probate process.

In summary, the type of estate filed in Maryland during probate can have significant implications for the distribution of the deceased’s assets.