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Opening an estate in Maryland

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When a testator (the person who made a will) dies, the personal representative will open the estate (request the court to probate the estate). As a personal representative, doing this will allow you to start your duties.

Maryland does not have a defined time limit for opening an estate. But once you do, time is of the essence. Thus, you need to know the steps to take to ensure you execute the estate competently.

One of the things you need to know earlier is what to file to open the estate. They include:

Proof of death

After the death of a testator, you will send the original or a copy of the death certificate to the probate court in the jurisdiction where the decedent was domiciled (resided) at the time of their passing.  

If the death certificate is not yet available when you want to open an estate, any other proof of death can allow you to do so. For example, an official document from the funeral home.

The last will and testament

You need to present the testator’s original last will and testament to the court to open the estate. If you cannot find the original will, but the copy is available, or the testator didn’t draft a will, contact the Register of Wills.

Consent to appointment from interested persons

If the testator’s will names you as the personal representative, you don’t need to file this form. However, if you have been chosen to serve because the named party is dead or doesn’t want to/ cannot serve or the testator died without a will, you need to file a consent to appointment from interested persons.

The forms required to open an estate differ depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Consider legal guidance to observe all required steps.