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Annapolis Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Wills could be useful instructions for Maryland estates

Though many Maryland residents may believe that their families could effectively handle their estate in the event of their deaths, it may be fitting to leave behind detailed instructions. These instructions may take the form of trusts or wills that dictate which parties may be entitled to what property. These documents could be drawn up legally through various channels. 

Before creating a will, individuals may wish to have their property appraised. Though this step may seem obvious for physical property, intellectual property should not be left out. There are various forms of intellectual property, and by discerning what that property is and the value of it, individuals may be better equipped to leave behind rights and ownership to their desired parties with more peace of mind. 

Prince's estate administration dealing with complications

When there no estate plans have been made and a loved one dies, surviving family members may face complications. An estate administration will likely need to be formed in order to handle the many facets of probate, and individuals may face time-consuming legal processes. These proceedings may feel overwhelming, and many parties may wish to seek assistance in navigating the situation.

Maryland residents may be interested the issues surrounding the surviving family members of the late musical artist Prince, who are currently facing estate complications. Because the singer died without a will, his sister Tyka Nelson sought for a special administrator to be appointed to handle the estate, estimated at nearly $500 million. Additionally, Nelson also named herself and five half-siblings as the remaining heirs to Prince's estate. 

MLK estate administration conflict may entice Maryland residents

After the death of a loved one, issues regarding the estate could arise at any time. It may be years before a dispute takes place, but there could be a chance for such a situation to come about, especially if Maryland family members do not agree on how to handle certain assets. Members of the estate administration often have considerable say in how property is distributed, but other individuals may move forward with litigation in order to have their voices heard.

Such a situation is currently taking place in another state involving certain assets that belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr. Reports indicated that a Bible and Nobel Peace Prize belonging to the late civil rights leader are currently up for dispute between King's two sons and his daughter. The sons have control of the estate and wish to sell the items, but their sister wants the assets to remain in the family.

Will dispute issues may concern Maryland residents

Many Maryland residents may expect there to be a formal reading of the will when they lose a loved one. However, it is not required that a will be read aloud, and if individuals would like to know the contents of a loved one's will, they may need to determine what steps they should take. In the event that there are issues with the document, a will dispute may take place.

When an individual dies, his or her will -- if one was created -- should be filed with the probate court. Once this happens, the document becomes a part of the public record. This means that anyone could have access to the document, and if a family member would like that access, he or she could get a copy from the court. Additionally, if an individual has been named as a beneficiary, it is likely that he or she will also gain a copy of the will. 

Maryland residents may want to talk estate planning with parents

Though another Father's Day has come and gone, many Maryland residents still likely think about the well-being of their fathers and other family members. As individuals grow older, they may also begin to wonder whether their parents have a will or any other estate plans in place. If they are unaware as to whether such documents exist, they may wish to broach the topic of estate planning with their loved ones.

It may be uncomfortable to discuss such a topic because estate plans deal with both money and death. However, facing the discussion head-on could help save stress and complications in the future. The first question to ask is whether any actions have been taken to get end-of-life affairs in order. If plans have been made, the next step would be to determine where those documents are kept and who knows about them.

Fake documents likely to lead to will dispute in Maryland

Many individuals leave behind wills that dictate to whom they wish to leave their funds and other assets. Though these documents are legally binding, there may be instances in which individuals will attempt to pass off fake documents. In such cases, suspicions may arise, and a will dispute could lead to estate litigation in order to determine who is rightfully entitled to what.

Maryland residents may be interested in such a dispute that took place in another state. Reports indicate that a multimillionaire died, and, although he left behind a will, his former caretaker came forward claiming that she found a letter making changes to the will. The supposed changes indicated that the majority of the man's funds were not go to the nonprofit foundation as was originally indicated in the will but instead to the caretaker herself. 

Will dispute could arise from executor mistakes in Maryland

Some Maryland residents likely feel a sense of pride when they are named executors to estates. They may believe that a loved one trusted them and deemed them responsible enough to handle the duties that come along with handling a will after that loved one's passing. However, being an executor may come with its own difficulties, and a will dispute may arise if parties are unsatisfied.

A common reason for such a dispute is that an executor did not inform all potential heirs about the benefactor's death and the existence of a will. Though there are often beneficiaries named in a will, executors will likely need to take further steps to ensure that other relevant parties are made known about the situation. If not, these individuals may feel as if they had been treated unfairly and feel the need to take legal action.

Estate planning may help Maryland residents avoid complications

Many Maryland residents are fans of the now late musical artist Prince. Due to his recent death, his surviving family has been tasked with attending to his estate. However, because the singer did not create a will or other estate planning documents, the situation could quickly become complicated. As a result, some individuals may wish to use this example as reason to create their own plans.

Reports stated that a special administrator has been appointed by the court in order to handle the singer's approximately $500 million estate. This step was necessary due to the superstar not creating plans nor appointing beneficiaries or executors to his estate. The court system will likely be required to make numerous decisions regarding how the assets left behind may be handled.

Estate planning is vital in case of incapacitation in Maryland

To many Maryland residents, the idea of needing someone else to take care of them can be unpleasant. Nonetheless, many individuals may need some sort of long-term care as they get older. Because there are many questions that could arise when it comes to such care, estate planning is important so that individuals can address these potential needs and arrangements formally.

First, when making long-term care plans, individuals will likely want to name a health care proxy. This individual will be in charge of making health care-related decisions for a person should that person become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for him or herself. If such an individual is not named, a party will be appointed, which may not always be the desired situation.

Life changes may mean estate planning changes in Maryland

Throughout their lives, individuals often change their minds about various aspects of their lives. These changes could range from insignificant details of a person's life to rather important factors that could have lasting impacts. Therefore, even if Maryland residents have gone through the estate planning process, they may wish to ensure that they revisit their plans and make changes as necessary. 

One of the most common uses of an estate plan is to name beneficiaries for property after a person's death. These individuals are often spouses, children, other relatives or close friends. Of course, relationships can change over a lifetime, and if an individual has named a spouse as a beneficiary and then ended up divorcing that individual, failing to update beneficiary designation documents could see that ex-spouse receiving part of an estate.