Probate and Estate Planning
The attorneys at Andalman & Flynn have assisted numerous testators and beneficiaries by supplying our advice and skill in the areas of estates and probate. We assist our clients in minimizing the time and money spent on estate administration and serve families facing the daunting task of administering their loved ones’ estates. We educate and guide our clients every step of the way in their own estate preparation.
Estate Planning, like other areas of the law, is complex. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Working with an experienced attorney who handles estate planning matters is important. Contact Andalman & Flynn for assistance with probate and estate planning in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas.
Our Probate and Estate Planning Practice
All of us will get to a point where we can’t make decisions, including decisions about our property. This is why estate planning plays a crucial role in the future of your assets. We can assist you in all areas of estates and probate, as well as trusts. This includes preparation of estate planning documents such as:
- Last Wills
- Powers of Attorney (POA)
- Health Care Advanced Directives (commonly known as “Living Wills”)
We can also help you establish a trust as a provision in your will.
What Is Estate Administration?
When an individual dies, their assets may be transferred by way of contractual language, payable on:
- Death accounts
- Death property transfer
- Life insurance
- Retirement benefits
Other assets may be transferred through court proceedings called “probate.”
Most persons die owning assets which require some type of documentation to be filed with the Register of Wills in order to complete the transfer.
Depending on the type and location of a decedent’s assets, the assets are generally collected, maintained, and distributed among the decedent’s heirs, beneficiaries, and/or creditors according to the directions of the decedent as expressed through a will and/or the laws of Maryland. This process is known as “probate” or the “administration of an estate.” It is prudent to consult an attorney when administering a decedent’s estate, as well as to plan the administration of your own assets upon your death.
This process can go smoothly, but it doesn’t always. Sometimes there are contentious disagreements about claims, the value of certain property or the rights of beneficiaries—which is why many residents of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC rely on the assistance of Andalman & Flynn’s attorneys. Contact our team to learn more.
What Are the Duties of the Personal Representative/Executor?
When an individual dies, an estate may be opened by any interested person filing an application to administer the estate. This application is filed in the county in which the decedent resided at the time of his or her death. If a personal representative or “PR” (commonly known as an “executor” in some states) is not expressly named in a decedent’s will, or if a named PR is unwilling or unable to perform these duties, the court will appoint a PR. It is the responsibility of the PR to administer the decedent’s estate and to account to the court for that administration.
Because a PR who fails to perform the statutory duties is subject to removal by the court, it is advantageous to speak with an attorney if you are appointed as PR of an estate. Sometimes, a bond may be required of the PR to protect the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate and to insure proper administration.
For Legal Assistance with Estate Administration in Maryland, Contact Us
At Andalman & Flynn, we take a common sense approach to probate and estate planning. Whether you have been selected as a personal representative or you are planning the administration of your own estate, we will meet you with to get a complete understanding of your family situation, assets, and liabilities so that we can efficiently and effectively provide assistance.
For more information on the estate planning process in Maryland or to schedule a consultation with our attorneys in the areas of wills, trusts, probate and estates, contact us. Fill out an online contact form or call 301-563-6685 to speak with us by phone.