Opening an Estate in Bethesda

The requirements for opening an estate in Bethesda will depend on the nature and facts of a case. The individual who has not made a last will and testament or who has priority to serve will prepare a petition and file it with the Office of the Register of Wills for Montgomery County, Maryland to be appointed to serve on behalf of the estate as the personal representative. If you are considering opening an estate in Bethesda and are unsure of where to start, a Bethesda estate planning attorney will be essential to streamline the process.

Factors of an Estate

The initial filing is dependent on whether there is a last will and testament, the amount of the assets in the estate, and the individuals who are seeking to serve as a personal representative. Those filings change for each case, but they often include a petition and a list of interested of interested persons. If necessary, the initial pleadings also include a notice of appointment. Where necessary, the initial pleadings include a bond or a nominal bond and other documents or files may be required dependent specifically on the facts of the case.

The size of the estate and the nature of the assets determine the type of estate that is opened. For example, an estate that is less than $50,000 may be opened as a small estate rather than a regular estate proceeding. The main difference between a large and small estate is the value of the estate. For single individuals, a small estate is an estate with the value of $50,000 or less. For married individuals, a small estate is $100,000 or less. An estate that is over those thresholds is considered a regular estate.

Will and Testament Considerations

The original last will and testament is required to be filed with the Register of Wills in Montgomery County for decedents who die as residents of Bethesda and is a necessary part of opening an estate in Bethesda.

The person who is allowed to petition to serve as personal representative depends on whether the decedent had a last will and testament and whether individuals are nominated. If there is no last will and testament, Maryland law determines who has priority to serve.

Regulating the Necessity of a Bond

Bond is typically required of a personal representative when opening an estate in Bethesda. In the event that a decedent waives bond in their last will and testament, a nominal bond is still required. It is obtained for the personal representative. The bond helps to protect the heirs or the beneficiaries from actions of the personal representative so that in the event the personal representative breaches their obligations, the court can be sure that court costs are covered and potentially other costs or expenses depending on the value of the bond.

Notice of an Appointment

A notice of appointment is a notice that is required in some cases to be published in a local newspaper for three consecutive weeks. It reflects that an individual has been appointed to serve on behalf of the estate as the personal representative. It is a notice of appointment, a notice to creditors, and a notice to unknown heirs. For creditors and unknown heirs, it is a notice to let them know to come forward and take requisite action against the estate.

The purpose is to provide notice to creditors and to unknown heirs and then to any other interested individuals that the estate has been opened and an individual has been appointed to serve.