Probate Petitions and Supporting Documents in Maryland

Initiating the probate process is an essential part of ensuring that a deceased person’s wishes are fulfilled. Probate involves the authentication of a will as well as oversight into the actions of personal representatives. However, the courts will never act on their own to initiate probate. Instead, state law requires authorized parties to submit petitions to the court asking for this process to begin.

Additionally, these petitions must contain specific information for the court to accept the document and proceed with the proper steps. As such, it is crucial to consult a legal professional for more information about probate petitions and supporting documents in Maryland. An experienced probate attorney may also be able to help you to form these petitions and get the probate process underway.

What is a Probate Petition?

The probate petition is the official document that asks the court to begin the probate process. The Annotated Code of Maryland, Estates and Trusts § 5-206 provides a form that parties may use to submit their petition to the court.

The form also includes sections concerning an estimated valuation of the estate and potentially interested parties. Providing information and making efforts to obtain this data is an essential part of submitting a comprehensive probate petition.

Who Submits a Probate Petition in Maryland?

The party submitting the document should be ready to take on the role of being the estate’s personal representative. Often, this person is nominated for the role in the decedent’s will. In fact, if the party submitting the will has a copy of that document, they must attach it to the petition. A skilled lawyer could help parties to form these probate petitions and submit them to the local court.

Supporting Documentation to Bolster a Probate Petition

The form provided in the state statutes is only the bare minimum for information that a probate petition must include. In many cases, it may be necessary to include supplemental information to better inform the court and allow probate to go more smoothly.

The Ann. Code of MD, Trusts and Estates § 5-201 provides general guidelines for this information, which may include:

  • The county in which the decedent domiciled prior to death
  • Information concerning other legal ongoings concerning the estate
  • How the petitioner came to possess the will
  • The names and addresses of all witnesses to the will

The value of the decedent’s estate is also important, especially for those considering filing for a small estate classification. Bank accounts, lists of liabilities, and information concerning real estate holdings are all relevant here. An attorney in Maryland could assist in gathering and organizing the necessary information for probate petitions.

Consult an Attorney on Maryland Probate Petitions and Required Documents

Probate only begins when a nominated personal representative presents a petition to the orphan’s court or register of wills. This document informs the court of the decedent’s death as well as the intent of the submitter to serve as a personal representative.

To this end, the petition requires comprehensive information about the decedent, the value of their estate, the will, and the witnesses to that will’s execution. Obtaining this information can be complex, but it vital for a successful probate process. Speak with an attorney for more information about the requirements for probate petitions and supporting documents in Maryland. Contact our firm today to learn more.