Determining Probate Assets in Montgomery County
In order to determine whether or not an individual has probate assets, it must be established that the asset was solely owned by the decedent at the time of their death. This means that the asset cannot have a joint owner or beneficiary designation. If a person has a house and bank accounts in only their name with no beneficiaries named on the accounts, then a probate estate would have to be opened. If you have any questions about determining probate assets in Montgomery County, reach out to a seasoned probate attorney today. A knowledgeable lawyer could answer your questions and concerns and give you advice
Role of the Personal Representative
A probate estate must be opened with the Orphans’ Court for Montgomery County. An individual will need to be appointed a personal representative of the estate to have authority to act on behalf of the estate. In this way, the person would be allowed to legally manage the assets of the decedent and determine the value of the assets of the decedent’s estate. Once they are appointed by the probate court, the personal representative’s essential duties include marshaling all of the assets of the estate, reviewing and paying any legally enforceable debts, ensuring that all income and estate tax returns required are filed. They must also make distribution either pursuant to the decedent’s last will and testament or to the Maryland laws of intestacy.
The personal representative has the responsibility and duty of determining the individual’s sole assets or probate assets and determining the value of the assets. The date of death and value of the assets will be reported to the court as well as a report showing the interests of persons who are beneficiaries of the estate. From this point on, they must collect the assets and put the assets into a checking account opened on behalf of the estate. Eventually, the personal representative has to make sure that any valid enforceable debts are paid before making distributions to the proper beneficiaries. Depending on the type of probate initiated, they are also required to file any necessary court pleadings or reports such as inventory, accounting, or Final Report Under Modified Administration.
How to Determine if an Asset is Probate or Not
If a personal representative is unsure about what kind of asset the person held, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney. A lawyer has experience determining probate assets in Montgomery County. They could let an individual know what assets are probate assets and which are not. A meeting with a probate attorney to go over the decedent’s assets early on could determine if there are any probate assets requiring the individual to open a probate estate at all.
Contacting a Probate Attorney in Montgomery County
Speak with a lawyer today about determining probate assets in Montgomery County. An attorney could walk you through the process to ensure that you know which assets must be reported and which ones do not. A lawyer could save you the headache of this process, so call today and set up a consultation.