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Montgomery County Probate Estates Without Wills

Probating an estate can be a complex process when there has been no will left behind. This is why is important for you to consult with a dedicated lawyer with experience handling this area of law. An attorney could help you get a better understanding of Montgomery County probate estates without wills and how to properly go through the process. Call today to schedule your consultation.

Personal Representative

In all jurisdictions in Maryland, the individual that is appointed by the court to represent the estate is referred to as the personal representative. This is a term that is used whether or not a person has a will. If a person is appointed as special administrator of the estate, their role could be limited by the court until they are appointed as the personal representative. The personal representative has an essential role in Montgomery County probate estates without wills.

Personal Representative Successor

If a personal representative resigns or passes away, then the probate court will appoint a successor personal representative. In the event a successor personal representative was named in the will, the probate court would readily appoint that person. If there is no successor named in the will or there was not a will, then the probate court will appoint another person to serve. The estate will not close or end because the original personal representative resigns. Usually, the probate court appoints someone has a successor before the individual is allowed to resign.

Race to the Courthouse

In the event a person dies and does not leave a will, the person who petitions the probate court first to become the personal representative will most likely have the best chance of becoming appointed if no one else contests the appointment. If multiple people are trying to become appointed and there are multiple petitions opened, then the court will have to determine who has priority to serve as the personal representative.

Process of Handling Montgomery County Probate Estates Without Wills

The process of Montgomery County probate estates without wills is similar to the procedure of estates that do have wills. A person can petition the probate court to open the estate and become the personal representative and then that person would have to show how it is that they have priority to serve. As long as the individual has priority or consent from other people who do have priority to serve, then the probate court will likely appoint the petitioner to serve as personal representative and open the estate.

Moving forward, the administration of the estate’s business will be the same as if there was a will. This means that the individual who was appointed representative would have all the same requirements of a person who was appointed of an estate with a will, which includes making all required court filing, ensuring that all assets of the estate have been collected and properly marshaled, making sure that all valid enforceable claims or debts have been paid or disputed if they are not valid, and properly distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.