Probate & Estate Administration

At Stouffer Legal, we pride ourselves on providing thoughtful solutions to our clients who are going through the estate administration process. Whether you’re about to begin a probate process or already involved in administering an estate, we have the knowledge and resources to help you succeed.

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When a loved one dies, the administration of the estate can be complicated, even in cases where the deceased had plans in place. So, it’s important to get it right from the beginning.

Executors, administrators, trustees, and beneficiaries all have unique rights and roles to play in the probate process. The knowledgeable attorneys at Stouffer Legal are here to help you and your family navigate this complex process. We understand the emotional and financial pressures surviving family members may be dealing with, so we work to ensure estates are handled efficiently and correctly from the start.

Our experienced lawyers handle every type and every size of the estate. Whether you are responsible for administering an estate or are a beneficiary with questions, our law firm can help. If you have questions about any part of the probate process or need help understanding an estate plan, our knowledgeable Estate Administration Attorneys are here for you. We’ll help you understand your rights and navigate the complex process.


  • DIY is possible in some simple cases - Check out our Beginners Guide to Estate Administration
  • Complex estate planning situations usually require a lawyer
  • A lawyer can reduce the chances of a family dispute
  • You can always have an attorney review your forms

Commonly Asked Questions

Probate is a court procedure which transfers property the deceased owned into the hands of his/her descendants or beneficiaries.

Probate has two functions, it gets creditors paid and it gets property owned by the deceased retitled to the land of the living. It also gives relatives and friends the opportunity to bring suits against those who claim your property.

Probate can take anywhere from 6-18 months, it varies depending on the size and complication of the estate.

If the deceased person had a will, the probate process is still required and involves the court validating that will. In the old days when someone died, you would have to get someone else to say “Oh yes! That is John Smith’s signature”. This is not how it works now, if you have two witnesses and a notary it is presumed to be valid. After the court verifies the will, the person’s assets are then transferred to his/her beneficiaries.

If the deceased person had a revocable living trust in place and placed his/her assets into the trust, the assets will not have to go through the probate process and will be disbursed by the trustee according to the instructions of the trust, not under the law of the state of Maryland.