We often hear clients ask about whether their small estate will require them to endure a typical, lengthy probate process. There are ways under Maryland statutes to avoid a full estate administration, but several factors, not just monetary value, determines whether you can qualify for Maryland’s Title 5, Subtitle 6 “Small Estates”.
This law was enacted so that smaller estates could be processed more efficiently and economically. If the deceased had conveyed most property to a trust but there remains some property, small estate laws may still be a viable option.
In Maryland, if the estate is valued at less than $30,000 it may qualify for the shortcuts allowed in the probate process. If the surviving spouse is the sole heir, the amount allowed increases to $100,000.
The value of the estate is determined by the fair market value of the property minus any debts of record secured by the property, as of the date of death, to the extent that insurance benefits are not payable to the lien holder or secured party for the secured debt. Assets in a small estate are not free from creditors’ claims.
If you have questions on an estate administration of your loved one, or if you have been appointed as an Executor and have questions, please give us a call at 443-470-3599 to schedule an appointment with one of our estate administration attorneys in the Greater Baltimore area.