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Ways to Avoid Probate In Maryland

Probate is a legal process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and often frustrating. In Maryland, the probate process can take several months to complete and can eat up a significant portion of the estate’s assets in unnecessary costs and expenses. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid probate in Maryland. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common strategies.

  1. Create a revocable living trust: A revocable living trust is a legal arrangement in which the grantor transfers their assets to a trust. The trust is managed by a trustee, who is appointed by the grantor. The grantor can revoke or amend the trust during their lifetime, and when they pass away, the assets in the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries without the need for probate.
  2. Name beneficiaries on accounts: Many financial accounts, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies, allow you to name a beneficiary. When you pass away, the assets in these accounts are distributed directly to the named beneficiary, bypassing probate.
  3. Joint tenancy: Joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership in which two or more people own property together. When one owner passes away, their share of the property automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) without the need for probate.
  4. Payable-on-death accounts: Many financial institutions allow you to designate a payable-on-death (POD) beneficiary for your bank accounts. When you pass away, the funds in the account are distributed directly to the designated beneficiary, bypassing probate.
  5. Life Estate Deeds: Maryland also allows for life estate deeds, which allow property owners to reside in the property for the rest of their lives and when the owners pass away, the property automatically vests in the named remaindermen named in the deed without the need for probate.
  6. Use of lifetime gifts: Another way to avoid probate is to make lifetime gifts of assets to heirs. This can be done during the grantor’s lifetime, reducing the value of the estate subject to probate. This should be done under the advisement of an attorney and a tax advisor.

In conclusion, there are several ways to avoid the probate process in Maryland. By creating a revocable living trust, naming beneficiaries on accounts, using joint tenancy, payable-on-death accounts, life estate deeds, or gifting, you can bypass probate and save your family time, money, and frustration. It’s essential to work with an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your wishes are carried out according to Maryland law.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is unique, and the law is constantly changing, so it is important to consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain advice specific to your circumstances. The use of this blog and any information contained herein does not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and our law firm. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for any actions taken or not taken based on the information provided in this blog. Always seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any legal action.