Editor’s note: This guest post comes from Stephen J. Reichert, an attorney in Maryland. Mr. Reichert handles a wide range of legal matters for his clients, from estate planning and administration to intellectual property.
After an estate is opened in probate, through the Register of Wills, the Personal Representative or attorney has many legal obligations. This article provides a brief introduction to some of the most common tasks that should be completed immediately after the estate has been opened.
The Personal Representative must review the decedent’s entire financial history including financial records, safe deposit box, recent tax returns and other important documents such as insurance policies. It is the Personal Representative’s duty to determine how all property is titled by reviewing documents such as deeds and bank account signature cards. In completing these tasks the Personal Representative is permitted, and often encouraged or required, to obtain legal assistance.
While each estate is different and presents its own challenges and responsibilities, the Personal Representative is often required to obtain an EIN for estate which shall be used for tax filings; open a bank account in name of estate; insure estate property; cancel insurance policies and request refunds; close the decedent’s bank accounts; provide a forwarding address to the post office; update billing, securities and investment addresses; cancel subscriptions and request refunds; maintain detailed records; notify Social Security, joint property owners, landlords, business partners and insurance companies; submit medical bills; and prepare tax returns. While these are the most common tasks there are often others that the Personal Representative must complete within the first few months after the estate is opened, including filing the Information Report, Inventory, and Accounting with the Register of Wills by the deadlines provided by the court.
For a free, confidential conversation to discuss this and other estate planning matters, including probate administration legal services, contact Maryland probate administration attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here.
Mr. Reichert can administer probate on behalf of the estate or for a modest fee he can be of assistance to the Personal Representative as assistance is needed. For example, he can be available to give the correct legal answer and review or prepare probate filings.
Attorney Reichert looks forward to assisting you with your Maryland probate needs.
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