Our probate lawyers in Bowie can make the process less stressful! Contact us online or call (301) 900-5940 for a free consultation.
Does Having a Will Avoid Probate?
Having a will does not avoid probate. The will actually goes through probate. This means that that it will be filed with the court, an Executor will be appointed to gather your assets and take care of outstanding debts or taxes.
Probate may turn out to be a costly delay -- it may take months or years to resolve, depending on your situation. If you wish to avoid probate, you might consider having:
- Joint ownership of property
- Beneficiary designations for your life insurance and retirement
- Pay-on-Death and Transfer-on-Death Accounts
- Revocable Living Trust
- Pass ownership of your assets before your death so it will not be part of your estate
Values of Estates
An estate is considered small if all assets are valued at $50,000 or less (or $100,000 if the spouse is the sole legatee). The estate is considered regular if all assets are valued in excess of these thresholds.
An estate is considered small if all assets are valued at $40,000 or less. It is a regular estate if the assets exceed this threshold.
What Assets Go Through Probate?
In Maryland, the assets that go through probate are ones that solely belong to the decedent or are titled only in the decedent's name.
Assets that skip probate are:
- Shared property that is titled in the names of two or more people.
- Property owned by the decedent and their spouse.
- Insurance proceeds from insurance policies, unless the policy names the state as beneficiary.
- Pension benefits, unless the will designates the estate or trust as the beneficiary or no designation was made.
- Assets in a revocable or irrevocable trust will pass to the named beneficiaries unless the trust terminates and provides that the assets should be distributed to the state.