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Category Archives: Probate

Will6

Are Handwritten Wills Valid In Maryland Probate Court?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Your parents can tell you about a time when typing documents was only for special occasions.  Perhaps they used to handwrite most of their homework assignments; for final term papers, they would handwrite a first draft, and then type the paper before bringing it to class on the last day.  These days, only the… Read More »

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Planning5

Can Probate Really Be A Non-Event?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Probate is a slog for some estates for others.  The wealthiest among us spend their golden years working on their estate plans, and they do it so well that, by the time the Grim Reaper shows up, most of the decedent’s assets have escaped into trusts and payable on death accounts, so that the… Read More »

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Probate8

Life Estate: You Can Inherit Your Spouse’s House, And So Can Your Stepchildren

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

It isn’t easy to be a stepparent, at least not in the beginning.  If your stepchildren are young when you marry their parent, the time they spend at your house can be a nightmare, but at least you can avoid taking their animosity toward you personally; they have had to deal with a lot… Read More »

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Probate7

The Reluctant Personal Representative Of A Family Member’s Estate

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Estate planning lawyers always advised people to name someone they trust as personal representative of their estate and to notify that person as soon as they write the will, if not sooner.  The more the testator and the intended personal representative talk about the estate plan during the testator’s lifetime, the better.  Losing a… Read More »

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CrumpledWill

Physically Destroying A Will Is The Most Effective Way To Cancel It

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

If you reread documents that you wrote many years ago, whether they are personal letters written on paper or archived blog posts from the salad days of Geocities, you will probably immediately notice how much your ideas have changed; you may barely resemble the version of yourself that wrote those old texts.  You don’t… Read More »

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Probate5

Widow Of Bakery Tycoon Withdraws Lawsuit Against Stepchildren Over His Estate

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Almost everyone in Maryland has eaten a piece of bread or a sandwich bun that came from a bakery belonging to John Paterakis.  His company, H&S Bakery, started out as a small family business, but by the time he died, his bakeries were producing two million hamburger buns per day for McDonald’s alone, not… Read More »

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Planning

How Much Effort Does The Personal Representative Of An Estate Have To Put Into Finding Long-Lost Relatives?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Estate planning lawyers make life a lot easier for the personal representatives of the estates of deceased people.  Under ideal circumstances, the decedent will have written a will that lists all the family members and other parties to whom the decedent wishes to bequeath their property.  It will also accurately list all of the… Read More »

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FinanPlan

Power-Of-Attorney And Guardianship Are Not The Same, And This Matters During Probate

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

One of the most important decisions you make in estate planning is choosing someone to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if you become too ill to make your own decisions.  A power-of-attorney is a document that authorizes someone else to sign documents to indicate your consent to financial transactions and legal… Read More »

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Probate6

When Interested Parties Disagree About The Value Of An Estate

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The tabloid headlines light up whenever a probate dispute rises over a wealthy man’s estate, especially if the parties to the dispute are the decedent’s widow and his daughter from a previous marriage.  Gossip columnists love to speculate about how the feud between the two women actually began; they often attribute it to decades-old… Read More »

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Probate5

How to Claim an Elective Share of Your Spouse’s Estate If Your Spouse Had Complex Business Interests

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Maryland law allows married people to leave as much or as little property to their spouses as they choose in their wills.  This means that, just because you are married, you can still choose to leave your entire estate to your siblings, your children from a previous marriage, a favorite charity, or anyone else. … Read More »

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