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Category Archives: Probate

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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EstPl2

Changing the Beneficiaries in Your Will Does Not Always Mean Undue Influence

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

In probate law, undue influence means that the deceased person wrote or modified their will the way they did only because someone else coerced or deceived them into doing so.  You can cite undue influence if the decedent was too ill to understand their actions at the time they signed their will.  When an… Read More »

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Probate3

The Orphan’s Court Recognizes Your Same Sex Marriage, Even If Your In-Laws Do Not

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Same sex marriage in Maryland is relatively new, and many same sex couples who had been together for many years took the first opportunity to formalize their marriages, even if that meant traveling out of state to get legally married.  Maryland courts began issuing marriage certificates to same sex couples in 2013, and for… Read More »

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Probate4

Probate Disputes About Disinterment of Remains

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Most probate disputes are directly or indirectly about money.  The parties’ ultimate motivation is usually to determine that they get their fair share of the decedent’s estate.  Sometimes there are other issues involved, such as whether the will was forged or signed under duress or undue influence.  The parties might even disagree over which… Read More »

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