The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
Please Call For An Appointment

Frederick Estate Planning Blog

Maryland probate laws: When can you contest a will?

If you lose a loved one, whether expected or unexpectedly, it takes time to process your grief and learn how to move on in life without your family member. Perhaps the decedent named you in his or her will. Then again, maybe your loved one told you certain things before he or she died, and you were surprised to learn that you were, in fact, not mentioned in the last will and testament.

You might have multiple siblings who disagree with you about your parent's or grandparent's will. Just because you do not happen to like what a person's final will states does not necessarily mean you have grounds to contest it in court.

The long-term cost of estate planning mistakes

Planning for the future is not always easy. It's complicated to think about all of the things you may need in the future and consider what will happen to your property after you pass. There are benefits to estate planning regardless of your age, income or the size of your estate, but it's important to avoid certain types of mistakes that could come at a cost.

Mistakes and missteps in an estate plan are not always immediately apparent. In fact, these issues may not come to light until it's time to settle your estate. These matters can impact your loved ones and beneficiaries, and it's worthwhile to make sure there are no potential speed bumps in your plan. It's your own medical care and your property on the line, and you have the right to have a say over what happens.

What can you expect from the probate process?

Many people in Maryland and across the country do not know what the probate process entails for settling an estate until they have to do it themselves. Whether you recently took on the role of an estate executor or you want to better tailor your estate plan to address the various tasks of probate, you want to learn more about it.

First, not every estate has to go through probate. If a person dies without creating a will, estate administration will take place rather than probate proceedings. The processes are similar, but, because intestate laws will determine asset distribution and other matters, they do differ. Additionally, specific state laws may exempt an estate from probate.

Be careful choosing your power of attorney agent

When you began the process of writing your will and making other estate plans, your family either praised your foresight or accused you of acting morbidly. However, you may have taken the time to consider the possible scenarios at the end of your life, and you want to protect your family from any frustrations or disputes that often arise from an unprepared estate.

One of the most generous decisions you can make in your estate plan is choosing a power of attorney agent to make your health care decisions if you should become too ill or injured to communicate. Since you have given so much thought to the rest of your estate plan, you certainly don't want to rush making your choice for this most important duty. Understanding the tasks you will entrust to your power of attorney agent may help you choose wisely.

Where should you store your estate planning documents?

You, like many other Maryland residents, may have put off estate planning for a considerable amount of time. Nonetheless, you finally took the important steps forward to create a plan so that your loved ones would not remain in the dark about your wishes and so that you could have control over what happens to your estate after your passing.

Of course, in order for your loved ones to know your wishes and for them to be enforced when the time comes, your documents need to remain protected but accessible. You may not know the best way to go about doing this, and some of your first instincts may not be the best.

When estate planning, avoid these missteps

When working to create an estate plan, many people understandably feel out of their element. You and many other Maryland residents may not know where to start or know what to include in your plans. Though this feeling is prevalent, you should not let it stop you from creating a comprehensive plan.

In fact, failing to create an estate plan is one of the biggest mistakes you or anyone else could make when it comes to getting your end-of-life wishes in order. Not only do you give up your ability to have a say in what happens to your estate after your death, but you also fail to give your surviving loved ones useful instructions.

Pre-planning can help your estate planning go smoothly

Creating the best estate plan for a given person's life can take a considerable amount of forethought. Before you even begin looking at the paperwork you may need to make your wishes known and legally binding, you likely need to consider what wishes you have.

While most Maryland residents know that they will need an estate plan to distribute their assets in the desired manner after their deaths, they may not realize that such plans can help achieve numerous other goals as well. In fact, identifying the goals of your plan is a wise place to start when it comes to estate planning.

Have you considered a letter of last instruction?

Lately, you may have had your end-of-life wishes on your mind more than usual. You may have recently lost a loved one and now feel the need to get your affairs in order, or you may simply want to ensure that your family won't wonder what you would have wanted in the event of your passing. Of course, you may not know where to start.

If you do not feel ready to jump into creating legally binding documents just yet, you can still start on your estate plan. A letter of last instruction may give you a useful place to start, as it can include any information you feel your family may need in order to settle your affairs.

Do I really need an estate plan?

When the rich and famous die without leaving an estate plan, it may seem unthinkable. In recent years, you may have heard numerous stories about celebrities who died with millions in assets but no will, leaving their loved ones the frustration of a prolonged and sometimes contentious probate.

If you are neither rich nor famous, you may feel there is no good reason for you to make an estate plan. This is a common misconception. Anyone who has any assets can provide security and guidance for their loved ones through appropriate estate planning. Without such a plan, your legacy may include family disputes and damaged relationships.

Choosing an executor may be good estate planning starting point

Getting your affairs in order at any point in your life can prove difficult, so when it comes to getting your final affairs and end-of-life wishes down on paper, you may feel immensely intimidated. However, you should not let this feeling deter you from actually moving forward with the estate planning process because not planning could have much more impactful negative repercussions.

If you do not know where to start when it comes to considering the many decisions ahead of you, you may want to consider an important but straightforward question: who do you want to act as your executor? The executor manages the tasks associated with closing the estate, which means that this person will have many responsibilities to address.

  • Best Of The Best The Frederick News Post
  • Bar Association Of Frederick County, Maryland
  • NAELA National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
  • Maryland State Bar Association Inc.
  • Washington County Bar Association , DC Bar
  • Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison is a BBB Accredited Lawyer in Frederick, MD
Form Submit Button

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

For more information and a free consultation with a Maryland estate planning attorney, call us at 301-694-6262 or fill out the form below. We provide clients with the estate services they need.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

We have offices in Frederick and Maryland, to serve you.

Evening, weekend and off-site appointments are available upon request. Free parking is available at our Frederick office.

Our office will follow the same closing & delays as Frederick County Public Schools for both offices due to inclement weather.

The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
141 W Patrick Street
Suite 300
Frederick, MD 21701

Toll Free: 866-220-5185
Phone: 301-694-6262
Fax: 301-668-8884
Map & Directions
Frederick Law Office Map

Contact This Office Contact This Office