Skip to main content
George E Meng

George Meng’s Answers

202 total


  • Can I period the court to be the personal representative for my father's estate?

    I am the daughter and listed as an heir. My stepmother is the personal representive but is 80 years old. When I ask her questions about my his estate she can't answer them. Can I period the court due to her being too old.

    George’s Answer

    I assume you meant to ask whether you could "Petition" the court to replace her with another PR. You can. But you will need to convince the court that she doesn't have the ability to handle the probate. If there is any possibility that she will agree to you or someone else taking over, that would be the easier way to proceed.

    See question 
  • My friend died last month. I no longer have P.O.A. at her bank. Brother can't go to apartment or bank. What should we/he do?

    Friend, was very ill and receiving workman's comp pay and social security checks. Brother paid for her cremation and needs money back. Friend and her brother were not so friendly with each other. I'm afraid that the brother will not be able to ...

    George’s Answer

    Someone (probably the brother if there is no Will) will have to start probate at the Register of Wills in the county or city where she ived) Then that person will have access

    See question 
  • What is this person's state of residence when they died? (Trust and estate problem). Maryland or Florida?

    Family member died who left behind a will and trust. Had lived in Maryland from April 3rd to September of every year. Then lived in Florida from Sept to March of next year. Family member died in Florida, will and trust were drawn up in Maryland...

    George’s Answer

    I presume what you want to know is where probate should be initiated. The primary Probate should occur in the state where the person was domiciled. There would normally be ancillary probates in any other states where the person had real property. Domicile is not necessarily the state of residence. A person can have only one domicile but multiple residences. What you have provided is not enough for a determination of domicile. Sometimes domicile issues can become quite complex so the earlier suggestion that you consult with a lawyer who can go through the domicile issues with you is a good suggestion

    See question 
  • What is the duty of the executor of the will, when does it go to probate, when are beneficiaries notified, how long of a process

    who keeps executor in line and assure that all is being done?

    George’s Answer

    Most if not all of your questions will be answered in a publication found on the Register of Wills site here http://registers.maryland.gov/main/publications/AdministrationBooklet2013final.pdf
    The Will is filed with the Register of Wills in the county where the deceased person lived. For a regular estate, a Petition for Probate is typically filed by the person named in the Will as Personal Representative [PR - the MD term for Executor]. Once the PR has been bonded he/she will be provided a Letter of Administration and probate is started. For a regular estate, the process typically takes about a year but many issues can cause it to go longer. Beneficiaries are notifed by certified mail usually in about 2 to 4 weeks after the PR is appointed. The Register of Wills and Orphans' Court oversee the process and the beneficiaries have a right to information and question the process.

    See question 
  • My great aunt just passed away and she has me down as getting the two houses drawn up by a lawyer.

    How do I get the deeds in my name?

    George’s Answer

    I assume the existing deeds show just your great aunt's name as the owner and that what was drawn up was a signed Last Will and Testament. If my assumptions are right, the person named in the Will as Personal Representative (PR) will have to start the probate process (usually with the assistance of a lawyer). At the end of the probate process (usually about 9 months), the PR will distribute property in accordance with the Will. A PR distributes real property (land and houses) by signing and filing a Personal Representative's Deed.

    See question 
  • I'm the personal representative in a will contest. How much is this going to cost the defense and also the plaintiff?

    I understand that most will contests do not make it to trial because it costs a lot to both sides of the table. In general, does it cost as much to defend a will as it does to the other side challenging the will? Asked another way, can I a...

    George’s Answer

    In general it does not cost as much to defend as to challenge a Will, But that's a siginificant generality. And my answer probably really doesn't give you any more useful information. Here's my question for you - In general, does it cost as much to buy a used car as a new car. I would answer the same way - In general it does not cost as much to buy a used car as a new car. Obviously to make sense of the general answer you need to know much more.

    And answering your second question we run into the same kind of generality - Generally I don't think your assumption is correct in the majority of cases. But, of course, in some situations your assumption is right on.

    Reading between the lines, it sounds as though you might be considering trying to handle a will contest without a lawyer. That's usually a really bad idea and in some situations might even rise to a breach of a PRs fiduciary duty.

    Will contest litigation is in many ways a complex area. The court rules and procedure can be very unusual and I think that's one of the reasons many lawyers shy away from doing it.

    If you haven't already done so, you should have a consultation with at least one lawyer. There are several good lawyers in Annapolis who regularly handle estate litigation.

    See question 
  • In Maryland P.G. County Circuit Court what does the "CAL" before the case number translate to?

    This is a "Appeal" and I am the defendant

    George’s Answer

    Civil Action Law. In 1984 Maryland did a major revision to how lawsuits were handled. Before that time we had Law cases and Equity cases. The revisions unified the two forms intp a single civil action. But to distinguish between the two, PG decided to have CAL cases, CAE (civil action equity) cases, CAD (civil action divorce), CAS (civil action support) and even others.

    See question 
  • Are there any online databases where someone can look up case files regarding probate issues in PG County, Maryland?

    I want to read all the papers filed in specific dockets in the Orphan's Court pertaining to certain probate issues in order to find the right lawyer for the job.

    George’s Answer

    Mr. Scherr is right on. All you can get online are the docket entries (a docket entry is a brief label for a document, such as an Inventory). If you want to see the actual document, there are only 2 options: (1) go to the office of the Register of Wills on the 4th floor of the old courthouse wing in the courthouse in Upper Marlboro or (2) order copies of the documents from the Register of Wills at a cost of $0.50 per page. In a normal situation there is a 3d option - requesting copies from the Personal Representative. I gather from your question that isn't an option.

    See question 
  • Does a Maryland estate administrator get compensated from the assets of an estate, such as a percentage from the sale of a house

    Sister administrator claims she is entitled to extra money for selling mom's house.

    George’s Answer

    Unless a Will provides a higher amount (a very rare occurrence), a Maryland Personal Representative is entitled to a Personal Representative's Commission. But it must be either consented to by all of the heirs or approved by the Court. What's very important is that the amount cannot exceed 9% of the first $20,000 of the estate plus 3.6% of the remainder.
    So for example for a $220,000 estate the maximum possible amount would be
    9% of $20,000 = $1,800 plus
    3.6% of $200,000 = $7,200
    Total = $9,000.
    Keep in mind this is not automatic and must be justified to the heirs to get their consent or to the Court to get court approval.
    Many years ago before the statute was changed, there was a provision for a different percentage if real estate was sold but that provision ended with the revision of the law. The percentages above came into effect on January 1, 1992 - 22 years ago.

    See question 
  • Can I transfer a Deed using a Power of Attorney in Maryland?

    I have a 2013 Maryland full durable power of attorney that states I can transfer real estate on behalf of my mother. She is incapacitated (understands some things but not very well). Can I use the power of attorney to transfer the property/deed in...

    George’s Answer

    Generally, a Power of Attorney can be used to transfer real property in Maryland. In such cases the Power of Attorney gets recorded on the land records. However, if the transfer is a gift, the Power of Attorney must include the authority to make gifts. They typically do not include such authority. I add this last sentence because you indicated the transfer would be to you which makes me suspect it will be a gift.

    See question