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George E Meng

George Meng’s Answers

201 total


  • My father and I owned a house in Maryland. He died and his name is on the deed. Can house be sold?

    Wife left the area and I do not know where she is. His estate was never probated. I am the only child.

    George’s Answer

    It depends upon whether you owned the house as a joint tenant with your father or as a tenant in common. You tell that from the deed. If it was a joint tenancy, then upon your father's death you became the full owner. If it was a tenancy in common, your father's share must be probated. If you call, I will look up the deed and tell you which it is.

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  • Wills in the State of Maryland....I really don't want my adult son to get anything when I pass,he has not been in my life.....

    Wills in the State of Maryland....I really don't want my adult son to get anything when I pass,he has not been in my life for a long time.....I want everything to go to my daughter who is ALWAYS taking care of me.......should I leave him a minimal...

    George’s Answer

    Lawyers will have opinions both ways. Leave something or leave nothing. When a parent chooses to cut out a child, that's a tip off to an estate planning lawyer that a Will contest is a serious potential. That creates a situation where a knowledgeable lawyer can take a number of steps to make a Will contest very difficult to win. Those steps depend upon a person's particular circumstances. You would not be wise to try to do this on your own. I suggest you use a lawyer who has some experience with Will contests to do your Will and build in the necessary preventive steps.

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  • My probation officer is pushing through a summons for a case review. Should I seek legal representation in regard to this issue?

    To place this in further context, I am on supervised probation due to a conviction on a DWI. In addition, to supervised probation for the next year and a half, whereas six months have already lapsed, I had to have an interlock device implemented i...

    George’s Answer

    This is really a "no brainer". With 3 violations, you are at serious risk for a violation of probation and incarceration. In my opinion, the answer to your question is a loud YES.

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  • I have started the probate process for an estate and it has become too complicated.

    I have submitted the first account and now want an attorney to finish the process . There is a home ( mortgage free ) involved and brother is staying there rent free . He changed locks , will not provide mail , etc . I am the personal repre...

    George’s Answer

    Be happy to have a phone consultation. Just call.

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  • Were my Maryland marriages legal?

    i live in Maryland . Born in the 60s . My Mother named me " Smith " , her then husbands name . ( not my biological father's ) last name . So Smith is recorded on my Birth certificate . . I was registered in school as Jones . my real da...

    George’s Answer

    Nothing you've written indicates to me that any of your marriages were illegal. If you are in a situation where someone is formally challenging the Will or your marriage, you will be over your head in trying to handle it on your own. Don't waste time trying to be your own lawyer - call a lawyer and at least get a consultation. On the other hand, it is quite common in death situations for relatives (especially children by a prior marriage) to threaten and advance theories that won't hold water. If that's what's going on, time to act is perhaps not so critical. One other thing is that because there is a Will and people are making noise, I presume that someone has started probate or will soon do so. If you are doing the probate, you probably should hire a lawyer to assist you and answer these kinds of questions.

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  • What is the usual and customary hourly rate for a personal injury case in this area?

    I terminated my attorney for non performance.

    George’s Answer

    As noted by the other attorney, almost all PI cases are handled on a contingency (percentage) basis. However, an attorney and client could enter into a contract for it to be done on an hourly basis and some contingency contracts provide for an hourly rate in the event that the attorney is terminated by the client. Hourly rates vary greatly depending upon many factors including the experience of the lawyer and how much demand there is for the lawyer. Very generally, in Maryland those rates are usually above $100/hour for a very inexperienced lawyer and can go to over $500/hour for an experienced lawyer.

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  • Maryland Code stipulating Lawyer fees for Probate administration

    By Maryland Code what can a Maryland Lawyer charge to do an ancilllary probate in Maryland?

    George’s Answer

    Technically whatever is a reasonable charge. We have a statute that regulates PR Commissions. Which are limited to approval by the court or the heirs/legatees but cannot exceed 9% of the first $20,000 and 3.6% of the remainder. There is an unwritten "rule" that in a routine probate, the combination of PR Commission and attorney fees should not exceed those percentages. Usually to go beyond that, there needs to be either litigation or something quite unusual that justifies the higher amount. Also technically what occurs in Maryland is not an ancillary probate but rather a recognition of the appointment of the PR in the other state. I think you'll find that most lawyers doing this kind of work charge by the hour.

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  • What happens to a credit card loan through the bank when both are deceased? What happens to the car loan if both are deceased?

    Both my parents passed away within a week of each other this year. They both had Wills, and administrators listed. The problem is that my mother co-sign for a truck for my father. Do we the children continue to pay for the truck and/or have one...

    George’s Answer

    I'm assuming for this answer that your parents lived in Maryland. On the truck, depending upon how it was titled, it will end up either all in your father's estate, all in your mother's estate or 50% in each estate. The estate Personal Representative (PR) holds the title and has control over it. I expect the title shows a lien for the debt so that it can't be sold without payment of the debt. It is the PR of the estate that controls sale. The PR acts just like you or I would in selling our car - You want to buy my car for $10,000 and I have a loan for $5000 - you will want clear title, the only way I can give it is to pay off the loan. If you are smart, you payoff the loan at the same time you pay me the $5000 difference and at the same time you get a lien release from the bank and the title from me.
    The decisions you ask about are really to be decided by the PRs and the answers to your question about the other loan vary depending upon the answers to other questions. If a lawyer isn't involved with at least one of the estates, the PRs should seriously consider hiring a lawyer. Payment of debts, who gets paid, if they get paid, and when depend upon other factors and it's real easy to make a serious mistake.

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  • Can an incarcerated heir to property, be named as the PR for it, or are the other heirs (children) only able to be named PR?

    My husband would like have his deceased father's property put into his name. One of his brother's will willingly sign over a waive of bond to him. Another brother in incarcerated for a long term sentence. Does my husband still need to get a waive ...

    George’s Answer

    Unless he had something significant to do with causing the father's death, the fact of his incarceration doesn't alter his right to a share of the estate. One cannot be a PR if one has been "convicted of a serious crime" Since this is a followup question and because of the nature of the issues, it is pretty clear to me that your husband should have assistance from a lawyer. I make a lot of money handling situations where people decided they could do it without a lawyer and then mess up. Mess ups frequently occur where land and houses are involved. When I get hired after the mess up, my cost is typically higher because I have to undo the mess. My advice - call a lawyer now and get a consultation. Usually that is no cost or minimal cost.

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  • How do we gain ownership of a property, that was left behind from a deceased parent, who left no will?

    My husband"s father passed away and left no will. He has two brothers, one estranged and one incarcerated for murder etc.. My husband and I are looking into getting the house in our name.. The estranged brother will sign a wave of bond, no prob...

    George’s Answer

    Assuming this is Maryland property, someone needs to start probate at the office of the Register of Wills in the county where his father lived if he was a Maryland resident or the county where the property is. Maryland law provides that if a parent dies without a Will and without a spouse that his children and the issue (children, grandchildren, etc) of any deceased child take equal shares. The brother who is incarcerated can't act as Personal representative and if the estranged brother has or will also Consent to your husband being PR he can start probate. For detailed information on probate, see the publications about administering estates here http://registers.maryland.gov/main/packets.html

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