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...
There is no one list to go to. If you want to look only at estate matters
you can go to the Register of Wills online case search. But, you could
waste a lot of time as what you get at online sites is docket entries which
will not usually give you an idea of a win/loss record. If you want other
courts, you can do a state wide search for District and Circuit court
matters. But, again you get only docket entries. As to conflicts, your
best bet is to call the lawyer. If there is no...
If this is a Maryland case, theoretically it is possible. See Rule 1-341 which reads: "In any civil action, if the court finds that the conduct of any party in maintaining or defending any proceeding was in bad faith or without substantial justification the court may require the offending party or the attorney advising the conduct or both of them to pay to the adverse party the costs of the proceeding and the reasonable expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the adverse...
If your wife had no children, you are her sole heir. If she had children, they are also heirs. You should call and than probably visit the office of the Register of Wills in the County where your wife lived to start a small probate proceeding. You can read about the process in the booklet "Administering Estates in Maryland" at http://registers.maryland.gov/main/packets.html
Look at Section 6 on page 12. If the car had a loan on it, you will either have to pay it off or arrange with the...
Maryland has a statute 1-205 of the Estates & Trusts Article that ends with this sentence: "A child does not include a stepchild, a foster child, or a grandchild or more remote descendant." A niece is a "more remote descendant." Your question hints at an argument that you are a foster child but as you can see a foster child is also not a "child" in Maryland.
The answer to your first question is - Yes. Their fraud does not disqualify them from inheritance under intestacy. Your 2d question as to who pursues fraud is interesting. Before answering that question, you have to answer the question of who was damaged by the fraud and do the dollars of the damage justify a lawsuit for fraud. Unfortunately, your posting does not give me any indication of what damages might be. So I'll make an assumption or two and give some examples. Let's assume someone...
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,...
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.
Right now call the lawyer you hired and tell the lawyer you want him. If you can't reach him call the lawyer you met with and ask her to get you in touch with him and explain your lack of confidence to her. If all else fails, consider having the young lawyer ask for a continuance. You should also check your retainer agreement as some lawyers include a provision that services might be provided by another lawyer in the firm.
Assuming your mother was a resident of Maryland someone needs to determine if she had a Will. If so, the Will will specify who has the right to initiate probate. If there is no Will and no spouse then any one or more of the children can initiate probate. I suggest you read the Register of Wills booklet on administering estates in Maryland and if you don't understand consult with a lawyer. The booklet may be found here http://registers.maryland.gov/main/packets.html