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George E Meng

George Meng’s Answers

206 total


  • 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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  • We live in the state of Maryland.....how do we setup an estate after my mother died and left no will. What are we to do?

    She left 9 children .... we are wondering what do we do now?

    George’s Answer

    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

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  • Is a standard POA enough to manage my son's finances for him while he is in Iraq?

    My son will be going to Iraq as a civilian contractor. He is planning to add my name to his checking acct and also give me durable POA while he is gone to be able to manage his finances and pay bills for him. Is this adequate to manage things fo...

    George’s Answer

    Make sure that the POA is in the Maryland statutory form and that it is signed as the statute requires. The siging requirment is more strict than that for a Will.

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  • After your case has been heard by the courts of special appeals, what is the average wait time befor a decision is made

    My briefs has been submitted and my case was heard on january 18th. From that date how long will I have to wait to hear of a decision

    George’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Because COSA cases are heard by panels of 3 judges and there are 12 judges total, the number of possible combinations of judges is quite high. Then within the 3 that hear the case, any one of them might be writing the opinion. And that one might get sick, be slow or write an opinion that the others suggest need revisions. All this goes to say that predicting when an opinion might come out is impossible. I've had them be as short as 3 weeks and well over a year. The one I'm waiting on now was argued on 10/2/12. My experience is that the average is in the range of 2 to 3 months. I'm waiting on one from our Court of Appeals that I argued in June 2008.

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  • My Husband recently passed away. He has some assets - all in his name alone. What is my next step?

    I have not found a will. The deed and loan on the house is in his name only. He recently financed a truck in his name only. He has two bank accounts in his name only. He also has various credit cards/loans in his name only. My biggest concern is t...

    George’s Answer

    I'm assuming you live in Charles County. You need to go through a process called probate. It will be done through the office of the Register of Wills which is on the first floor of the Circuit Court courthouse in La Plata. Some people handle probate without a lawyer but you've given enough information for me to say that doing it without a lawyer will probably just create more problems for you. Take a look at this booklet on the Register of Wills site. http://registers.maryland.gov/main/packets/AdministrationBooklet07.pdf
    Section 5 is important as yours would probably be a regular estate. It will give you a good idea about whether you can handle this without a lawyer's assistance.

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  • I would like to hire a certain attorney to represent me.

    I would like to see who this paticular attorney has represented regarding similar situations and how well they have done regarding winning and loosing. In addition, I want to make sure they have no recent or long standing relationship with who I ...

    George’s Answer

    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 conflict, your next best
    step is to ask questions of the lawyer.

    George E. Meng
    Meng Law
    85 Sherry Lane, Suite 1B
    Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678
    410-535-5500
    gem@menglaw.com
    www.menglaw.com

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