TN 6 (02-09)
GN 02315.058 Maryland — Small Estates
A. Policy — property value of Maryland small estates
If the property of a decedent is established to have a value of $30,000 or less, Md. Code, Estates and Trusts, §5-601 provides that the estate may be administered under the small estate provisions in the Code. The estate can be administered as a small estate even if a proceeding for judicial probate or administrative probate has been filed, provided that an initial accounting has not been filed and the estate is worth less than $30,000. If the surviving spouse is the sole legatee or heir, the estate can be administered as a small estate if an initial accounting has not been filed in judicial or administrative proceedings and the estate is worth less than $50,000.
B. Policy — file a petition with Register
Anyone entitled to be appointed as administrator may file a petition with the register setting forth the assets, debts, and any known legal proceedings in which the decedent was a party. If the register finds that the petition is accurate, he will direct the petitioner serve as the personal representative, direct payment of funeral expenses and family allowances, direct the sale of property, and, if there is property remaining, admit a will to probate and direct that notice be given.
C. Policy — objections to notice
If the register directs that notice be given, objections must be filed 30 days from the date of publication of the notice. Claims must be filed within six months after the decedent’s death or 30 days after the personal representative has provided the creditor a copy of the notice, whichever date is earlier. If notice is to be given and the notice of the appointment of a personal representative had already been published under administrative or judicial proceedings, objections must be filed within six months after the date of appointment and claims must be filed within six months after the decedent’s death or within two months after the creditor is given a copy of the notice, whichever date is earlier.
D. Policy — Maryland court ruling
If any objections are filed, the court will hear objections. The court will then direct the petitioner to pay all proper claims in accordance with the will or, if the decedent died intestate, to the decedent’s heirs. The order of preference for inheritance rights under the intestate law is spouse, children parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, great grandparents, and, if no blood relatives survive, step children (the surviving spouse’s share is dependent on the particular facts of each case).