Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

The Executor (my estranged sister) is handling my Dad\'s estate. The family did not get along with her but since Mom died, she has pushed her way into Dad\'s life securing the role of Executor. The Estate does not have a lot of money after my Fathers debt is paid off. Perhaps $10,000 which is before paying legal fees to the lawyers handling the estate. My brother built a large home and my Dad and Mom gave him a lot of antique furniture they were not using. My sister was always mad about that. My brother was the only ones to have children and my Dad asked him and his wife to hand the furniture down to their kids. For some reason my Dad wrote a list of out the furniture he gave to explain each piece. No value was placed on the pieces, nor was it signed. The exector found a copy of the list and told the lawyers for the estate this furniture is worth millions today and is part of the estate. My brother said it is only worth about $100,000 and he is refusing to return it since it is a gift and will defend his right in court.\n\nI could not give a crap about the furniture. My fear is my sister is going to ring up a huge legal bill as Exectuor suing my brother. This will obviously erase any money left in the estate. If the bill is higher than what the estate has, our we as a family then responsbile for the balance? I do not think my sister has a chance at all in winning this. I feel the lawyer for the estate just sees the fees he will get. I am worried we can be held responsible as a heir for the legal bill if the executor pursues this.

Asked on 7/30/09, 9:31 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

G. Joseph Holthaus III Law Offices of G. Joseph Holthaus

You may need to get another lawyer involved to defend your interest in the estate. Even though the estate is small, not accounting for the furniture, you have an interest if frivolous matters are being contested. Legal fees for probate of estates is set by Maryland statute and you do not indicate that any matter has been brought for litigation.

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Answered on 8/05/09, 8:26 pm

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