Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

I am listed as the executor/personal representative of an Estate in Maryland. If the estate does not have enough money to pay all the bills (including the legal fess of the Estate Attorney), will I be personally liable to pay the legal fees or any other bills? The estimated value of the estate is approximately $250K (this includes cash and the appraised value of a car, furniture and a small amount of jewelry). Do I need some type of insurance to protect myself as the executor/personal representative?

Asked on 10/01/10, 6:54 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

Thanks for your post. To answer your first question, no, there is no personal liability for the decedent's debts simply because you are named as personal representative.

As far as the second question goes, if the estate is insolvent the law identifies which types of bills get paid first (for instance, medical expenses of a last illness get paid before general creditors and so forth). Generally the personal representative commission and attorney fees can get paid ahead of most other obligations.

You will need to post bond in this state but probably will not need further insurance. If the will waives bond, then you will only need a nominal bond. So long as you administer the estate in accordance with the law and the will you should not have significant liability exposure.

You may wish to consult with an attorney to help with the administration of this estate. My firm currently offers a free 10 minute initial phone consult (410-216-7000) or you may wish to contact another Maryland attorney of your choosing. While the above is not specific legal advice, I hope that it helps answer your questions.

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Answered on 10/06/10, 8:34 am

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