Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

I live in Baltimore County, Maryland. I already have in place a Last Will and Testament and a Living Will (Health Care Directive). In my will, everything passes to my wife then my (2) children.

I want everything I own to be passed to my family when I die without going through probate.

My bank accounts, I can put my son’s name on them.

My 410K account, I have my wife then children as my beneficiaries.

The deed to my house (no mortgage or lean) is in my name and my wife. I believe I can do a Life Estate Deed to add my son’s name on the deed. Is this the best way to go?

I’m not sure what to do with the cars unless the Will covers that.

Is this everything I need to do for my estate not to go to probate when my wife and I die or am I missing something?

Do you know of an attorney near Middle River, MD that can handle processing the forms that I need at a reasonable cost?


George Weber

Asked on 9/20/17, 9:05 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

There are several ways to avoid probate. One of the simplest and cost effective is to set up title to automatically go to the intended beneficiaries upon the original owner(s)' death. It sounds like you've already made good strides in that regard by naming beneficiaries on 401K, etc. There are several ways to "add" children to bank accounts, some have serious pitfalls, some do not, so I'd highly recommend getting some legal advice on the pros/cons of the different ways.

Most real estate attorneys can prepare life estate deeds. Each attorney sets their own fees - my firm does life estate deeds in your area for a flat attorney fee of $240 not including the court's recording fee of $60. Baltimore County also requires a municipal "lien cert" for most deeds which adds another $50 or so but certain life estate deeds (not all types) are exempt from that fee. You're welcome to call my firm at 410-216-7000 for a no-cost 10 min phone call to go over specifics or contact another attorney of your choosing.

While I hope this online answer helps, it is not intended to start an attorney/client relationship or offer legal advice specific to your situation. An attorney client relationship is not formed unless we meet and both agree.

Read more
Answered on 9/20/17, 10:45 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Probate, Trusts, Wills & Estates questions and answers in Maryland