When former Maryland governor and mayor of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer, died in 2011, he left $1.4 million to a civic fund in his name. The Baltimore Community Foundation administers the William Donald Schaefer Civic Fund whose purpose is to make several grants each year for neighborhood improvement and beautification. Schaefer appointed long- time friend and Schaefer chief of staff, Lainy Lebow-Sachs, as executor of his estate. Lebow-Sachs knew her old boss well and understood his interests. Schaefer’s involvement with the fund dated back to 1971 during his first term as mayor. “He took a keen interest in the operation of the civic fund, touring neighborhoods to see the progress of projects and sitting in on the grant selection process” said Lebow-Sachs. Schaefer made a good choice in selecting his executor. Lebow-Sachs ensured that his wishes were carried out properly.
After a person dies (called the decedent) and leaves property for others, the process for distributing the property is called probate. If the decedent had a will, then the probate process begins when anyone who has the Will files it along with several other items with the Register of Wills.
The type of estate forms depends on the value of the estate. A regular estate has property valued over $50,000 — if a spouse is the sole heir, then the value of a regular estate is over $100,000. A small estate is generally valued at $50,000 or less — however, if a spouse is the sole heir small estate forms should be used if the value is $100,000 or less. The small estate probate procedure is less complicated than that of the regular estate and usually takes less time.
Although the probate process in Maryland is fairly straightforward, it can be complicated by several factors, such as disputes or jointly held property. Our experienced Carroll County attorneys can provide you with quality legal services in estate administration.