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HELP! This Probate Is Taking Forever!!!

5 Reasons Why Probate in Maryland Takes So Long

After a loved one dies, his or her estate must be settled. While most people want the settlement process to be done ASAP, probate in Maryland, including Howard County, can take between 9 to 18 months, presuming there is no challenges to a Will or any litigation. Yes, you heard that right. The time delays create unnecessary stress.

5 Reasons Why Probate in Maryland Takes So Long


There are many reasons why probating a Will takes so long in Maryland. Here are five of the most common:


  1. Paperwork. Managing probate required paperwork can be a monumental undertaking with structured timelines and court-imposed deadlines.


  1. Complexity. Estates with numerous or complicated assets simply take longer to probate in Maryland as there are more items to be accounted for and valued.


  1. Probate court caseload. Most probate courts are dealing with high caseloads and limited staff.


  1. Challenges to the Will. Heirs, beneficiaries, and those, who thought they’d be beneficiaries, can object to and challenge the will’s terms and legality. While Maryland law dictates how long they have to object, Will challenges can add years to the process. Common challenges to a Will include that the testator was:


  • Lacking testamentary capacity;
  • Delusional;
  • Subject to undue influence; or
  • A victim of fraud.


  1. Creditor Notification. A Will’s executor or personal representative must notify the decedent’s creditors so they have time to submit claims for debts. This time period varies from state to state as well, but it is generally six to nine months.


The bottom line is that, while most state probate laws are designed to keep the process moving along in a timely manner, that’s more of a plan than a reality.

Waiting on Probate in Maryland

Avoiding Probate in Maryland With a Trust Is Better


Simply put, having assets in a trust is better. Administration generally only takes three to six months total, if there is no litigation, – meaning that the process is not tied up in court, beneficiaries get assets faster, costs are reduced, and stress levels are kept to a minimum.


Take Action Now


First, if you need help settling a probate estate, here at McDonald Law Firm, we can help you move the process along and remove some of the burden so you can move on with your life. Second, we can help you make sure you never burden your loved ones the way you’ve been burden. How? We’ll show you how to avoid probate in Maryland with a trust. So, give us a call today at (443) 741-1088 to schedule a free no obligation consultation with Andre O. McDonald, a knowledgeable Howard County probate attorney.





Request a Consultation

For help with estate planning, special needs planning or elder law throughout Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore County; and Baltimore City, contact McDonald Law Firm, LLC.

McDonald Law Firm, LLC

Columbia Office

10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy, #420
Columbia, MD 21044-3563

Bethesda Office:

(By Appointment Only)

7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800 West
Bethesda, MD 20814

Washington, DC Office:

2101 L Street, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037

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