How to Force an Executor to Settle an Estate in Maryland

By Jennifer Williams

It may be necessary to force an executor to settle an estate if he fails to perform any portion of the probate process. If the will of a Maryland decedent (deceased individual) is not presented to the Maryland Register of Wills or Maryland Orphans' Court by the named executor, Maryland probate law allows anyone with a legal interest in the will to petition the Maryland Orphans' Court to initiate probate. Any interested person may also petition the court to resolve any question or dispute about the probate process along the way.

Step 1

File the will with the Maryland Orphans' Court along with a petition to initiate probate. If the executor named in the will, also known as the personal representative, fails to present the will to the court, any person with a legal interest in the will may do it. This petition begins the probate process by allowing the court to either appoint an executor or administrator to oversee continuation of the probate process. Alternatively, the court may order the individual named as executor in the will to provide an accounting of his activities and either step down or fulfill the duties of the office. The required content of the petition may differ depending on the size of the estate. Form petitions are available from the Maryland Register of Wills.

Step 2

Contact the executor with questions concerning the progress of probate. Alternatively, petition the Maryland Orphans' Court to resolve any question or dispute arising during the probate process. If the appointed executor stalls during the process of settling the estate, petition the Orphans' Court for an order requiring the executor to account for his actions. Ask the court to compel him to proceed with probate or ask for the executor to be removed and a substitute appointed.

File a DBA for your business online. Get Started Now

Step 3

Receive the Orphans' Court's order compelling the executor to answer for any stalling in the probate process. The court often orders an accounting of the executor's actions up to that date and requires the executor explain why the probate process has stalled. The executor files an answer, after which all interested parties are notified of a hearing date. Anyone with a legal interest in the will has a right to attend.

File a DBA for your business online. Get Started Now
If an Executor Is Not Available Who Could Execute a Will?


Related articles

What Is a Petition to Probate a Will?

The word "probate" describes the legal process by which a will is found to be valid or invalid, as well as the process by which the will is executed. A petition to probate a will is typically filed with the court along with the will so that the executor may be given the formal power to carry out the directions listed in the will.

Can an Executor of a Will Give a Power of Attorney to Someone From Prison?

The executor of an estate possesses only those powers granted to him under a will and by state law. A power of attorney granting a prisoner authority over an estate may be possible depending on the powers granted to the executor. Although an executor has the right to delegate authority to anyone he deems fit, he must do so while keeping the fiduciary duty he owes to the estate in mind.

What to Expect in Tennessee Probate Court

When someone passes away owning property in Tennessee, the probate court is charged with supervising administration of the estate. The depth of the court's involvement will depend on the amount and type of property in the estate, and whether there are any objections raised by those who may inherit under a will or by intestacy laws. The process is highly legal in nature, and for all estates valued at over $25,000, Tennessee requires an attorney to open the probate process and to represent the person appointed to administer the estate. Estates valued at less than that amount and having no real property can take advantage of a streamlined procedure known as a small estate probate.

Related articles

How to Force an Executor to Execute a Will in Oklahoma

Oklahoma law requires anyone in possession of a will, such as the named executor, to present it to the court within 30 ...

The Amount of Time Allowed to Probate a Will in Pennsylvania

State laws vary with regard to probate. Probate is a judicial process where a special court oversees the administration ...

How to Ask if You Are in a Last Will & Testament

You need neither legal language nor formalized procedure to ask if you inherit under a will; who and how you ask ...

How to Probate a Will in Kentucky

Probate in Kentucky is handled by the district court responsible for the county where the person died. Probate is the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED