Knowledgeable Hampstead Estates Attorney Drafts and Probates Wills
Maryland lawyer advises and represents testators and executors
The Law Office of Joseph E. Ashley provides a full range of services for wills: drafting, review, amendment, revocation, execution and probate. I provide reliable guidance for testators and executors. My experience in the probate court, resolving issues related to the validity of wills, enables me to provide practical advice for testators from all walks of life. Similarly, my work in the formation of wills gives me keen insight into how executors should interpret various aspects of a will that may initially seem unclear. Whether you are a testator formulating an estate plan or an executor implementing a decedent’s wishes, the Law Office of Joseph E. Ashley can simplify many complex aspects of the tasks before you. I offer pertinent and personal legal advice to obtain the results you need in a timely manner with the least stress possible.
Executing a valid and effective will
Executing a valid will is rather simple; executing an effective will takes a bit more work. The probate court approves a will if it finds the document was executed intentionally and freely by a person of sound mind, is written in clear, unambiguous language and is signed and witnessed. That’s really the easy part. To be effective, your will must be comprehensive, covering the full range of your worldly possessions and your deepest concerns, and contemplating various contingencies. I work closely with you to memorialize your intentions completely and instructing that they be carried out in the most efficient manner possible.
Once executed, your will remains your final statement of your intentions until you amend or revoke it. I recommend reviewing your will every three to five years and updating it to reflect your current wishes.
Probate attorney guides executors through every step of the process
Most executors have never probated a will; many are surprised to learn the decedent’s will named them as the responsible party. I provide indispensable service for executors who have no prior experience in the probate court on matters that include:
- Filing the will with the Maryland probate court
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously settling the estate
- Finding and assembling assets
- Pay creditors and claimants
- Collecting amounts owed the estate
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying current and delinquent taxes as well as estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Executors can easily make mistakes due to inexperience, stress and hasty decisions. This can be costly, as executors can be held personally liable for beneficiaries’ losses. I guide executors through every step of the probate process, with reliable, detailed advice, so you can settle the testator’s estate as efficiently, quickly and easily as possible.
Capable management of probate disputes
Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between disappointed beneficiaries and the will’s executor. When representing executors, I strive for the utmost professionalism in negotiations and in the courtroom. Whether the issue is a will challenge or an accusation of mismanagement of estate assets, I advocate vigorously for the testator’s estate and the executor.