If my mother died and owned very little, do I still need to file the Will and open up an estate so it can go through probate?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If my mother died and owned very little, do I still need to file the Will and open up an estate so it can go through probate?

She owned nothing aside from shares in a mobile home park (and things like clothing, a TV, computer, etc). She had no money aside from her monthly Social Security check which paid her monthly living expenses. In her Will she named me the beneficiary of the mobile home park. There is no money in the estate to pay any filing (or legal) fees.

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Estate Planning, Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

In cases such as this, there is the option of a small estate proceeding. In MD, if the probate assets are less than $30,000 in value, the estate may qualify for a "small estate proceeding" which takes about 2 months to complete. There is also a "modified estate adminstration" which is an expedited probate proceeding and closes an estate in about 10 months. Which one you file depends on which one your mother's estate qualifies for.

For further information on either of the above proceedings, you can contact the Register of Wills'.

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