Not everyone who passes away in Maryland has a sizable estate. Some estates in Maryland are considered "small estates" and they differ from "regular estates." This distinction is important when it comes to estate administration.
In Maryland, a small estate is one in which the decedent's property is worth at or under $50,000. However, if there is a spouse that is the only heir to the estate, an estate valued at or under $100,000 will be considered a small estate. In determining what an estate is worth, the court will only count assets belonging to the decedent alone and any property interests the decedent owns as a tenant in common. The court will look at the fair market value of the decedent's estate minus any secured debts.
A regular estate in Maryland, on the other hand, consists of property that in total is worth more than $50,000. That being said, if there is a spouse that is the only heir to the estate, that value increases to anything higher than $100,000. As in a small estate, the property of the decedent that is considered when determining what their estate is worth includes that which the decedent alone owned, along with any property interests the decedent held as a tenant in common. Also, as in a small estate, any secured debts will be subtracted from the value of the estate.
In future post here we will discuss how a small estate is administered. However, it is possible for readers to seek further information about small estates in the meantime.