Administering an estate in Maryland is no mean feat. After all, executors of an estate have a fiduciary duty to administer the estate properly and within the confines of the law. One of these duties is funding the bequests left in the deceased's will. Let's explore this topic further and examine just what this duty entails.
Many Maryland residents have taken the wise step of creating a will. For example, they may have left a bequest of cash to a favorite nephew or they may have left a treasured family heirloom to a grandchild. Those who have created a will have invested some thought into determining what they want to happen to their property after their death. They may want to ensure that valuable property stays in the family or see that their loved ones are taken care of financially when they are gone.
It is important for executors of an estate to appropriately handle the funding of bequests. They must ensure that all expenses related to the administration of the estate are paid, as are all the necessary debts and taxes. If these costs are not paid prior to asset distribution, the executor may be held personally liable. While, in some cases the beneficiary may provide the executor with a receipt and refunding agreement addressing what will be done with erroneous distributions, in actuality recovering erroneous distributions can be difficult. Although the law varies between states, sometimes an executor needs to obtain court permission to make a distribution.
Estate administration in Maryland is complex and it is often not advisable for executors to try to handle it alone. Instead, it may benefit executors to seek out the assistance of a probate and estate administration attorney, who may be able to take care of the details of estate administration and ensure the executor does not breach any fiduciary duties.