Defending The Estate Against Claims By Creditors Or Heirs
The duties of a personal representative (executor) include paying debts of the estate. However, not every claim against the estate is legitimate or necessarily needs to be paid. Some claims are inflated or fabricated, or the claimant may have missed the deadline.
Upper Marlboro probate attorney Ralph W. Powers advises and represents personal representatives in all facets of Maryland estate administration. He can analyze the validity of claims that arise in administering estates and either settle or fight those claims.
The law firm of Ralph W. Powers, Jr. P.C., handles probate matters in Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Contact us about defending your estate.
Upper Marlboro Attorney For Creditor Claims In Probate Administration
Ralph Powers has practiced in estate administration and probate litigation for more than three decades. He regularly litigates in Orphan’s Court (probate court) in Prince George’s County and surrounding jurisdictions, and he has successfully handled all types of estate claims:
- Creditor claims — Not all claims by creditors are required to be paid. In our experience, about 20 percent are not filed in a timely fashion and thus not valid.
- Scams – Unscrupulous individuals try to cash in with phony invoices for goods or services. We can identify and disprove fraudulent claims.
- Caretaker services – Relatives sometimes submit exorbitant claims for health care services, billing thousands of dollars for providing “round-the-clock” care to the deceased. These tend to be greatly exaggerated if not patently false.
- Forgotten or defrauded heirs – Relatives who are not named in the will or who feel snubbed by their inheritance may claim they were promised something by the deceased, that the deceased owed them money, or that they were disinherited through foul play. Mr. Powers has successfully defended estates in will contests.
Faced with the costs and uncertainty of litigation, many creditors are open to an out-of-court settlement. Ralph Powers is an accomplished trial lawyer who will negotiate good faith claims and aggressively challenge others.
Cost-Effective Representation For Claims In Estates
In a recent case, a bill was presented by a medical supply company for unpaid rent on a medical device. We were able to prove that the company was unlicensed, and the court denied its request for payment, saving the estate thousands of dollars. Defeating frivolous or invalid claims preserves more assets for distribution to the intended beneficiaries.
The Other Side Of The Coin
Although we are typically hired by the personal representative to defend the estate against spurious claims, our firm occasionally represents creditors or family members who have legitimate claims in an estate or suspicions that the executor is siphoning assets.
Our office is just a few blocks from the Orphans’ Court in Upper Marlboro. Call us at (240) 428-6800 or email us to talk with our Maryland attorney for claims in estates.
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