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After the death of a loved one, many individuals would like to take time to focus on their grief. This step is understandable as many Maryland residents may struggle with such a situation and need time to heal. However, for an individual left in charge of a deceased person's estate, there may be a need to focus on other responsibilities as well to ensure that probate goes smoothly.

As part of the probate process, a personal representative or executor will need to get many remaining affairs in order to close the decedent's estate. Gathering financial documents may be a beneficial first step as much of the estate-closing process can revolve around assets and liabilities. By having information relating to insurance policies, bank accounts, creditors and similar financial aspects, the executor may have an easier time moving forward.

Another aspect of the probate process involves the distribution of assets. If the deceased person created a will or other estate planning documents, those documents could act as instructions for how distribution should take place. If no estate plan was created, the court will need to step in, and assets will be distributed in accordance with state law.

Though the probate proceedings may seem intimidating, it can be a useful process to help settle a loved one's estate. This step can certainly take time and effort to properly address, and Maryland residents who have been tasked with the responsibility of executor or personal representative may wish to find out more on the legal process. Consulting with experienced attorneys could help concerned parties better understand their responsibilities. 

Source: marshallindependent.com, "Putting your financial affairs in order after the loss of a spouse", Randy Groff, Aug. 26, 2017

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