Thank you, C.
There simply is not statute in Maryland Rules of Procedure, Title 6 or the Annotated Code of Maryland - Estates and Trusts Article (which jointly govern probate
) that states whether or not an animal is part of the estate.
An animal is
property. An an executor is charged with upkeep of the property for the estate. However, the upkeep expenses have to be reasonable
and are determined on a case by case basis.
The Judge would determine if the amount is to be approves based on:
1) Who is getting the dog in the end,
2) The reasonableness of the bills, and
3) Whether or not the mother spent such an amount on the dog.
As such, someone in your situation can file an objection with the Court and have the Judge decide on a case by case basis. It is at the Court's sole discretion here. So the question becomes not whether "the dog an asset of the estate," but, "did the Executor use reasonable restraint and proper fiduciary decision-making in upkeep of this item (i.e. the dog)?"
This, only the Judge can answer, on a case by case basis.
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