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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  JA Mentor. I run my own practice that specializes in Estate Preparation and Administration
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If an estate is closed can it reopened in the state of MD

Customer Question

If an estate is closed can it reopened in the state of MD dealing with a lawsuit
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

All states have the means to re-open up most types of estates especially when it is based on new assets. However in Maryland re-opening the estate is limited to within 18 months of the passing of the decedent.

Here are the codes that govern:

§ 5-407

A judicial probate may be reopened and a new proceeding held if, following a request by an interested person within 18 months from the death of the decedent, the court finds the existence of any fact which would permit the holding of a proceeding pursuant to § 5–304(b) of this title.

§ 5–304


Unless a timely request for judicial probate has been filed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or unless a request has been filed pursuant to § 5–402 of this title within six months of administrative probate, any action taken after administrative probate shall be final and binding as to all interested persons. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a defect in a petition or proceeding relating to administrative probate shall not affect the probate or the grant of letters.


An administrative probate may be set aside and a proceeding for judicial probate instituted if, following a request by an interested person within 18 months of the death of decedent, the court finds that:


The proponent of a later offered will, in spite of the exercise of reasonable diligence in efforts to locate any will, was actually unaware of the existence of a will at the time of the prior probate;


The notice provided in § 2–210 of this article was not given to such interested person nor did he have actual notice of the petition for probate; or


There was fraud, material mistake, or substantial irregularity in the prior probate proceeding.


Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my mother passed away in 2009 we closed the estate in 2013 .We filed a new lawsuit in feb 2015. Is that an issue
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We closed the estate because there was no more cost .The lawsuit was due to the gross negligence of our attorney
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can you email your answer
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.


Yes, if you filed in 2015, it is too late to re-open. You can try by claiming new facts but the code that I found states that re-opening the estate after 18 months is not possible.


Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am the representative of the estate and filed a lawsuit using The Estate of my mother with me the as the attorney.
it reads like this mike Gordon pro se for the estate o Libby Gordon
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.


Under such special circumstances you can try to file to re-open but again, the codes do not support it. I suspect the judge will simply order the estate opened so that a trust can be created to receive the proceeds. You can request it but it would not be based on state code.


Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One last question .In the law suit I am the legal representative for the estate when I filed with the court I used the Estates name is that allowed if not then there is no suit. I felt I had a fiduciary reasonability to recover the estates assets for my siblings and the time period was running out since we have 3 years from the defendants negligence acts
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The estate was closed March 24'th 2014 . If I have 18 months then it should not be an issue since I filed a motion Feb. 2015
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

No, the deadline runs not from closing the estate, but from date of decedent's death--please see the language above. As far as your second question, that is a bit of a grey area. Technically once the state closed you cannot represent it anymore and you are no longer the executor or administrator. Therefore you cannot sue on behalf of an entity that does not exist. But your argument to the court may be that you believed, mistakenly, that remaining a party would not permit the estate to fully close and therefore permit you to act on its' behalf. But I must be realistic and tell you that this is very very weak as an argument. I strongly urge you to retain counsel to assist you.


Dimitry, Esq.