An explanation of Probate and Estate Administration, Estate Planning and Elder Law, for George Teitelbaum's Law Resource Center for Lawyers Attorneys and the general public, located in Washington DC and Maryland

Probate and Estate Administration

Washington, DC and Maryland Probate Attorney George Teitelbaum

While the probate and estate administration process is very complex, its purpose is simple. After your death, your assets need to be retitled and distributed to your heirs that are either named in your will or that are required by the intestate laws of the State, if there is no will. Your legitimate debts, funeral bills, taxes, and loans also need to be paid. The probate court appoints a personal representative (also called an executor) to sign deeds and other legal documents, write checks, and handle any remaining business affairs. This can often be a long, complicated, and bureaucratic nightmare for many families. Some of the details of the Probate requirements in the District of Columbia and in the State of Maryland, are outlined on other pages at this website.

Reference our Brief Guide to Probate in the District of Columbia to get a general idea of the complexities of Probate in Washington, DC

Reference our Brief Guide to Probate in the State of Maryland to get a general idea of the complexities of Probate in the State of Maryland

Washington DC Probate Lawyer District of Columbia Guardianship Attorney The Law Offices of George Teitelbaum, are dedicated to helping clients understand probate and the issues related to the administration and distribution of a deceased individual’s estate. Clients deal directly with caring and experienced Attorney George Teitelbaum, who has been practicing since 1983 and possesses an extensive knowledge of probate, estate administration, estate planning, and elder law matters. Attorney Teitelbaum is capable of handling multiple probates and other matters for one client. Contact us to schedule an appointment with Attorney George Teitelbaum.

Progress of your estate through the probate process, can be very frustrating. Although this complex process usually takes at least six months to complete, some estates can take years. Most people assume that their estates are simple and will move swiftly through the system. Regardless of how simple an estate appears, a full probate claims period is required by law to be at least six months. Delays caused by an inexperienced lawyer, or someone acting without a lawyer, could add weeks, months, or years to the process. It is important to use an experienced probate attorney to cut out unnecessary errors, mistakes, and elays, which could lead to Court sanctions, supervision, audit, or removal of the Pesrsonal Representative.

What is the nightmare of "living probate"? Guardianships and Conservatorships

When the word “probate,” is mentioned, most people think it is a process that only happens when you die. Unfortunately, probate can also happen while a person is alive. Often referred to as a "living probate." It is technically called an "intervention proceeding" or a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding. When an adult becomes incapacitated, the probate court will appoint a guardian to handle their personal affairs and a conservator to take care of their assets. Also, if a child inherits or is awarded assets, the court will appoint a legal guardian. These court-appointed agents must file strict annual accountings with the court. The entire proceeding, unfortunately, can be very expensive, time consuming, humiliating, and very sad. However, this intervention is essential for people who are unable to handle their own affairs, and have not made proper arrangements beforehand.

If guardianship cannot be avoided, the Law Offices of George Teitelbaum, can assist families through guardianship and conservatorship proceedings with care, compassion, and attention to detail. We are very focused on helping our clients obtain the guardianship or conservatorship they need in order to care for a loved one, while preserving the dignity of that person to every extent possible.

The best way to deal with the fact that aging most often brings about greater reliance on others is to plan in advance. With timely and appropriate tools such as Durable Powers of Attorney over assets and healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid planning, and other elder law advice from an experienced attorney, you can prevent the need for an expensive guardianship or conservatorship altogether. These Court proceedings can literally cost thousands of dollars.

If you have an estate about to enter probate and need assistance to properly administer that estate and comply with Court requirements, if you are considering the need for guardianship or conservatorship over a family member, if you have been appointed as a guardian or conservator, or if you need a Power of Attorney, we can help. Contact Washington, D.C., probate lawyer George Teitelbaum today, and ask about a free consultation. Attorney George Teitelbaum also assists clients located out of state that may have legal issues in the District of Columbia or Maryland.

Estate Planning - Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney

Washington DC Trust Attorney District of Columbia Living Will Lawyer Estate Planning Attorney in Washington, D.C. and Maryland
George Teitelbaum

Estate planning is the creation of a definite plan for managing your wealth while you’re alive, and distributing it after your death. When we talk about an estate, we mean ALL assets of any value that you own, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, personal property, and even your personal effects.

Since 1983, attorney George Teitelbaum has been providing estate planning services to clients across Washington, DC. Contact our law office for assistance with planning your estate.

Are there other estate planning options besides writing a will?

Most people who plan their estates start by creating a legal document called a Last Will and Testament. A Will tells your family, the Court, and the general public how you want your assets distributed at death. However, a Will does not control the distribution of all of your assets. Joint tenancy property and life insurance proceeds both typically pass outside your will. Also, Wills do not take effect until you die, so they are no help with lifetime planning, especially in the event of an unplanned emergency.

Upon your death, your properly prepared Will becomes a public document when it is filed with the probate court and will be available to anyone who wants to read it. Once your Will enters the probate process, your estate is no longer controlled by your family—it is in the hands of the court, the probate lawyers, and the person you select as Personal Representative or Executor. A Will guarantees that your directions for handling your assets will be honored when going through probate. However, a Will is only one part of estate planning. Therefore, it is not enough for some families that have very large estates or want to maintain privacy.

Powers of Attorney, Wills, and Trusts

The Law Offices of George Teitelbaum, offers various estate planning instruments in addition to Wills that can help you and your family manage and pass property either through probate or outside it. This can help you avoid probate costs and fees and have greater control of your property now and in the future. Many of thesed documents can be conveniently prepared in our offices while you wait, so you do not need to come back repeatedly.

In addition to Wills, other documents that we can help you set up include:

Powers of Attorney

  • Powers of Attorney over Finances and other Assets
  • Powers of Attorney for Healthcare
    • Sometimes called "living wills"
    • Includes Advance Medical Directives 


  • Living Trusts or Testamentary Trusts
  • Revocable or Irrevocable Trusts
  • Minor's or Special Needs Trusts

Real Estate Transactions

  • Deeds

Contact D.C. estate planning attorney George Teitelbaum today to discuss how to meet your goals. Ask about a free initial consultation. In addition to our estate planning services, our firm can assist clients through the probate process.

Elder Law

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to see that our assets and affairs are in order. The area of elder law is focused on providing guidance and estate support to elderly individuals and their families. Our firm’s elder law services can include establishing Durable Powers of Attorney for assets and medical decisions, guardianships, conservatorships, and Medicaid planning.

Aging often brings about greater reliance on others. The best way to deal with this so that you or your loved ones can maintain as much independence as possible is to plan in advance. An experienced elder law attorney can help you make a practical plan using Durable Powers of Attorney over assets and healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid planning, and other elder law tools that will give you peace of mind and minimize unwelcome changes. With appropriate planning, you and your family can prevent the need for a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding later.

We offer a wide variety of elder law services for clients throughout the District of Columbia. For more information, please contact our law office today. Attorney George Teitelbaum also assists clients located out of state that may have legal issues in the District of Columbia.

Law Offices of George A. Teitelbaum
2416 Blueridge Avenue, Suite 200
Wheaton,  MD 20902
(4 blocks North of Wheaton Plaza and the Wheaton Metro Station on the Red Line, right off Georgia Avenue, with easy and convenient parking only steps away)
1025 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 1012
Washington,  DC 20036
(right next to the Farragut North Metro Station on the Red Line)

Probate and estate administration, estate planning, and elder law attorney George Teitelbaum provides representation to clients throughout Washington, D.C., in all areas such as Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, George Washington University, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, Sheridan, Logan Circle, Mount Vernon Square, Shaw/F4/F4F4$F4(0F4/F48/F4heast, Penn Quarter, NoMa, Southwest Federal Center, Southwest Waterfront, Union Station, and the National Mall. Also, Suburban Maryland, including: Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Wheaton, Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda, Aspen Hill, Kensington, Gaithersburg, Olney, Leisure World, and Potomac. Attorney George Teitelbaum also assists clients located out of state that may have legal issues in the District of Columbia or in Maryland.