Tree problem?

Howdy all, got a small problem here. Seems that my sugar maple (?) has a dead/dying branch/trunk. This south facing branch has broken and dried bark. The upper off shoots and leaves are almost non existent leaving a somewhat open area now.
Should I just cut the branch off below the visible problem area or, cut even lower? Or, call a tree expert. This tree gives us some much needed shade in an otherwise sunny yard and it is much beloved by my wife. It's always been a very full tree, still is except for the dying branch?
All feedback welcome. Pics here: http://www.pbase.com/hiker/tree
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BE,
You can try cutting it just below the problem area. Cut it just above a branch that is growing out in the direction you want the new branch to take. If this is a borer problem or even something in the root system, the entire branch and possibly the tree, will go. If the branch broke first, and then it died back, then this is something that possibly won't spread. If however, the branch broke after it started to die back, then whatever was killing it may spread.
Sherwin D.
BE wrote:

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Thanks all...
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