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What’s considered to be a valid will in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2019 | Wills And Trusts

A will is an estate planning document that individuals draft to give their personal representative directions for how they’d like their assets to handled once they die. Each state has its own standards for what’s considered to be a valid will. They also handle wills that have been executed in other states differently. They have distinct procedures for handling cases in which someone dies without a will too.

According to the Office of the Register of Wills, a will must be signed by the testator, or the person drafting it, for it to be considered valid in Maryland. It additionally must have been signed by two credible individuals in front of the testator.

Individuals who have executed their wills in another state before moving to Maryland may have such a will honored here. It’s important that it was properly executed in alignment with the other state’s laws though. Provided that it was, it will be considered valid here in Maryland as well.

If you die in Maryland without having drafted a will, then state intestate laws will apply. If a decedent leaves behind minor children and a spouse, then both their kids and their spouse will each be entitled to one-half of their assets.

In situations in which a decedent leaves behind parents or adult children and a spouse, the first $40,000 will go to the husband or wife. They’ll also receive one-half of the remaining assets contained in the estate. Their children or, if necessary, their parents will become eligible to receive what remains in it. The entire estate will go to a decedent’s surviving spouse if they don’t have any living children or parents.

Assets may go directly to a decedent’s children if they die without a will and don’t have any living spouse. They may go to any other immediate family members if the individual who died didn’t have any kids. If no living relatives can be identified, then a decedent’s assets will be given to the Board of Education in the county where the case was handled.

Individuals of all means should have a will in place to maintain control over what happens to their assets. An attorney in Frederick can advise you what goes into an estate plan to ensure that your final wishes are carried out as you’d planned.