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The basics of wills in Maryland

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | estate planning |

Wills serve as the backbone of the estate plans of many people in Severna Park. A will is a written document that dictates who you want to inherit which assets after you pass away. The following is an overview of wills in Maryland.

Executing a valid will

There are several requirements a will must meet to be valid in Maryland. First the will must be signed by testator (person whose will it is) and signed by two witnesses in the presence of the testator. The will should contain a clause attesting that the testator signed it in the presence of the witnesses who also signed the will.

Where to keep the will

Once you execute a will, you will want to keep it in a safe place. After all, a will is no good if no one can find it after your death. Many people in Maryland choose to file their will with the Register of Wills. To do so, the original will must be sealed in an envelope with your name, address and Social Security number on the envelope. It is essential that your personal representative knows you have filed your will with the Register of Wills. Should you choose to keep your will elsewhere such as a safe you should make your personal representative aware of this so they can access it when necessary.

Can you modify your will?

Lives change and the time may come where you feel you would like to change something in your will. For example, a divorce, the birth of a grandchild or the death of a spouse may all be reasons that you want to modify your will. In Maryland a will can be modified during the executor’s lifetime as long as the executor is competent. The changes should not be made on the original document. Instead, they will be made on a second document called a “codicil.” The codicil must be executed with the same legal formalities as a will.

Wills are important

It is important to properly execute a will. By doing so you can ensure your loved ones will receive the inheritance you desire. However, it is important to make sure your will is legally enforceable when the time comes. For this reason, many people in Maryland executing a will choose to work with a professional to ensure all the necessary legalities are followed.

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