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Does Maryland accept handwritten, oral, video and audio wills?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | estate planning |

With the unpredictability of life, how can one ensure that their assets will go to their desired recipients? Additionally, if they have minor children, how may they secure their kids’ future in case they suffer an untimely passing?

Such situations point to the significance of having a last will and testament. According to the Maryland Register of Wills, a will is among the most important legal documents because it directs the distribution of a deceased’s assets. It can also list the deceased’s nominated guardian for their minor children. But what forms of recording a will are acceptable?

Valid wills

The state of Maryland accepts typed and handwritten wills. The testator should sign their will, and two witnesses must attest and sign it in the testator’s presence. The testator and witnesses should be aged 18 and above and must be legally competent. In addition, the witnesses have to be credible.

Invalid wills

On the other hand, the state does not accept oral, video and audio wills. If these are the only wills available, then there will be intestacy. This means that the deceased does not have a valid will, and the state’s laws will determine how to distribute probate assets to surviving heirs. An Orphans’ Court may also appoint a guardian for minor children.

Wills from other states

Meanwhile, those who created a will in another state need not worry about its validity. Maryland accepts wills from other states if they were executed in accordance with the laws of the state where the testator made it. However, it does not follow that a will created in Maryland will automatically be valid in other states.

Carrying out a deceased’s wishes

When life meets its end, it is not enough that you were able to utter your post-death wishes. With legal support, you may declare your intentions in a valid will to ensure that your wishes will come to fulfillment.

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