Although we try our best to live definite and predictable lives, the fact is that life is unpredictable and full of surprises. Life’s most critical transition moments are unpredictable. For instance, we can plan to live, but still, none of us knows when we will finally bow out of this race, where, and how. Therefore, we should live ready to leave this physical dimension at any time.
Fortunately, writing a Maryland last will and testament is one way of preparing for this private event. This critical document lets you leave your family in order and harmony after your death. It ensures you that your inheritors aren’t confused about their inheritance, saving your family members avoidable conflicts about your estate.
Let’s clarify what you should know about composing and validating the last will and testament form. Eventually, you will understand what the law requires regarding its composition and every other detail.
Download your fillable Maryland Last Will and Testament Form in PDF format:
– Adobe PDF
Why a Last Will is Important in Maryland
Although Maryland laws don’t compel you to write a last will and testament, this document still holds critical legal weight. If you don’t write one, the courts can determine the distribution of the deceased’s estate even if they died without a will.
Unfortunately, the courts’ interventions don’t fully reflect and advance the deceased’s wishes regarding their property’s distribution. For example, the courts only allocate the estate within the deceased’s family. However, they might have desired to donate some of or all of their estate to charity. Unfortunately, many potential beneficiaries lose their deserved inheritance as per the deceased’s wishes.
However, writing a last will lets you appoint an executor to implement your will entirely and faithfully after your death. Moreover, your last will leaves your minors’ inheritance in the hands of trusted custodians until they attain legal age.
Moreover, your last will lets you enjoy your exclusive right to determine who should inherit your assets. It lets you stamp your authority over what you labored for. Without it, you pass on that right to state officials who will distribute your assets based on what they think is legally right. However, none of them understands how much you labored to gather these assets. Moreover, they don’t know whom you value in your heart to entrust your property.
Therefore, take charge of your family’s economic destiny and welfare by writing a last will today. It’s as simple as downloading and filling our customizable forms with what fills your heart.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
It’s good to have a last will and testament before one’s death. Unfortunately, many people still die without writing one. So, what does Maryland law provide for in such a situation? The state invokes intestacy laws in such cases. The deceased’s surviving spouse inherits everything unless they also left minors. In this case, the spouse shares the estate equally with the children.
If they are adults, the spouse inherits the first $15,000 of the estate and shares the remaining portion equally with the children. If the deceased had no surviving children or spouse, the law allows the state to appoint their closest surviving relatives such as parents, siblings, and grandparents, to inherit the estate. You can see why it’s better to write your last will on time.
Other Recognized Wills
Maryland recognizes handwritten wills, but only if American soldiers write and sign them outside of the US and its foreign territories. However, these wills become null and void one year after their writers stop serving in the army.
There are some exemptions to Maryland last will laws. For instance, all property with joint tenancy ownership and survivorship’s right don’t need a will for distribution. Also, retirement account funds, life insurance proceeds, and properties transferred to living trusts are exempted. Moreover, it’s worth noting that surviving spouses and underage kids have a right to a part of one’s property for their upkeep for twenty-four months.
Basic Legal Requirements
So, what are Maryland’s legal requirements for a last will and testament? Here are the primary ones set out in the Maryland Probate Code, Estates and Trusts, Section 4-101, et.seq:
- The testator must be an adult aged 18 years old and sane;
- The testator should sign the will to validate it. The law also allows another trusted person to sign the will on the testator’s behalf. However, they should do it in their conscious presence, in their name, and under their direction.
- The testator needs competent witnesses to be there in person when the testator signs the document. These witnesses shouldn’t be beneficiaries.
- The law requires the will to be documented;
- Regarding beneficiaries, you can leave your estate to anyone you wish, within your family or even outsiders.
Amending Your Last Will
Your Maryland last will and testament is amendable whenever you wish to do so. The law allows you to amend it by executing a subsequent last will. You can also amend it via codicil, an addition whose execution must follow the same procedures that validated your will.
Revoking Your Maryland Last Will
Maryland laws allow you to revoke your last will whenever you deem necessary. You can revoke it by implementing a subsequent last will. You may also revoke your last will if you burn, tear, destroy, or obliterate it. The testator can revoke the will or appoint someone to do it for them, but they should revoke it in their conscious presence.
Moreover, a change in one’s marital or parental status can revoke some provisions of the last will. For instance, getting a child naturally or by other legal ways revokes the previously implemented will. Moreover, marrying, divorcing, or annulling one’s marriage after executing the last will revokes all the provisions that touched on one’s former spouse.
There you go with all the facts you need to know about a Maryland last will and testament. So, download our forms and draft your last will today.
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Other Last Will and Testament Forms By State
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