A will is often the best way to specify how you would like your assets to be distributed upon your death. Your will must meet certain requirements and include certain information to be declared valid by the court.
What are the requirements for a will in Maryland?
As you begin to create your will, you should make sure that you are meeting all state requirements. In Maryland, your will should meet the following requirements:
- The will must be created by someone 18 or older and legally competent.
- The will must be in writing (handwritten or typed).
- The will must be signed by the testator (creator of the will).
- The will must be attested and signed by two credible/independent adult witnesses.
What should be included in my will?
In addition to meeting the basic requirements listed above, you should make sure your will consists of the information required to distribute your assets properly. This information may include:
- Personal information: Testator name, address, birthdate, etc.
- Testamentary intent: Include legal language that specifies that the document is a will.
- Executor: Appoint an executor to manage your estate and carry out your wishes after your death.
- Guardian: If you have a child under the age of 18, appoint a guardian to care for your children if you pass away.
- Inventory of assets: List the assets that belong to your estate (e.g., real estate, stocks and bonds, cash or personal possessions).
- Beneficiaries: Name who will be receiving which assets.
Creating a will seems straightforward, but it is easy to make mistakes. If you do not make sure that your will follows all state requirements and includes the necessary information, your assets may be distributed in accordance with Maryland’s laws of intestacy, rather than your wishes. An attorney specializing in estate planning law can help make sure that your will meets all criteria.