Last Will & Testament Maryland – MVP Law Group
Planning for and preparing your Last Will & Testament is very specific to your particular situation and needs, therefore we have assembled a brief Q&A regarding the essentials related to the planning and preparation of your Last Will & Testament.
» What is a Will?
» What can a Will do?
» What a Will can’t do?
» Who should make a Will?
» When should a Lawyer’s services be utilized?
» What happens if you die without a Will?
» Can you make changes to your Will?
» Can you revoke your own Will?
» What are the requirements to make a valid Will?
» What are the specific requirements to make a valid Will in
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document which determines what happens to your property after you pass. A will deals with who receives your property and in what amounts.
What can a Will do?
Besides distributing property, a will may name a guardian for any minor children. It may also name a personal representative/executor to carry out the terms of the will. If you have pets, you can even name a guardian and provide arrangements for their care. Additionally, with a will you can create a trust and designate a trustee to handle the estate.
What a Will can’t do?
A will cannot cover property held as Joint Tenants/ or Tenants by the Entireties, or property transferred to a living trust. A will cannot cover proceeds of a Life Insurance Policy, money in a pension plan, IRA, 401(k) plan, or other retirement plan. However, you may on your own change the name of the beneficiary on the forms provided by the insurance agency, financial institution, etc. A will cannot cover stocks and bonds held in beneficiary forms. Additionally, a will cannot cover money in a payable-on-death bank account, as a simple form can be obtained from your bank to change the beneficiary listed.
Who should make a Will?
Everyone. Especially anyone who owns property, whether personal or real should make a will. There is absolutely no need to have a large estate to plan and prepare a will. Individuals with cash, vehicles, jewelry, furniture (personal property) should make a will to distribute their assets. Additionally, individuals owning land and/or houses (real property) should make a will.
If married, each spouse should make a will distributing their assets. Widows and single parents should also make a will to dispose of their most valuable possessions.
When should a Lawyer’s services be utilized?
There are many self-help kits on the internet that allow individuals to prepare and plan their own wills; however, certain situations may require the expertise of a licensed professional who has experience in the estate planning process. It is always better to have the assistance of an experienced attorney to guide you through the challenging process.
What happens if you die without a Will?
If you die without a will, you will have died intestate; meaning your property and belongings will be distributed through the strict intestacy laws of the State. In other words, without a will, your possessions will be dispersed to your closest relatives, and if you have no living heirs, to the State. Therefore, in order to protect your family and your belongings, it is extremely important that everyone makes a valid will; otherwise the State may get to determine how your property is distributed.
Can you make changes to your Will?
You may make changes to your will whenever desired and should when your current situation changes. For instance, if you move to a new state, get married or divorced, have a baby, have step children or adopt, and if you acquire or dispose of substantial assets, you should change your will to reflect your current situation.
You may make changes by adding a codicil to your existing will or by creating an entirely new will.
Can you revoke your own Will?
Yes, you may revoke your own will. You may revoke by: including a provision in a subsequent will which revokes any prior will, or by burning, canceling, tearing or obliterating your will and any copies of it.
What are the requirements to make a valid Will?
To make a will anywhere, the maker must be:
At least 18 years old;
Of sound mind;
Free from duress, coercion; and
Able to completely understand the property they own, its value, and who they wish
to leave it to upon their death.
What are the specific requirements to make a valid Will in Maryland?
To create a valid will in Maryland, the will must be:
Signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses; and
Attested and signed by the two witnesses
* A valid will does not need to be notarized in MD
We are here to assist YOU in this process. We know that NO ONE wants to plan for the inevitable; however, having the proper estate planning protections in place will leave you with less worry, allowing you to spend quality time with your family and friends without the constant “what if” thoughts running through your mind
Act now and prepare for the future of your family.
Protect what you have worked so hard to acquire, leave a legacy for those you hold dear to your heart.