Making a will is a crucial choice, especially if you do not want to cause discord in the family where, after your passing, your loved ones will quarrel over the inheritance. The Maryland last will and testament will come in handy to those residents of this state who are prepared to create their last will and testament. Even though it is not an obligatory legal procedure to write a last will, it will protect your relatives, children, and even pets upon your death from the invocation of the intestacy law. Such a law allows the state you lived in to decide how to distribute your earthly possessions. Doesn’t sound fair, right? Then preparing a written will is your primary duty.
However, let’s first clarify what a last will and testament is and how it should be drawn up to become a valid juridical document.
This legal term refers to a document containing the posthumous will of an individual where they distribute the property belonging to them among their heirs and beneficiaries. A last will and testament also indicates all necessary directives to be followed after the person’s passing.
Nonetheless, the functions of this legal paper don’t end there. Firstly, it is essential to assign the executor – a reliable individual who will ensure that your last wishes and instructions are fulfilled. Besides that, with the use of the free will template, the testator – the person in whose name the will is made – can appoint a legal guardian to their underage children to take care of them upon the testator’s demise.
It is vital to consider compliance with the responsibilities to be bestowed upon the executor and guardian before mentioning them in the will.
A Last Will and a Living Will: Differences
As opposed to the last will, which comes into force after the person’s demise, a living will comes into force if an individual cannot make tough calls in a particular situation or is in a state close to death. The instructions indicated in a living will are often given by a person that is geographically unavailable.
Aspects That Make the Last Will Valid
What makes the last will valid? If you want your Maryland last will and testament to take effect, it should meet the requirements specified in the Maryland Probate Code, Estates and Trusts, Section 4-101, et.seq.
- The estate-leaver must be in their right mind and of legal age or older when writing a will. The testator must also make their last will not under duress, but voluntarily.
- This legal document is acceptable only in a written form while verbal will are considered invalid. It implies that the state of Maryland admits only written wills including entirely handwritten or holographic ones. A holographic will must show that the testator’s handwriting matches the textual content of the will, signature, and date.
- Traditionally, two witnesses have to put their signatures on the will to confirm it. Nevertheless, during the preparation of a holographic will, witnesses are not required to be present as they should sign the document after the estate-leaver does so.
- The testator can revoke their last will by executing a new one or change the existing will with the help of a codicil.
Using a Will to Create a Trust
On our site, you can find a printable Maryland last will and testament form (PDF format) to make the process of a will composition simple and hassle-free. Download our fillable template online and write a will focusing on your demands. You may also use such a legal instrument to set up several trusts.
A trust established along with the last will is called a testamentary trust. Such a trust provides for the distribution of all or a part of the decedent’s belongings and income from life insurance to the listed individuals. With the use of one will, it is possible to found a few trusts. In most cases, a trust by will is intended for minor children, loved ones with special needs, and any other people who inherit significant amounts of money after the testator’s passing.
When setting up a trust, you represent the founder. You need to assign a trustee to manage money invested in the trust for a certain period while the beneficiaries will use them. In addition to the trust for your underage children, you may establish a trust for your pets.
What If I Die Without a Will?
If you don’t create a last will and testament in Maryland before your passing, the state will invoke intestacy laws. They are used to control property division whenever a Maryland resident dies without a properly drawn up will.
According to these laws, your surviving spouse represents your main successor, but only if you don’t have offspring under 18. In that case, your heritage will be split between them.
When a person doesn’t leave behind any descendants or a marital partner, their closest blood relatives can count on their assets. Your parents may receive a part of your property if you are survived by a significant other only and no children.
Creating a will is of utmost importance if you want to protect those dear to your heart. Use our Maryland will template to complete the last will correctly.