Thinking about one’s own demise is never a pleasant topic, but often a necessary one. As you plan for your loved ones and your estate, creating a will is one of the most important things that you can do. At the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado, our experienced wills and estate planning lawyer is here to assist you. Reach out to our law firm today to learn more about creating a will in Maryland.
What Is a Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed upon their death. A will is also used to name an executor of an estate, who will be responsible for distributing assets per the wishes of the decedent. Wills are often referred to as “last wills and testaments,” and have certain requirements that must be satisfied in order to be valid.
What Can Be Contained in a Will?
Wills are most often used to leave property or assets to certain people or parties. However, they can also be used to:
- Explain how you want your debts to be distributed;
- Direct who should care for a pet;
- Name a guardian for any minor children; or
- Pass a business on to another person.
A will cannot be used to do anything illegal, or to give away property that is held in joint tenancy.
What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
One of the most important reasons to have a will is that if you die without a will, your property will not be distributed per your wishes; instead, it will be subject to intestacy laws. State intestacy laws hold that if you die without a spouse, your children will inherit everything; if you die without children, your spouse will inherit everything; and that if you die with both a spouse and children, your spouse will inherit the first $15,000 worth of your inheritance, plus half of the remaining balance, and your children will inherit everything else. For other circumstances that may apply, such as having living parents but no spouse, consult with an attorney.
Creating a Will in Maryland
In order for a will to be valid in Maryland, it must be signed by the testator, as well as signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the will. You must be at least 18 years of age in order to make a valid will, and must be of “sound mind” at the time that you make the will, which means that you have the mental capacity to make a valid will.
Call Our Wills and Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Creating a will is one of the most important things that you’ll ever do and making a will sooner rather than later is advised; you can always amend your will if circumstances in your life change. To learn more about making a will in Maryland, call our wills and estate planning lawyer at the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado directly at (301) 340-1911.