The decision to create a will is an important one. This estate planning tool allows you to leave your assets to the people and causes you care about when you die. Without a will, the government will distribute your estate per Maryland intestacy laws. And this might not sit well with you.
A will is a legal document. This means that it must meet certain conditionalities to pass probate. These are a few challenges that can test the validity of your will. Avoiding missteps related to these issues during the drafting process can help to ensure that your wishes are respected, as written.
For your will to be enforceable, it must be properly executed. In Maryland, you need to be at least 18 at the time of signing your will. Additionally, the document must be witnessed by at least two non-interested individuals.
Not every asset in your name belongs in your will. For instance, if you co-own a home with someone else in a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship arrangement, then such an asset cannot be included in your will. Other assets that you may not include in a will include transfer-on-death assets, proceeds from life insurance and retirement plans and property that is held in a trust.
You must be mentally sound to sign a will. In other words, you must be of sound mind and situationally aware of the implications of signing the will. This is known as testamentary capacity. If you signed your will while under the influence of alcohol or while you were suffering from a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, then your will may potentially be contested successfully.
A will is the foundation of any estate plan. Unfortunately, it can also be the subject of a costly legal tussle upon your demise. Learning more about Maryland wills requirements can help you protect your interests while creating your will.