Filing with the Maryland Register of Wills can be confusing. This article discusses the Maryland register of wills forms and everything you need to know before filing. If the decedent did not have a will, read our article on intestate succession (dying without a will).
And if you’re new to the MD court system, be sure to read our article on the difference between the Orphans Court vs the Register of Wills.
And, check out the YouTube video below to learn about the Maryland Register of Wills forms, from estate planning attorney, Frank Gray.
What Forms Should You Bring to the Maryland Register of Wills?
It is important to quickly begin the probate process with the Maryland Register of Wills. To ensure your process moves efficiently, there are several items you should bring to the Office of the Register of Wills the first time you go.
Documents to Bring to the Maryland Register of Wills #1: The Original Will
The number one item to bring to your meeting is the original will with the original signature. The Maryland Register of Wills will only take the original, not just a copy.
Documents to Bring to the Maryland Register of Wills #2: The Death Certificate
You should also bring 7 copies of the death certificate. Though 7 copies may seem like a lot, there are multiple times where you will be giving these copies out.
Tip: Do your best to retain your original copies throughout the process by having the office make copies.
Documents to Bring to the Maryland Register of Wills #3: Car Titles and Funeral Contracts
When at the Office of the Register of Wills, you should also have car titles and copies of the funeral bills and expenses.
Documents to Bring to the Maryland Register of Wills #4: Names and Addresses of Interested Persons
Interested persons are the people who may be getting something out of the will as well as people the decedent may owe debts to. You should know and have the addresses of all interested persons.
When Should You File? Which Forms Should You File?
You need to begin probate as soon as you feel you are ready.
Remember, these things have to be open for at least six months to give creditors notice, so the sooner you start the process, the sooner it can be finished.
The other really important thing about moving quickly is that you’ll be able to get the letters of administration.
The letters of administration are the court orders that appoint you as the personal representative. The sooner this happens, the sooner an estate accounts can be created to access the decedent’s bank accounts, which will allow you to maintain the assets of the estate by paying the mortgage, paying the electric bill, etc.
Maintaining the assets could mean a lot of different things, such as making payments on insurance or paying the mortgage.
Which Forms to File at the Register of Wills
The last thing to know when dealing with the register wills is knowing what forms you need to fill out. To determine what paperwork to file, there needs to be a rough estimate of the estate assets. This estimate places the estate into one of two categories in Maryland:
A small estate is less than fifty thousand dollars or up to a hundred thousand dollars if the spouse is the sole heir.
A regular estate covers everything else.
MD Register of Wills vs Orphans Court: Which is Which?
Have Further Questions on Filing with the Maryland Register of Wills or Planning Your Estate?
At Chesapeake Wills & Trusts, we’re here to help you protect your family, assets and life savings.
As Maryland estate planning attorneys, we are passionate about educating our clients so they can make the right decisions to secure a safe, happy, financially stable future.
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And, be sure to download a free copy of An Introduction to Settling an Estate Through Probate written by Maryland estate planning attorneys Frank Gray & Greg Jimeno.