Maryland Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – Maryland

Note:    This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Maryland, but does contain basis and other information.

Who may make a will: Any person may make a will if he is 18 years of age or older, and legally competent to make a will. 93,4-101

Legislative History: An. Code 1957, art. 93, § 4-101; 1974, ch. 11, § 2.

Execution of Will: A will shall be
(1) in writing,
(2) signed by the testator, or by some other person for him, in his presence and by his express direction, and
(3) attested and signed by two or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator. 4-102

Legislative History: An. Code 1957, art. 93, § 4-102; 1974, ch. 11, § 2.

Foreign Wills: A will executed outside this state is properly executed if it is:
(1) In writing;
(2) Signed by the testator; and
(3) Executed in conformity with the provisions of Maryland law, or the law of the domicile of the testator, or the place where the will is executed. 4-104

Legislative History: An. Code 1957, art. 93, § 4-104; 1974, ch. 11, § 2.

Revocation: A will may be revoked by:

(1) Subsequent will. – By provision in a subsequent, validly executed will which

(i) revokes any prior will or part of it either expressly or by necessary implication, or
(ii) expressly republishes an earlier will that had been revoked by an intermediate will but is still in existence;

(2) Destruction. – By burning, cancelling, tearing, or obliterating the same, by the testator himself, or by some other person in his presence and by his express direction and consent;

(3) Subsequent marriage and issue. – By the subsequent marriage of the testator followed by the birth, adoption, or legitimation of a child by him, provided such child or his descendant survives the testator; and all wills executed prior to such marriage shall be revoked; or

(4) Divorce or annulment. – By an absolute divorce of a testator and his spouse or the annulment of the marriage, either of which occurs subsequent to the execution of the testator’s will; and all provisions in the will relating to the spouse, and only those provisions, shall be revoked unless otherwise provided in the will or decree. 4-105

Legislative History: An. Code 1957, art. 93, § 4-105; 1974, ch. 11, § 2; 1986, ch. 396, § 1.

Revival of will: If a testator makes a subsequent will intended to revoke a prior will, the destruction or other revocation of the subsequent will does not revive the prior will unless the will is still in existence and is republished with the same formalities as are required for the execution of a will in this subtitle. 4-106.

Legislative History: An. Code 1957, art. 93, § 4-106; 1974, ch. 11, § 2.

Delivery of Will: After the death of a testator, a person having custody of his will shall deliver the instrument to the register for the county in which administration should be had pursuant to § 5-103 of this article. The custodian may inform an interested person of the contents of the will. A custodian who willfully fails or refuses to deliver a will to the register after being informed of the death of the testator is liable to a person aggrieved for the damages sustained by reason of the failure or refusal. 4-202

Legislative History: An. Code 1957, art. 93, § 4-202; 1974, ch. 11, § 2.

Inside Maryland Last Will and Testament Law