What is Considered an Enforceable Will in Maryland?

Unenforceable wills can lead to legal disputes and challenges, causing stress and financial burdens for relatives of the deceased. These issues can arise because creating an enforceable will is a somewhat complex task. Furthermore, the process for challenging an unenforceable will without legal assistance can be daunting.

There are several criteria that must be met for a will in Maryland to be enforceable. First, the testator must have the mental capacity to make decisions and create the will voluntarily. Second, proper execution, which includes the correct signing and witnessing procedures, is vital. Further, the will should clearly outline beneficiaries and bequests. Guidance from our legal professionals can be invaluable when navigating these complex requirements in your case.

Seek support and guidance from our Maryland wills and estate planning attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (410) 694-7291.

Creating an Enforceable Will in Maryland

Certain requirements must be adhered to in order to create an enforceable will. These requirements are listed under Md. Code, Est. & Trusts Art., § 4-101 and § 4-102. Thankfully, our Maryland wills and estate planning lawyers can ensure you satisfy to the following conditions so that your final wishes are honored:

Testamentary Capacity

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand the concept of testamentary capacity. For a will to be legally valid in Maryland, you, as the testator, must possess the necessary mental capacity. This means you must understand the extent and nature of your property, be aware of your beneficiaries, and fully comprehend the plan you are implementing. Our legal professionals can assist you in determining your capacity to make these decisions.

Voluntary and Free Will

The freedom to express your last wishes without any form of coercion or undue influence is another critical factor. An enforceable will must reflect your intentions freely, without external pressure. In other words, your will should be a genuine expression of your choices and desires. This ensures that your will truly represents your wishes when it comes to the distribution of your assets.

Proper Execution

The proper execution of your will involves specific formalities. You, as the testator, are required to sign your will, and your signature should be witnessed by at least two individuals who are not beneficiaries. This is an essential step because it helps prevent fraudulent wills and confirms your intent. The team at our law firm can guide you through this process, making sure that your will is executed correctly and complies with state laws.

Soundness of Mind at Signing

Soundness of mind is a fundamental requirement at the moment of signing your will. You must be able to understand and approve of the document’s contents. This ensures that you are making informed and rational decisions regarding the distribution of your estate. Your attorney will help you assess your mental capacity at the time of signing to meet this crucial requirement.

Beneficiaries and Bequests

Your will must clearly identify your beneficiaries and outline the distribution of your assets among them. This level of specificity is necessary because it helps avoid confusion and disputes among your loved ones. Properly detailing who gets what in your will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Signatures of Witnesses

The signatures of two or more witnesses who observed you signing the will are critical to its validity. These individuals attest to the fact that you signed the will willingly and in sound mind. Their presence helps confirm the document’s validity and serves as a safeguard against any potential challenges to the will.

How Our Lawyers Can Help When Creating an Enforceable Will in Maryland

There are several reasons why you should hire legal representation when creating or altering your will in Maryland. For instance, the following are all ways that our lawyers can help in your case:

Offering Legal Guidance

The team at our firm understands the intricacies of Maryland’s estate planning laws and can navigate them with precision to ensure your will complies with all legal requirements. Our commitment is to provide the legal foundation necessary to safeguard the enforceability of your will, offering peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Ensuring Voluntary Expression

The creation of a valid and enforceable will hinges on ensuring that it is a product of your voluntary expression, free from any undue influence or coercion. Our legal team can work closely with you to guarantee that your will accurately and authentically reflects your unencumbered intentions.

Ensuring Compliance with Formalities During Execution

The execution of your will involves meticulous attention to detail. Our attorneys can oversee this critical process with precision, ensuring that it adheres to Maryland’s specific formalities. From the proper signing of the document to the selection of appropriate witnesses, we meticulously navigate the applicable requirements to guarantee that your will is executed correctly.

Providing Clarity in Beneficiary Designations

Clarity in defining beneficiaries and their bequests is of paramount importance in estate planning. Our team will assist you in precisely detailing these provisions in your will, leaving no room for ambiguity. Our objective is to prevent potential disputes among your loved ones by providing a clear roadmap for the distribution of your assets. This level of precision enhances the enforceability of your will and ensures that your intentions are honored.

How Our Lawyers Can Help When Challenging an Unenforceable Will in Maryland

When challenging an unenforceable will in Maryland, our lawyers can provide invaluable assistance. We understand the complexities of Maryland’s estate laws and have the experience necessary to guide you through this challenging process.

You might be facing an unenforceable will because of issues with its validity or because of disputes among beneficiaries. In such situations, we will work closely with you to gather the necessary evidence, present a strong case, and navigate the legal proceedings with your best interests in mind. Our goal is to get you a a fair and just resolution in your favor, and we are committed to advocating for your rights throughout the entire process.

Contact Our Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers for Help with Your Will in Maryland

Get assistance from our Ellicott City, MD wills and estate planning attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (410) 694-7291.