A valid will is a document that has been signed by the testator and two witnesses who can attest that the testator had signed this last will and testament of their own free will and had the required capacity to sign it. The will is not required to be notarized in the State of Maryland, however, many practitioners include a self-proving affidavit with a notary in the even the testator moves to a jurisdiction that requires it.

If you have any questions about the Montgomery County decision to probate and how an attorney could help you throughout the process, call today. A seasoned probate lawyer could assist you with the process to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation that you need.

Creating a Will in Montgomery County

When a will is created, there are no requirements for witnesses to be present. The will is typically created by an attorney. When the will is actually signed by the testator, the witnesses do have to be present during the entire time that the testator is signing the pages of the document. The witnesses and the testator should all be in each other’s presence when they each sign the document.

Tangible Personal Property

Tangible personal property is all of a person’s belongings that are actually tangible, such as furniture, household furnishings, clothing, jewelry, artwork, and cars. These are items that an individual can touch and grasp. Tangible personal property is different than real estate, bank accounts, or investment accounts. For more information about tangible personal property and how it applies to a Montgomery County decision to probate, consult with a skilled attorney.

Memorandums Influence on Wills

Sometimes people draft memorandums that specifically list items (tangible personal property) that they want to leave to certain individuals and this can be a separate document from a person’s will. It may not be recognized as valid but if the beneficiaries are all getting along after the testator dies, they can take a look at the person’s memorandum and take that person’s wishes into account. For example, if a person leaves all of their tangible personal property to their three children and then also leave a memorandum detailing what specific items they want each child to have, that may be a situation where everyone wants to honor that person’s wishes and follow the specific terms laid out in the memorandum.

International Wills

An “international will” is essentially a will that has been signed and drafted outside of the United States. Certain requirements have to be met in order to have a Maryland Court determine the will to be valid. This means that the testator would have to sign the will, there must be witnesses to the will, and there must be an English translation to the will so that it can be determined what the will actually says. Then the will has to be certified by a foreign official to be that person’s will in that foreign jurisdiction. If you have any questions concerning the Montgomery County decision to probate, call a well-established trust and estates lawyer.