Rockville Wills Lawyer
Creating a will is the first step in ensuring the legacy you created is passed on in the intended way. Working with a qualified Rockville wills attorney allows you to explore the various components of a comprehensive end-of-life plan. A knowledgeable trusts and estates attorney could help ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes.
Creating a Will
A will is a legal declaration specifying a person’s intent regarding the disposition of property when they pass away. To be valid, one must draft their will with the appropriate mental capacity and intent to give away their assets upon death. The will must be officially witnessed by two unbiased parties who understand the nature of the property being given. The witnesses must also be present for the signing of the will.
A will can be called into question after it is drafted and signed. A wills attorney in the Rockville area could help protect against future contestation and vouch for the validity of a will. Potential issues or claims that a wills attorney may contest include:
- Undue influence
- Fraud in the execution or inducement
- Mistake in the execution or inducement
- Sham will
- Conditional will
- Failure to follow formalities
Failing to draft a proper will could jeopardize the correct transfer of one’s assets to their beneficiaries. Maryland law addresses the following situations.
Holographic wills are solely handwritten. Maryland recognizes holographic wills, but they must conform with probate law. If the court does not accept a holographic will as valid, the Maryland courts will govern the distribution of the estate’s assets. A local lawyer could assist with drafting wills that comply with Rockville probate law.
The state of Maryland does not acknowledge spoken intent to pass on assets as a will. A will must be written, signed, and witnessed to ensure that it is honored.
A self-proving affidavit is a signed document completed before a notary public in place of in-court testimony of two witnesses. This affidavit proves the validity of a will. Maryland acknowledges this process so long as the will contains a specific attestation clause and meets the proper formalities. With the guidance of a nearby wills attorney, a self-proving affidavit can save considerable time and expenses in probate court.
Using technology to draft your will is not considered valid in Maryland because a handwritten signature is required.
Modifying Your Will
As life evolves, so do plans for one’s future and estate. It is not uncommon to revise or revoke previous wills as circumstances change. For example, an increase in assets may accompany a desire to give back to the community in the future by adding a charity to one’s will. A practiced lawyer can help draft a valid document addressing any changes to beneficiaries, financial situation, marital status, and general lifestyle decisions.
Distribution of Assets
In the absence of a will, property will pass on to the relatives of the deceased. However, before assets of one’s estate may be distributed, administration and funeral expenses, inheritance taxes, and other debts of the decedent must be reconciled. As such, the administration of an estate could last up to a year. A hardworking wills lawyer could assist in dealing with the Office of Register of Wills and help the process proceed smoothly and efficiently.
Speak with a Trusted Rockville Wills Attorney
The process of establishing or honoring wills can be complex, but it is an essential part of a well-planned future. If you seek a hands-on, well-informed, and proactive Rockville wills lawyer, call today to schedule a consultation.