If you’ve accumulated assets, like a bank account and home, while living in Maryland, it’s essential to have a will. Using this legal document to protect the best interests of any children you have is also vital. It specifies your last wishes on who should be a guardian for your kids and how your assets should be distributed when you die. Without a will, the state will decide how these important elements are handled,
The state decides who gets your assets if you don’t have a will
When you’ve accumulated assets, such as a home, automobile, stocks, CDs, bonds and other valuables, you should create a will stating who receives this property when you pass away. Otherwise, the decision for disbursement will be handled by the state. In this situation, your immediate family will likely receive them first. If you don’t have a spouse or children, siblings will probably be considered next.
Establishes legal guardianship of your minor children
It’s also beneficial to have a will if you have young children. In it, you can establish who will be their guardian if you and your spouse die prematurely. Without a will, the state will make this decision, which may not be what you would choose. Creating a legal will, signed by you and two or more witnesses can eliminate this action.
Going through the probate process and when it ends
After you die and have a will, it will need to be authenticated via probate, which is a court-supervised procedure. Your assets will be located, assessed for value and distributed during this process. When there is a will involved in the probate process, your estate can be closed after the time for challenging it has expired, which is six months from the appointment of the personal representative.
Having a will is necessary if you want to safeguard your assets from being distributed by the state when you die. It’s also essential if you have children and want to designate a guardian to watch over them if you pass away.