The inevitability of death does not always motivate people to plan their estate. A will is a guideline for grieving families as they fulfill the last wishes of their loved ones. People may believe they do not have enough assets to justify a will, or they think their family members will make reasonable decisions without their suggestions. The absence of the document complicates matters for Maryland families and makes it worthwhile to complete estate planning.
Will requirements in Maryland
Verbally-given last wishes are sometimes known as nuncupative wills. These often happen during an illness or following an accident, as someone realizes they may not survive. Sometimes, the person offering the oral testimony does so because they believe it has more validity than written documents. Some states in the U.S. consider nuncupative wills valid if the person knew what they were saying. However, the state of Maryland does not recognize the validity of nuncupative wills. Residents must prepare a written will and have it signed by two witnesses.
Recordings of oral wills
The decision to record a nuncupative will does not make estate administration any easier for Maryland residents. Even video or audio tapes of the will to prove the individual’s mental clarity are invalid.
Validating a written will
A recorded nuncupative will, can have value for those with communication challenges due to a subsequent injury or illness to communicate their wishes to a preparer of a written will, however. The preparation can serve as a guide when a family prepares the document at home. Once signed in accordance with state law, the family will have a legal and valid document.
Estate administration when a will exists can happen much faster and with less frustration for loved ones than going through the probate process without guidance. It is a straightforward process to update a will as people enter or leave a family or assets accumulate. Many people wait to prepare the documents until their senior years, but the unpredictability of life makes early planning a better option.