How Many Witnesses Are Required for a Valid Will Execution in Maryland?


A Last Will and Testament is one of the most critical legal documents a person can create during their lifetime. This legal document coordinates your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after your death and the care of any minor children. If you die without a Will, you will have died “intestate.” If you die intestate, state laws will dictate how and to whom your assets will be distributed. That said, while you’re estate planning, ensuring that your Will is enforceable in the state to protect your property and legacy is crucial. Please continue reading to learn what legal requirements a Will must meet to be valid in Maryland and how a proficient Montgomery County Will Drafting Attorney can help preserve your assets. 

What Happens if I Die Intestate?

If you create a will that doesn’t doesn’t meet the legal requirements set forth by the state to be valid, you will die intestate. If you die intestate, your assets will be distributed according to the state’s instate succession guidelines. These guidelines are based on who you are survived by:

  • Surviving spouse and minor children: The spouse will receive one-half of the estate, and the children will share the other half. If the decedent had two minor children, each will receive 25% of the estate.
  • Surviving spouse and adult children: The spouse will receive $40,000 and one-half of the remaining estate. The adult children will split the remaining funds.
  • Surviving children: The children will split the entire estate accordingly. However, this doesn’t include step-children.
  • Surviving spouse and parents: The spouse will receive $40,000 and 50% of the remaining estate. The parents will split the remaining amount unless only one parent survives.
  • Surviving spouse: They will receive the entire estate.
  • Surviving parents: They will receive the entire estate.

What Are the Requirements for Validating a Will in Maryland?

If you have not done so already, you should enlist the help of an experienced will drafting attorney who can help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your Will is valid in the eyes of the state of Maryland. The state requires that a valid will be written and signed by two witnesses before the testator and that the testator also signs it. It may be handwritten or typed; any two adults can be witnesses as long as they are 18 or older and legally competent when signing the document.

If you don’t have an estate plan, you must immediately act before it’s too late. If your current estate plan is invalid, please don’t hesitate to contact the legal team at JD Katz, who can help protect your interests.