Why is a Will Important?

estate planning

Creating an extensive estate plan is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves. Doing so can help protect their belongings after they pass away. A crucial part of creating an estate plan is making a will. A will is a legal document that allows an individual to decide how they would prefer those belongings to be handled when they are gone. A skilled attorney can assist you in creating a plan that works best for you.

Why create a will?

Creating a will allows an individual to solve a problem before it could have the chance to begin. This prevents concern or worriment about what would happen to your assets if they are unmanaged. Not only does the completion of a will bring peace of mind, but it ensures that your belongings will be in the right hands when you pass away.

Dying Intestate

If a will is not created, an individual dies intestate. This means that their assets may be controlled by the state. Depending on who is survived by the individual, their estate may be distributed according to the state’s schedule of intestate succession. The schedule is:

  • If the individual is survived by a spouse and young children, the spouse receives half of the estate and the children share the other half.
  • If the individual is survived by a spouse and adult children, the spouse inherits $40,000 and half of the estate while the children split the rest.
  • If the individual is only survived by children, they will split the estate.
  • If survived by a spouse and parents, the spouse receives $40,000 and half of the estate. The deceased’s parents split the remaining.
  • If survived by only a spouse, they will receive the whole estate.
  • If only the deceased’s parents survive, they receive the whole estate.

Siblings, grandparents, and step-children are also considered in the state’s schedule. In the event that an individual passes and had no surviving beneficiaries, the net estate is given to the Maryland Board of Education.


There are certain rules to be followed in order for a will to be deemed valid in the state of Maryland. The state requires that after the will is written, it is signed by two eyewitnesses in front of a testator. The testator must also sign the will. In order to be a testator, one must be over the age of 18 and legally able to sign the will at the time it is documented.


If you or a family member is looking to create a will for your estate and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Offices of JD Katz today.

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.