Frequently Asked Questions on Wills and Estates

Do I need a will?
Probably. A will allows you to control who will administer your estate and where your assets will go.  If you decline to make these decisions, the state will be happy to make them for you. If you have minor children, it is very important that you make a will. Maryland law allows you to name the legal guardian for your children in the event of your death. Without a will your loved ones could face the trouble and expense of getting a legal guardianship over your children, not to mention a potential custody dispute.

What happens to my stuff if I don’t have a will?
If you do not have a will, your estate will be considered “intestate” and will have to go through the probate process.  Generally speaking, your estate will be split between your spouse and your children. If you have no children, it will pass to your grandchildren and their lines of descent.  If you have no surviving descendants, it will pass to your siblings and their children.  If you have no surviving close relatives, it will pass to your cousins then their children.  If there is still no one able to take your estate it will go to the school board for the county.