Maryland Intestacy Laws

Estate Planning Attorney Michelle Lanchester Explains What Happens Without an Estate Plan

Maryland Estate Planning Attorneys Prevent IntestacyMany people under a certain age have no estate plan in place. They may put off an estate plan because they feel they have time, or they may not think about it at all. Our Maryland estate planning lawyer urges anyone with assets to distribute to consider putting together a will or a trust. If you do not do so, your property will be distributed under the laws of intestate succession, where your personal wishes mean nothing.

What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will? Intestacy Laws in Maryland

Intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are the laws that determine where your property goes if you die without a will or other estate planning instrument. Creating a will or a trust gives you the ability to control where you property goes after you pass on. If you do not create an estate plan in the state of Maryland, the courts will divide and distribute your property based on intestacy laws.

If you die intestate in Maryland, your property will be distributed as follows if you are married at the time of death:

  • If you have minor children, your spouse will get ½ of the property and your children will receive the remaining ½, divided equally among them.
  • If you have children but they are not minors, your spouse will receive $15,000, plus ½ of the remaining estate, and the children will receive the rest, divided equally among them (if any of your children are deceased, that deceased child’s share will go to his or her children, if any).
  • If you have no children, your spouse will receive $15,000 plus ½ of the remaining estate, and your surviving parents will receive the rest, divided equally among them.
  • If you have no surviving children and no surviving parents, your spouse will get the entire estate.

If you have no surviving spouse or children, your estate will go to your parents, then siblings, then nieces and nephews depending upon which are still living at the time of your death. If there is none of these, the estate could go to grandparents, great-grandparents and the children and grandchildren of these, including relatives you may not have known you had.

Avoid Intestacy – Contact Maryland Estate Planning Attorneys

If you do not have a testamentary instrument providing for how you want your property distributed upon your death, the state will decide for you. Do not keep this important decision out of your own hands. Contact Maryland estate planning lawyer Michelle Lanchester to discuss your estate planning options. Attorney Lanchester can put her knowledge and experience to work for you and help you leave a legacy of love. Call today.

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