Categories :: Wills/Estates/Probate > Wills
Tip! After a loved one dies, you can file the will right away (a "will of no estate"), and then open the estate afterward.

 

After someone dies, Maryland law does not provide a precise time limit or deadline for filing that person’s will with the Register of Wills.  However, whoever has the will (or finds the will) must file it “promptly” after the person dies.  If the person with the will refuses to file it with the Register of Wills, they can be sued by someone who is harmed by their refusal.

Read the Law:  MD Code, Estates and Trusts, § 4-202

Useful link:  http://registers.maryland.gov/main/publications/AdministrationBooklet2015.pdf

I have the will, but I’m just not ready to open an estate

A grieving family member may feel overwhelmed by time limits and paperwork.  You can start by filing a “Will of No Estate,” to comply with the law, and then take some more time to gather all of the documents and information you need to open the estate, if that becomes necessary.

Criminal penalties for changing, destroying, or hiding a will

The law provides very serious penalties for cheating someone by stealing, destroying or changing a will.  There are also serious penalties when someone who has agreed to care for a will destroys the will or hides it after learning about the death of the person who made the will.

Read the Law: MD Code, Criminal Law 8-701, 8-702

Escape Now Button: 

No
Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2017.”

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader.