Will Contests and Claims

In Maryland, as in all states, there are specific requirements for the execution of a Will.  These are important formalities that need to be followed.  In addition, the person making and signing the Will (the “Testator” or “Testatrix”) must have “testamentary capacity” at the time of the signing of the Will and must not be acting under undue influence or duress.  If you believe that you have grounds for contesting a Will, you should seek professional legal advice regarding your right or opportunity to file a “caveat” to a Will.  The time period for filing a caveat in Maryland is limited. Additionally, there are so many Wills that are probated that have ambiguous or conflicting language. This needs to be clarified, as the interests of the Personal Representative and the beneficiaries are often conflicting.

In Maryland, there are also specific requirements and time limitations for the filing of a claim against a decedent’s estate and for a surviving spouse to assert a statutory right of election. If you are a creditor of a Maryland decedent or have a claim for monies that are due and owing from a Maryland decedent, you must file your claim in a specified period of time and manner. Different time limitations apply to a statutory right of election by a surviving spouse. Please note that there are many nuances involved in computing the statutory elective share.

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