Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

does a will in maryland over ride marrige if ones spouse dies

Asked on 11/22/10, 11:06 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Phillip M. Cook Cook Legal Services, LLC

You need to be more specific to receive a good answer to your question. What are you getting at? Different types of property are treated differently when someone dies. For instance, life insurance benefits and certain real estate may not be covered by a will. If there is no will, or the will is not legally enforceable/valid, then certain state statutes kick in to determine how the contents of the estate are distributed. Of course, if you hire a good probate lawyer, you will save yourself a lot of time, uncertainty, and angst.

Best of luck.*****The above is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client privilege.*******

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Answered on 11/28/10, 5:47 am
Charles Stewart Law Office of Charles R. Stewart, LLC

If your question is "can my spouse cut me out of his/her Will, the answer is yes, but you can take what's called an statutory share. When your spouse dies, you are entitled by law to a minimum amount of your spouse's estate, regardless of what is in the Will. This amount is your statutory share and is one-third share of the net estate if there are living children or one-half of the net estate if not. Unfortunately, Maryland calculates this based on probate assets. Non-probate assets such as trusts, joint ownership, life insurance, and retirement benefits are not addressed by Maryland's statute, and might not count (this is where a good estate lawyer is essential).

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Answered on 11/29/10, 1:00 pm

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