If you’ve gone through the trouble of creating a will, you’ll want to make sure it is stored in a safe location. Here are some options for storing a will in Maryland (and one to avoid). Whatever option you choose, make sure that your personal representative knows where it is and has access to it.
Filing at the Frederick County Register of Wills
In Maryland, you can submit your will to the Register of Wills of Office in your county to be stored for safekeeping. In Frederick County the Register of Wills is located at the courthouse at 100 West Patrick Street, Frederick, MD. The will must be in a sealed envelope with the following information on the outside of the envelope:
Your social security number;
Date of the Will;
Name of the Personal Representative.
There is a $5 fee for this service. Once filed only the testator or someone with explicit written permission signed by the testator may withdraw the will. More information can be found at the Register of Wills website here.
If you feel more comfortable keeping your will in your own home, a good option is to keep it in a fireproof safe. Make sure that your personal representative knows where it is and can open it.
Some lawyers will keep an original copy of the will they draft for their client. If you go this route, make sure you know what will happen to your will if your lawyer retires or moves.
One option to avoid: keeping your will at a safe deposit box at a bank. Generally, banks won’t let anyone else get access to your safe deposit box. If you’ve passed and your family needs your will but it’s in a safe deposit box, it can be a hassle to get it out.
Montefusco Estate Planning, LLC is an estate planning law firm in Frederick, MD. If you are interested in our services, contact us today. This information is written for the context of Maryland estate planning but is not legal advice for anyone. For more information, read our disclaimer.