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Who We Are

The Office of Register of Wills is a public office established under the Constitution of the State of Maryland. The Constitution provides for a Register from each county and the City of Baltimore. Each Register is elected by qualified voters for a four-year term of office at the time of the gubernatorial election. The Register of Wills is responsible for appointing personal representatives to administer decedents’ estates and for overseeing the proper and timely administration of these proceedings. We also perform the following duties: assist and advise the public in the preparation of all required forms; maintain and preserve the permanent record of all proceedings; serve as the Clerk to the Orphans’ Court; track estates and refer delinquent matters to the Court; determine and collect inheritance taxes and probate fees/court costs; audit accounts of personal representatives and guardians; mail various notices and court orders to interested persons; and, verify compliance with court orders. As a service we provide safekeeping for wills of living persons.

What Is Probate ?

The literal interpretation means to prove, as in proving one's will. It can be done administratively in the Register of Wills Office or judicially by the Orphans' Court when necessary. It is the marshalling of assets, the payment of all creditors and the transference of all property in the decedent's name to the beneficiaries either named in the will or who would inherit under the laws of intestacy (dying without a will).

The Importance of Wills and Estate Planning

Black Arrow Pointer  Appointment of trusted fiduciaries (personal representatives, trustees and guardians)
Black Arrow Pointer  Achieve maximum savings of administrative costs and death taxes
Black Arrow Pointer  Dispose of your estate according to your wishes
Black Arrow Pointer  Avoid possible family disputes

About Our Services

The Offices of the Registers Of Wills are committed to giving our constituents the best service possible. Every effort is made to provide accurate information and assistance regarding matters that are important to you. Please be advised, however, that we are prohibited by law from rendering legal advice.

We have published this website in an attempt to carry on our tradition of courteous, professional and efficient service. The information you will find here is intended to assist you by providing some basic information relating to estates and the functions of our offices. Please be sure to check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and our Publications Section for general information, sample guides and informative brochures.

We sincerely hope you find this website helpful and your experience with our offices satisfactory.

information icon  Important Updates

MODIFICATIONS TO FORMS have been approved by the Maryland Court of Appeals, effective January 1, 2016. A list of affected forms can be found HERE. Updated forms are available on this website and at all Register of Wills Offices. Prior version of forms will be accepted until May 1, 2016.

Effective July 1, 2015 the Maryland Estate Tax Return is filed directly with the Comptroller. The form, with new filing instructions, can be found here - MET 1link to external site
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