Does a Will have to be recorded to be legal?

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Does a Will have to be recorded to be legal?

Asked on June 24, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal requirement that a Will be recorded or filed before the maker's (testator's) death.  However, while not required, you can have a copy your Will deposited the Probate Court for safekeeping; you would do this in the county in which you reside.  Typically there is a small fee for this.  Although you should be aware that any changes to your Will would necessitate redepositing the codicil (amendment to a Will  for small changes) or new Will.  Additionally, in the case you move you will need to deposit a copy in the Probate Court of your new county.  

Note:  Obviously, upon your passing, you Will needs to be filed with the probate court.


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