Did the decedent live in Maryland?
The Last Will and Testament, including any existing Codicil (s) (supplements), must be filed at the Register of Wills in the same county where the decedent domiciled (lived in/had a permanent home). It is important to check for supplements before filing. If the decedent lived in Maryland, all of the forms below are applicable and must be submitted.
What if the decedent did not live in Maryland?
If the decedent did not treat Maryland as their permanent home, the county in which the personal representative believes holds the largest amount of value is satisfactory, or the location of tangible personal property is satisfactory for location.
What if I am not sure where I am supposed to file?
In the event of confusion or ambiguity as to domicile or residence of the decedent, the Orphans’ court has jurisdiction to reconcile this issue.
Physically filing at the Register of Wills
The following forms need to be submitted to initiate the opening of the estate:
Petition for Administration (Form 1112): Requires the person applying to give reason why they should be appointed. Additionally, the person must state if the decedent had a will.
Schedule A (Form 1136): Lists an estimate of financial and tangible assets and debts of the estate.
Notice of Appointment (Form 1114) (must be filed with Petition): The Register of Wills publishes this notice once a week for three weeks in a newspaper chosen by the personal representative. This notice is important because it gives persons interested a right to file objections to the appointment and probate of the will. Additionally, this notice states the requirements for creditors to file a claim on outstanding debt.
Nominal Bond Form (Form 1116) or Bond of Personal Representative (Form 1115) (must be filed with the petition): An estate bond is a monetary amount rendered in order to ensure that estate proceedings are processed both legally as well as honestly.
The Nominal Bond (1116): Only protects the state and creditors (typically for taxes and fees), and may be used if the will expressly excuses bond, or by written waiver of all interested parties.
Waiver of Bond (Form 1117): Must be filed by all interested persons if the will does not excuse bond requirements. Written waiver of bond allows a Nominal Bond to be used in place of a Bond of Personal Representative. Additionally, a Waiver of Notice (Form 1101) must be filed in order to avoid notice requirements to the interested party.
Bond of Personal Representative (1115): The Bond of Personal Representative protects all interested parties, including heirs, legatees, the state, and creditors. Additionally, this bond is required if bond is not waived in the will or by the interested persons via waiver. (If a national bank or trust company is serving as the personal representative, they are excused from giving any bond.)
List of Interested Persons (Form 1104) (May be filed with 1112 or within 20 days after submission). Must include the following for each person named to inherit in the will and heirs at law (even if they are not named in the will). The list should include the name, address, relationship to the decedent, and interest of each person of the following:
- Each personal representative.
- Each legatee (person receiving legacy) in the will, including residuary legatees (person receiving anything left over).
- Each heir-at-law (even if decedent died with a will, and the heir is not entitled to share in the estate).
- A legatee or heir need not be listed, if their interest was dependent upon a contingency, and that event did not take place prior to decedents death, but;
- A legatee whose interest depends upon a future contingency must be listed.
- A person under a disability should be listed under one person having assumed responsibility for them, including: parent, guardian, trustee or conservator. Some circumstances require additional forms.
Appointment of Resident Agent (Form 1106): Required only of the person petitioning is not a Maryland resident.
Consent to Appointment of Personal Representative (Form 1118): Required by all persons with greater priority if the proper person is not petitioning.