How Much Does A Will Cost In Maryland?


Do-It-Yourself:$10-$60 Medium: $150 High: $600+


Typical costs:
  • For those with modest assets and only a few beneficiaries, it’s possible to create a basic will without an attorney. Nolo Press gives free advice on when a no-frills will is enough, and sells books ($19-$32) or Quicken WillMaker Plus computer software ($50) to help you do it yourself. A number of online services such as provide basic forms for $10-$60, some with minimal assistance or review. However, using a one-size-fits-all form for a large or complicated estate might cause problems if not done correctly.
  • Low-income folks who want legal guidance may be able to get free or low-cost assistance through their local legal aid group, student-run legal clinic or state bar association; the American Bar Association lists legal resources for each state.
  • Creating a will can be included in a prepaid legal plan available through your employer, union, credit union or other organization for $70-$400 a year, usually paid in monthly installments for ongoing legal support.
  • Attorneys’ hourly rates range from $60-$300, but many lawyers charge a flat fee for a basic will, according to the American Bar Association, For example, a Maryland attorney charges $150 for a simple will leaving the entire estate to one or more persons, with no specific bequests, trust provisions or US estate planning language; the minimum fee for a complex will is $250, billed at $185/hour, A Seattle attorney charges $600 for a simple will ; hourly rates are $225 for the attorney and $115/hour for a paralegal.

Related articles: Immigration Attorney, Criminal Attorney, Divorce

What should be included:
  • Nolo Press lists six steps for making a will; the same decision-making process applies whether you create the document yourself or hire help.
  • lists the seven essentials of a valid will and how to be sure your will is legal,
  • The American Bar Association provides a free 12-chapter online guide to wills and estates (available in book form for $17) which includes information on other options, such as living trusts, living wills and powers of attorney.

Shopping for a will:

  • If you use a book, kit or online service, be sure it has up-to-date information for your state, since probate laws vary.
  • Experts advise having a lawyer help draw up a will if you own a business, if your estate is worth more than $1 million or if you expect a challenge to the will from a disgruntled relative or anyone else. Shop around; ask several different attorneys for their fee schedules for wills. Contact your state licensing agency to be sure the attorney is licensed to practice law in your state,
  • The American Bar Association links to legal resources by state, including free or low-cost legal help, regional bar associations, and referrals to local lawyers.
Post Comments (14)

/td> CostHelper News What People Are Paying – Recent Comments

Posted by: Vivi in Lynn, MA. Posted: July 10th, 2020 11:07AM
Attorney or Product: Estate attorney Complexity: Under $1mil, no business, no kids.

Double documents for married couple. Includes Will, POA, HCP, living will. Several specifics regarding how to disperse assets. Option for zoom or in person meetings (zoom please!). I’m happy to pay a professional, have peace of mind, and to now have a relationship over time as things change. We’re only 35 and have several hundred thousand in assets and do not want to stress out family if we pass young.

Posted by: Bennett in Phoenix, AZ. Posted: March 15th, 2016 12:03PM
Attorney or Product: Attorney Complexity:

I met with an attorney today. My purpose was to leave my entire estate to my minor which will require a trust. My entire estate is less than $50K. Additionally, I need a medical POA, Health Care POA, & a living will. He says $1200 is his standard cost, but will do it for $800 given my speical circumstances. Is this a fair price?

Posted by: BigRoy in New York, NY. Posted: March 13th, 2016 05:03PM
Attorney or Product: Will Complexity:


Posted by: Cecelia in Ft. Worth, TX. Posted: June 2nd, 2014 12:06AM
Attorney or Product: Attorney Complexity:

An updated will and Lady Bird Deed. He wants $1500.00 for the will and $1,000 for the deed. I think this is high but people are telling me it’s the going price. Is that true.

Posted by: a user in Bellefonte, RI. Posted: March 7th, 2013 05:03PM
Attorney or Product: Attorney Complexity: 7 beneficiaries

Included 2 meetings with the attorney; Living Will, Power of Attorney, and Will; document preparation to include notary

Posted by: HappyInCLT in charlotte, NC. Posted: May 8th, 2012 06:05PM
Attorney or Product: Attorney Complexity: Very Basic
Firm: local small law office

This included for each of us a will (quite simple – no trusts or the like) and a healthcare power of attorney (standard NC state forms). Seemed a bit high (billed 4 hours of attorneys time – a few phone conversations, and a meeting with attorney), but probably average for this type of service.

Posted by: FrankinIdaho in boise, ID. Posted: March 15th, 2012 08:03PM
Attorney or Product: attorney Complexity: modest
Firm: local law office

My wife and I were each able to get a will done for $25 for both.

Posted by: jojo1980 in Hackensack, NJ. Posted: May 16th, 2011 02:05PM
Attorney or Product: T.Q Complexity:
Firm: Tommy Q

we paid $200.00 and thought that was not, thanks Tommy!

Posted by: Jill in Easton, PA. Posted: June 20th, 2010 12:06PM
Attorney or Product: Attorney Complexity: simple

Already had a Simple Will,(by the same attorney) we added a name to our beneficiaries, that was it. Asked the Lawyer a couple of questions regarding the law in our state. Went back the next week to sign and notarize.

Posted by: Freda in Fairfax, VA. Posted: June 3rd, 2010 01:06PM
Attorney or Product: Couples Will Complexity: Simple

After getting married, my husband and I wanted to create wills. We made an appointment with an estate planning lawyer. For a couple, the cost was $3,000 for wills plus other common planning documents. Yikes! That seems high to me and I’ll keep shopping around.

Posted by: Linda K. Haas in Virginia Beach, VA. Posted: October 20th, 2009 06:10PM
Attorney or Product: Hook Complexity: simple
Firm: Oast & Hook

My father’s estate is valued at approximately $400,000. His home is worth about $300,000 and he has about $100,000 in CDs and cash. His will simply states that all of his assets be divided amongst his 5 surviving children upon his death. My mother is deceased. We feel that he was robbed by his attorney. How could a simple will cost $3500?

Posted by: Leelo in Fort Wayne, IN. Posted: August 28th, 2008 12:08PM
Attorney or Product: Aaron Black Complexity: Modest

A follow up to my previous post. In a meeting later, I explained my situation and how I felt. He must have felt the same, since he did lower the price from $1285.00 to $1085.00 If you have a problem with your will, it does pay to let the lawyer know about it so he can rectify the situation. He provided will, Health Power of Attorney, HIPAA Power of Attorney, Standard Power of Attorney and Living Will Declaration.

Posted by: Leelo in Fort Wayne, IN. Posted: August 12th, 2008 06:08AM
Attorney or Product: Aaron Black Complexity: Modest

In January, I contacted Mr. Black (referred) regarding a will or an estate. I had question at that time regarding a 1031 exchange in an estate plan. He got back with me two (2-3) months later. Said he did not have time to research it until now. Mr. Black wanted me to make a decision based on what we had talked about in January. He made several calls to me, at work, wanting me to make a decision. I had still not made a decision as to who the beneficiaries were to be or whether I was going to have a will or estate. I asked him what he was charging for the will/estate since I could not remember. He told me $650.00 for the will and $1125.00 for an estate. When we scheduled the appointment for me to sign the will, he could not get into his office and had somebody bringing him the key so we could get in. He had also stated he now had a sign put in front of the building so I could find him. There was no sign and after waiting a few minutes, I suggested we sit on the bench. When he read the first sentence, I became extremely upset. (I am making this will under no duress.) I told him I could not continue since I felt he had harassed me to the point of having to make a decision. He insisted we go further and I said I could not and got up to leave. His paperwork had fallen to the side and another bill was enclosed for over $1200.00. He said that included the $598.00 he originally charged plus $650.00 for the will.

Posted by: a user in Shawnee Mission, KS. Posted: August 19th, 2007 08:08AM
Attorney or Product: Will & related documents Complexity:

It is foolish to think that a lawyer can quote a fee for good documents that are tailored to your personal needs and situation without first meeting and talking with you. It is more foolish to think that it is smart or OK to fill out internet forms on your own. Lawyers spend a lot of time and money on education and practice to learn how to do things right and best for you. Be smart! External Resources:


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Do you need a lawyer to make a will in Maryland?

Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Will in Maryland? – No. You can make your own will in Maryland, using Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust, However, you may want to consult a lawyer in some situations. For example, if you think that your will might be contested or if you want to disinherit your spouse, you should talk with an attorney.

Can I write my own will in Maryland?

Facts About Wills

What Is A Will ? A will is a written document directing the disposition of a person’s assets after death. Requirements For A Valid Will

In Maryland, a will must be signed by the person making the will (testator/testatrix) and Attested and signed by two credible witnesses in the presence of the person making the will. (Sample attestation clause: Signed, sealed, published and declared by the abovenamed Testa (tor), (trix), (name), as and for (his/her) Last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, who at (his/her) request, in (his/her) presence, and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.” Why Should You Make A Will ? A will is one of the most important of all legal documents.

  1. It is the legal declaration of a person’s intentions and desires that he directs to be carried out after his death.
  2. By making a will you can specify how you want your property distributed after your death; you can name a personal representative who has the responsibility to collect assets, pay bills and distribute your estate according to the terms of your will; you can make charitable bequests; and you can nominate someone in whom you have confidence to be a guardian of your minor children.

Without a will, the intestate laws of the State of Maryland direct the order of priority for those individuals to serve as personal representative of the estate; what heirs are entitled to receive the assets of the estate; and in some instances the Orphans’ Court shall make the appointment of a guardian for your minor children.

  • Safekeeping Of Your Will Your will may be filed with the Register of Wills for safekeeping for a one-time fee of $5.00.
  • An original will brought to the Register of Wills’ office for safekeeping should be sealed in an envelope, with your name, address and the last four digits of your social security number clearly legible on the cover.

During your lifetime, the will you deposited in the Register of Wills’ office can only be released to you or a person authorized by you in writing to receive the same. You should always make sure that the person you named as Personal Representative is made aware of the location of your will.

  • Can A Will Be Changed ? A will can be changed at any time before death if a person is competent.
  • The changes should not be made by alteration to the existing will but by a document called a “codicil”.
  • The codicil must be executed with the same formalities as a will.
  • When Should A Will Be Changed ? A will should be reviewed whenever a significant change in personal or financial circumstances occurs.

For example, a change in marital status warrants a review of the will. The Validity Of A Will Executed In Another State If you have a will prepared outside of Maryland and then move into Maryland, it is valid if it is executed in accordance with the laws of the state in which it was prepared.

  1. However, if you move to another state, check with the Probate Division of your new jurisdiction to determine if your will is valid.
  2. Laws vary in different states.
  3. Wills Are Only Effective When Administering Probate Assets A will must be admitted to probate when a person dies owning property in his or her name alone or as tenants in common.

Tenancy in common property is subject to the will of each of the owners to the extent of that owner’s interest and does not pass automatically to the survivor. Property owned by husband and wife, either jointly or as tenancy by the entirety, or property held by any other persons as joint tenants “with right of survivorship” is not subject to the provisions of the will of the first joint owner to die.

Such joint property passes automatically to the surviving joint owner or owners. What If There Is No Will ? If there is no will, the intestate laws of the State of Maryland, which are subject to change from time to time, will determine the distribution of probate assets. Distribution is determined by the relationship of the surviving heirs of the decedent.

If a spouse and minor child/children survive, the spouse receives only one-half of the probate assets and the child/children receive the other one-half. If there are no surviving minor children but other surviving children or parents, the spouse receives the first $40,000.00 plus one-half of the balance of the estate; the remainder passes to the decedent’s children, if any, otherwise to his or her parents.

If a spouse but no children or parents survive, the spouse receives the entire probate estate. If children but no spouse survive, the children will receive everything, If no relatives (brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.) survive, the assets will be distributed to the Board of Education in the jurisdiction where the estate was administered.

: Facts About Wills

Do you have to file a will with the court in Maryland?

What if a person dies with a Will and/or Codicil(s) but there are no assets in the decedent’s sole name? – Maryland Law requires that any one holding an original Will and/or Codicil(s) must file that document with the Register of Wills promptly after a decedent’s death even if there are no assets.

Who inherits if there is no will in Maryland?

Death Without a Will | Estate Attorneys | Annapolis MD If you die without a will, you have died “intestate”. In general, the Maryland laws of intestacy provide that a surviving spouse receive one-half of the residuary estate, plus an additional $15,000 if there are no surviving minor children.

The children will receive the other half of the residue, or the decedent’s surviving parents, if there are no children. If the decedent has no children or surviving parents, the entire estate will pass to the surviving spouse. In Maryland, the heirs-at-law are organized by degrees of relationship. If a decedent has no surviving spouse or direct descendants or direct ancestors, the brothers and sisters would be considered the next of kin.

If none, then you move over on the family tree to surviving aunts and uncles, cousins, first cousins once removed, etc. The Maryland intestacy laws extend to the class of a decedent’s great-grandparents’ direct descendants. These relative are generally referred to as “laughing heirs” because, in many situations, they receive the decedent’s estate without having a close personal connection with the decedent.

Intestacy may also be problematic if a decedent dies with a minor child or children. Under Maryland law, if the minor’s parents are both deceased, a guardian named in the parents’ will typically has priority of appointment as guardian of the minor. We highly recommend that you seek legal counsel and, together, draft a will or estate plan, so that guardianships of minors and the distribution of your estate are not left to the Maryland legislature to decide.

At Franke Beckett LLC, we have narrowed our practice to the law of estates and trusts, providing services in estate planning, estate administration and fiduciary litigation. We work as a team to tailor your engagement to suit your specific needs. : Death Without a Will | Estate Attorneys | Annapolis MD

How do I avoid probate in Maryland?

Living Trusts – In Maryland, you can make a living trust to avoid probate for virtually any asset you own—real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, and so on. You need to create a trust document (it’s similar to a will), naming someone to take over as trustee after your death (called a successor trustee).

Is there an inheritance tax in Maryland?

The inheritance tax is imposed on the clear value of property that passes from a decedent to some beneficiaries. The tax is levied on property that passes under a will, the intestate laws of succession, and property that passes under a trust, deed, joint ownership, or otherwise.

  • The tax is collected by the Register of Wills located in the county where the decedent either lived or owned property.
  • For more information, visit the Office of the Register of Wills,
  • The Maryland estate tax is a state tax imposed on the transfer of property in a decedent’s estate.
  • Payment of the Maryland estate tax is due nine (9) months after the decedent’s date of death.

A Maryland estate tax return is required for every estate whose federal gross estate, plus adjusted taxable gifts, plus property for which a Maryland Qualified Terminal Interest Property (QTIP) election was previously made on a Maryland estate tax return filed for the estate of the decedent’s predeceased spouse, equals or exceeds the Maryland estate tax exemption amount for the year of the decedent’s death, and the decedent at the date of death was a Maryland resident or a nonresident but owned real or tangible personal property having a taxable situs in Maryland.

  • The gross estate includes all property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, wherever situated, in which the decedent had an interest.
  • It includes such items as annuities, joint assets with right of survivorship, transfers made without adequate consideration, the includible portion of tenancies by the entirety, certain life insurance proceeds, and general power of appointment property, to name a few.

The value of the property must be based upon an appraisal from a Certified Appraiser. For more information on the gross estate, visit the IRS website regarding the Federal Estate Tax and review 2031 of the Internal Revenue Code. The probate estate is property of the decedent owned individually or as tenants in common.

Non-probate property is property that passes by the terms of the instrument under which it is held or by operation of law. The total gross estate for estate tax purposes includes probate and non-probate property. The Maryland estate tax is based on the maximum credit for state death taxes allowable under 2011 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The credit used to determine the Maryland estate tax cannot exceed 16% of the amount by which the decedent’s taxable estate exceeds the Maryland estate tax exemption amount for the year of the decedent’s death. You may file for a refund of Maryland estate taxes by filing an amended estate tax return, using Form MET-1,

  • an erroneous amount of tax has been paid or collected, OR
  • the Maryland estate tax is decreased as the result of action taken by IRS or the estate, or an inheritance tax payment was made after a Maryland estate tax payment.

The refund claim must include an explanation and documentation to evidence the decrease directed by IRS. You are allowed to file a claim for a Maryland estate tax refund up to three years after the date of the event that caused the refund to become due.

If an additional inheritance tax payment is due to the Register of Wills, and the payment would result in a refund of previously paid Maryland estate tax, the personal representative of the estate may request the Comptroller of Maryland to pay the anticipated estate tax refund directly to the Register of Wills so the refund can be applied against the inheritance tax liability.

To take this action, complete refund application Form MET-2 ADJ, If an inheritance tax refund would result in an increase in the Maryland estate tax imposed on an estate, the claimant may request the Register of Wills to pay the inheritance tax refund directly to the Comptroller of Maryland.

  • 1% tax on the clear value of property passing to a child or other lineal descendant, spouse, parent or grandparent.
  • 10% on property passing to siblings or other individuals.

Tax rates for decedents who died on or after July 1, 1999:

  • 0.9% tax on the clear value of property passing to a child or other lineal descendant, spouse, parent or grandparent.
  • 8% on property passing to siblings.
  • 10% on property passing to other individuals.

Tax rates for decedents who died on or after July 1, 2000:

  • Property passing to a child or other lineal descendant, spouse of a child or other lineal descendant, spouse, parent, grandparent, stepchild or stepparent, siblings or a corporation having only certain of these persons as stockholders is exempt from taxation.
  • 10% on property passing to other individuals.

Effective for decedents who die on or after July 1, 2009, a primary residence that is owned by domestic partners held in joint tenancy at the time of one partner’s death is exempt from the Maryland inheritance tax. For more information about the inheritance tax, contact the Office of the Register of Wills in the appropriate county.

During the 2012 Legislative Session the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Family Farm Preservation Act of 2012, which adds a new subsection to Title 7 of the Tax-General Article allowing for the exclusion of up to $5,000,000 of the value of qualified agricultural property from the value of the gross estate for decedents dying after December 31, 2011.

The new provision also provides that the Maryland estate tax may not exceed 5% of the value of specified agricultural property exceeding $5,000,000. Maryland qualified agricultural exclusion forms may be obtained by calling the Estate Tax Unit at (410) 260-7850.

Legislation enacted during the 2014 legislative session gradually conforms the Maryland estate tax exemption amount to the value of the unified credit under the federal estate tax, thereby increasing the amount that can be excluded for Maryland estate tax purposes. The increase in the amount that can be excluded for Maryland estate tax purposes is phased over five years and is equal to (1) $1.5 million for a decedent dying in calendar year 2015; (2) $2.0 million for a decedent dying in calendar year 2016; (3) $3.0 million for a decedent dying in calendar year 2017; (4) $4.0 million for a decedent dying in calendar year 2018; and (5) $5.0 million for a decedent dying on or after January 1, 2019.

Check the Internal Revenue Service website for information on the federal estate tax exemption. Most recently, the Maryland General Assembly enacted legislation during the 2015 legislative session that changed the option allowing Maryland estate tax returns to be filed with the Register of Wills or with the Comptroller.

Is an online will legal in Maryland?

Can I make a will online in Maryland? – Yes, you can make a will online in Maryland. To do so, use an online will making service. We recommend USLegalWills for quality and customization. Here are the legal requirements for wills in Maryland:

The person making the will (the Testator) must be at least 18 years of age and be of sound mind.The will must be in writing. The state of Maryland does not allow digital-only wills.The will must be signed by the Testator in the physical presence of at least two credible witnesses.The will must be attested and signed by two or more credible witnesses; the witnesses must sign in the physical presence of the Testator.

While it is not required that the witnesses be “disinterested parties” (meaning, they are not beneficiaries in the will), it is best to choose two “disinterested” witnesses to avoid legal complications. For a will to be valid in Maryland, you and your witnesses must include an attestation clause at the end of the will—otherwise the court may deem your will invalid.

“Signed and declared by the above named Testator, as and for their last will and testament, in the presence of us, who at their request, in their presence, and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses” (sourced here ).

When you make a will online, you must follow the same above requirements. Any will, made online or otherwise, must meet these requirements in order to be recognized as valid.

Does a spouse automatically inherit everything in Maryland?

Spouses in Maryland Inheritance Law – If you pass away intestate with a spouse but no living parents or children, your spouse will inherit all intestate property; that is, the property that does not have a named beneficiary. However, if you have living parents or children after you pass, your spouse will get half more of your intestate property, depending on the age of your children.

What triggers probate in Maryland?

Administering the Estate – Once the individual passes away, the estate administration process begins. The type of probate proceedings available in Maryland depends on the facts of the case. Generally, if an individual dies with assets in his or her sole name, probate will be required.

In addition, even if an individual dies with an original last will and testament and no assets in his or her sole name, the original will must be filed with the Register of Wills office. A common misunderstanding is that the nomination of a personal representative in a decedent’s last will and testament alone provides the authority to begin marshaling the estate’s assets.

To be recognized as the personal representative of the estate, the nominated person or persons must petition the Orphan’s Court for the proper authority to serve. If the Orphan’s court grants the petition, the petitioner is sent Letter(s) of Administration from the court which will serve as his or her official authorization to act on behalf of the estate.

How do you write a simple will in Maryland?

Executing a Will – Estates and Trusts Article Title 4, Subtitle 100, governs the proper execution of a will in Maryland. Maryland law requires that the will be in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by two individuals in the testator’s presence.

  • This is called “executing a will.” Read the Law: Md.
  • Code, Estates and Trusts § 4-101 to 4-107 Your will does not have any legal effect until it is properly signed and witnessed.
  • While you should have at least two disinterested witnesses, three disinterested witnesses are preferable.
  • Tell two or more trustworthy people that this is your Last Will and Testament and that you wish them to act as witnesses.

They do not need to know what is in your will. In their physical or electronic presence, you will sign your will, and they will sign confirming that you are the one who signed your will. A will:

  1. must be signed by you as the testator (or by some other person for the testator, in the testator’s physical presence and by the testator’s express direction); AND
  2. attested and signed by two or more credible witnesses in the testator’s physical or electronic presence.

For an electronic will or remotely witnessed will, at the time that the testator and witnesses sign the will,

  1. the testator and witnesses must be in the physical or electronic presence of one another and a supervising attorney (the supervising attorney can be one of the witnesses); AND
  2. the testator must be a resident of Maryland or physically located in Maryland; AND
  3. each witness who is in the electronic presence of the testator when the witness attests and signs the will or provides an electronic signature on the will must be a resident of the United States and be physically located in the United States; AND
  4. the testator and witness must sign the same will or any counterpart; AND
  5. the supervising attorney must create a certified will. The certified will is considered the original will.

NOTE: If a will was executed pursuant to Executive Order, which authorized remote witnessing and electronic signing of certain document, during the time that the Executive Order was in effect, then the will is considered to be in compliance with the statute. Read the Law: Md. Code, Estates and Trusts § 4-102

Are handwritten wills valid in Maryland?

Holographic Wills in Maryland – Holographic wills are wills that have been written entirely in the hand of the testator. Although Maryland does recognize holographic wills, they must comply with Maryland law. Unless holographic wills are written properly, there is a chance the courts may not recognize the document as a valid last will and testament.

Where can I get a will in Maryland?

Where do I go to obtain wills/probate information? Information regarding wills, probate and the registering of wills in Maryland is handled by the Register of Wills office in each jurisdiction. The Register of Wills serves as the Clerk to the Orphans Cour t, which has jurisdiction over judicial probate, administration of estates and conduct of personal representatives.