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Do you have to register a Will for it to be legal? And how do you register a Will?

Baltimore, MD |

Do you have to register a Will for it to be legal? And how do you register a Will?

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Attorney answers 4


You do not have to register it for it to be valid. However, it is a good idea to register it, so that if something happens to you, someone can actually find it. You register it with the Register of Wills. In Baltimore City it's located at the Circuit Court on Calvert Street. - This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.


A Will is valid whether it is filed with the Register of Wills or kept someplace else. The advantage to filing it with the Register of Wills is that your heirs will know where to find it and it will not be lost or destroyed.

There is a nominal fee to register the Will. Call the Register of Wills and they can tell you how to file it.

Office: 410-821-2910; e-mail: This answer is being given for general informational purposes only and is not protected by the attorney-client privilege since this is a public forum. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is not established with me until a retainer agreement is signed and/or a retainer or fee is paid. If you wish to schedule a consultation, you may contact me at 410-821-2910 or e-mail me at No communications with me on this forum shall be construed as arising out of an attorney-client relationship. If a client needs specific legal advice or opinions, he or she should retain counsel for advice or to undertake representation.


I agree with my colleagues.

The only addition I would add is that if you live in Baltimore County, you would file the Will with the Register of Wills at the Circuit for Baltimore County in Towson. If you are a resident of Baltimore City, you would file it at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on Calvert Street.


No. It costs maybe $2.00 to register it at the Register of Wills in the circuit court of the county where you reside. All registering a will does is keep it safe and someplace it can be found. When you die, the person you named as your Personal Representative will have to go and retrieve the will in order to file it in an estate proceeding. The Register of Wills does not automatically do this for you. If you fail to tell anyone that you registered it, then they would not know to look for it there. Also, if you relocate to another county or state, you should retrieve the will and refuel it where you live. Same goes if you decide to amend the will, since you would have to retrieve the original and destroy it after making a new one. For this reason, many people choose to keep their original will in their home and tell their PR where it can be found, or they have their lawyer maintain it for them in the firm's bank safety deposit box. This allows for ease of access, but it is up to you. What you do not want to do is keep it in your own bank safety deposit box, because once you have died, no one would be able to get into the box to retrieve the will-- not even your named PR, who would have to file the will first before they could be appointed.

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