What happens if my mom had a will drawn up but never got it signed and witnessed?

UPDATED: Feb 20, 2012

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What happens if my mom had a will drawn up but never got it signed and witnessed?

She wanted the kids to keep the house. I’m sure there will be some medical bills, except she had Medicare. How does all this process begin and where does it begin? Also, does her Will count for anything or does the state just start selling off her stuff?

Asked on February 20, 2012 under Estate Planning, Maryland


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If the Will was not signed and witnessed then it is not technically valid. You can agree, though, to follow the terms.  However, if your Mother died intestate then the intestacy statute of your state will apply to her estate and most likely it will end with the same result: the equal distribution between the kids. Pne of you has to go to be appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate by filing a petition in Probate Court.  The state will not step in if you do.  Good luck.

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