Question: Does Maryland recognize handwritten Wills?

Answer: The question of whether a Maryland court will recognize a handwritten Will comes up from time to time. The technical legal word for a handwritten Will is a ‘holographic” will. A number of states do recognize holographic Wills (Virginia, California and New Jersey to name a few). Maryland, however, is not one of them. Maryland courts will not typically allow a holographic Will to be admitted to probate. If one attempts to admit the handwritten Will to probate, it will generally be rejected and therefore the laws of intestacy will be applied.

Comment: There is an exception in Maryland for military personnel while on deployment. Maryland will allow a holographic Will to be admitted to probate if it is handwritten by a member of the armed forces while on active duty in a foreign country.