Maryland: Every Legal, Medical, and Estate Planning Document You Need

Here's a complete guide to every critical medical, legal, and estate planning document and relevant state law for Maryland. Download these forms and get started with Pillar to organize all of your most important documents in one safe, secure, easy-to-use online storage solution

February 2, 2021

Every state is a little different — especially when it comes to the laws that affect your everyday life. We’ve put together a list of all the most important medical, legal, and financial laws, forms, and documents for the state of Maryland so you can get your medical records, file the right legal documents, and prepare your estate plan for your family and friends.

Here’s every single document you need to know about if you or a loved one live in Maryland.

Essential Maryland Medical State Laws & Forms

How Long Do Doctors in Maryland Have to Keep Medical Records?

According to HIPPA rules and Maryland state law, doctors and health care facilities have to keep medical records for at least 6 years. The Medical Records Act also states that laboratory and X-rays must be kept for at least five years.

Maryland Advance Directive Forms

An Advance Directive Form allows you to state your preferences when it comes to life-giving care, organ donation, and other important medical decisions, like DNR orders. This suite of forms typically consists of a living will, the medical power of attorney, and other forms that authorize a health care proxy to act on your behalf if you're unable to speak for yourself. This is a medium to inform your loved ones and physician of your end-of-life healthcare decisions.

You can download the full Advance Directive form for Maryland from the Attorney General's office here.

How to set up a Living Will in Maryland

A living will is an important component of the Advance Directive Form. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to making a will:

  • Inform your lawyer of your decision or you could even do it yourself.
  • Identify your beneficiaries and pick an executor for your will.
  • You have to decide who gains custody of your kids.
  • Be specific about what everyone gets. Your claims should be within the bounds of what you own.
  • Attaching a letter to the will is a great way to communicate with your family, maybe for the last time.
  • There should be signatories to the will.
  • Review and update the will as much as you want to.

You need to provide the required documents for your will to be processed.

Maryland Medical Status Law

The Medical Status Laws of Maryland gives provisions for a person's family or close friends to assist in making decisions if he/she becomes mentally incapacitated, due to an illness or developmental disability.

Maryland Organ Donation Registry

If you are over 18 years of age, you can become an organ donor in the state of Maryland by registering with the Maryland Organ Donation registry.

Essential Oregon Legal & Estate Planning Laws, Documents, and Forms 

Maryland Trust Laws

The Maryland Trust Act qualifies a current distributee of income or principal to be a beneficiary. Every beneficiary must have been informed by the trustee of the trust's creation within 90 days.

Learn more about 11 of the most common types of trusts

How to Order a Death Certificate in Maryland

According to Maryland state law, only the following people are qualified to apply for death certificates for people who have died after 1969:

  • The deceased's surviving relatives
  • A representative authorized by the deceased's surviving relative
  • A funeral director in charge of final disposition
  • A court of law

You can  obtain copies of the certificates from Maryland Department of Health website. Fees for certified copies of important documents like death, marriage, and birth certificates in Maryland cost between $10-12.

Maryland Digital Estate Planning Laws

This law gives the decedent’s representative or trustee, the right to take control of his/her digital assets and electronic communications. This is a copy of the law: SB239/HB507 Maryland Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

Probate and Tax Laws For Maryland

In Maryland, the probate process is required even if someone dies with a legal will. The probate process in Maryland can last anywhere from 9-18 months, but typically takes around a year. If you want to avoid the lengthy and often costly probate

Maryland Estate Tax and Inheritance Tax Rate

Maryland is one of the few states that does have estate and inheritance taxes. The highest estate tax rate in Maryland is 16%, while the highest inheritance tax rate is 10%. Inheritance tax doesn't apply if the inheritor is the deceased's immediate or extended family.

Learn more about how to pay your taxes if you get an inheritance.

The personal tax rates in Maryland begin at 2% on the first $1000 of taxable income, increasing to a maximum of 5.75% on incomes above $250,000. Get more information at The Office of the Register of Wills (Estates and Trusts, Titles 1-16).

How to Organize Your Most Important Documents

Maryland has a number of unique state laws when it comes to your medical records, inheritance taxes, wills, trusts, and estate planning. It's one of the few places with estate tax, and complicated inheritance laws. Prepare for the future with Pillar and safely scan, store, and share your most important state documents when you need them with Pillar's secure and easy-to-use online storage tool so you and your family can navigate the strict probate process and lax estate tax with confidence.

Start your free 14-day trial today and see if Pillar is right for you.