The Honorable Byron Macfarlane, Register of Wills, shares important information to make sure we have our Legal Affairs in Order.
Visit Office of the Register of Wills to learn more.
5 Facts to Know about the Register of Wills
- Maryland is one of only three states with elected Registers of Wills, along with Delaware and Pennsylvania.
- Originally, Registers were not elected. They were given lifetime appointments by the Governor. This morphed into 6-year appointments, then 6-year elected terms, and finally into 4-year elected terms.
- The closest election for Register in Howard County was the first election in 1851, in which the winner won by just 1 vote.
- The Register of Wills stores over 23,000 wills as a part of our safekeeping service. The oldest Last Will and Testament was filed on July 4, 1881.
- The Register of Wills is the clerk to the Orphans’ Court, which is a Court that has nothing to do with orphans. Instead, it presides over contested estate matters in the estates of an adult who has passed away.
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