The Honorable Byron Macfarlane, Register of Wills, shares important information to make sure we have our Legal Affairs in Order.
Visit the website to learn more about the Office of the Register of Wills.
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.
*A special thank you to the Register of Wills for generously donating to the Goodie Bags distributed by Winter Grace Senior Ministries Summer of 2020 to area Older Adults. *
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