Free Confidential Consultation. Call Now! 410-299-4959

Inheritance Rights for Domestic Partners Expanded Under New Maryland Law

One of the significant changes introduced by Maryland Senate Bill 792 relates to the treatment of estate taxes for individuals in domestic partnerships. In the past, if a partner did not possess a will at the time of their death, their property would be subject to Maryland’s intestate laws. This new legislation, however, aims to alleviate this burden by providing certain benefits and exemptions for domestic partners in the event of their loved one’s passing.


Under the new law, registered domestic partners possess inheritance benefits similar to those of spouses. The following rights are now provided for under Bill 792:


– Priority of appointment to serve as the Personal Representative;

– Spousal allowance entitlement, in probate, of $10,000;

– The same inheritance rights as a spouse; and

– Exemption from inheritance tax whether the deceased partner had a will or not.


These benefits extend to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, fostering inclusivity and ensuring equal treatment under the law.


We encourage domestic partners to register their relationship with the Registers of Wills in the county where they reside. The required document is called a “Declaration of Domestic Partnership” and must be notarized.


Given the complexity of estate tax laws and the nuances of domestic partnership recognition, seeking guidance from legal professionals is important. We suggest consulting an experienced estate planning attorney who can provide tailored advice, ensuring that individuals and couples navigate estate laws effectively.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss inheritance law, or to update your current estate plan, contact Maryland estate attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, or by emailing


#MarylandAttorney #MarylandLawyer #MDAttorney #MDLawyer #MarylandEstates #marylandpersonalrepresentative #mdestateplanning #mdattorney #stephenjreichert #reichertlegal #estatelaw #personalrepresentative #MDestateplanning #MDestatelaw #MDestate #MDLivingTrust #MarylandLivingTrust