Registered Domestic Partnerships in Maryland
A new law effective October 1, 2023, qualifying domestic partnerships may register as domestic partners guaranteeing certain protections and benefits during estate administration in Maryland. To qualify to become registered domestic partners, the partners must affirm they are:
1. At least 18 years of age, 2. The sole domestic partner of the other partner, 3. Not married, and 4. In a committed relationship with the other partner.
The two partners must prepare a "Declaration of Domestic Partnership" to be filed with the Register of Wills in the jurisdiction in which they reside. After providing identification and after review, the Register's office will issue each partner a "Ce
rtification of Domestic Partnership," which shall bear the seal and signature of the Register or authorized staff member.
If one of the partners dies without a Last Will and Testament, meaning they died "intestate," the surviving domestic partner will be treated the same as a surviving spouse as follows:
The surviving registered domestic partner will have the same priority to serve as Personal Representative of the estate,
The surviving registered domestic partner will be entitled to the $10,000 spousal allowance, and
The surviving registered domestic partner will have the same inheritance rights.
If one of the partners dies with or without a Last Will and Testament, the surviving domestic partner is exempt from Maryland inheritance tax.