Ramblings of a Baltimore area Realtor: Living Common Law in Maryland

Living Common Law in Maryland

Living Common Law in Maryland 

First off let me say I am not an attorney and anything I say here is based on my own personal experience and should be verified by consulting with an attorney.   

For the last 11 years I lived with a man who I considered to be my better half, or perhaps I was his better half, but in any event we were not legally married.  Skip was the love of my life.  He passed away, recently, without a will and without life insurance so, the woman who was his wife prior to me inherits all the death benefits and survivor benefits and so on.  But, she also inherits his debts too, so it's not all bad for me.     

Maryland is not a common law state so it does not recognize any relationship entered into but not consummated legally in writing by the state.  Common law marriage is defined as a relationship in which a couple lives together but has not participated in a lawful ceremony.  This is not recognized in the state of Maryland unless the relationship was previously formed in another state that recognizes common law relationships provided that the legal stipulations of that state  have been met.  

If you buy a home together be sure your name appears on title in the correct form of ownership, probably Joint Tenancy with a Right of Survivorship.  If your name does not appear on the title and your spouse passes away the house will not automatically pass to you, it may pass to the estate and be held in probate until the estate is settled.  Also, be sure that you both have a will and your final wishes are explicit so there can be no misunderstandings from other members of the family.   

Above all else, consult an attorney.   


If you are thinking of buying or selling an home in  Maryland give us a call at 410-292-0100 or start your search here and we'll talk about the market conditions and what your home could possibly be worth in today's market place if you are thinking of selling. If you are considering buying a home, there is no better time than now to buy. The tax savings and wealth building alone is worth the plunge into todays market.  Remax New Beginnings and I are connected with some of the brightest and best real estate agents in the world and can assist with your move here in Maryland or anywhere in the United States or abroad.  Ask me how.

June Piper-Brandon ~ Associate Broker ~ CDPE, CIAS, ePro, MRP

The Traczyk Team

Remax New Beginnings

City Living Expert







June Piper Brandon - Agent with Century 21 New Millennium

June Piper Brandon - Agent with Century 21 New Millennium

Comment balloon 2 commentsJune Piper-Brandon • November 04 2016 04:57PM


This is very important even in the common law states.  It just makes it very clear.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 2 years ago

Hi June, that is very important information, thanks so much for sharing it!

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 2 years ago

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