Margaret H. Phipps, Register of Wills for Calvert County Resides in Owings, Maryland
Her Campaign Treasurer — Martha W. Grahame
The Office of Register of Wills is a non-policy making position established under the Constitution of Maryland. A Register of Wills oversees the proper and timely administration of all estate proceedings, is responsible for appointing personal representatives to administer decedents’ estates, admits wills to probate, audits accounts of personal representatives, determines and collects Maryland inheritance tax and fees/court costs, and serves as Clerk to the Orphans’ Court. The Register and staff assist and advise the public in the preparation of all required administrative forms.
The Register of Wills must maintain a constant working knowledge of probate law while staying abreast of current changes in the law that affect the office, and must have a diversified background in accounting, public relations and office management. A Register must know the laws of Maryland to assist and guide individuals in the right direction, but also, this is a time when compassion and understanding are imperative. A Register cannot practice law nor give legal advice, and they cannot set policy.
I have the experience, legal knowledge, technical expertise and leadership ability to continue serving the citizens of Calvert County. I must know the law to assist and guide families through the process after the death of a loved one, truly one of the most traumatic times in their lives. Over 73% of the estates in Calvert County are handled pro se (without an attorney), so families rely heavily on the Register for guidance.
As a Past President of the Maryland Registers of Wills Association, and under my leadership as Chair of the State Registers’ Automaton Committee, the Registers of Wills throughout the State of Maryland have an advanced computer system that has received national recognition. I am constantly aware and stay abreast of any law or rule changes to keep our program and forms current statewide. Our records are electronic, and anyone can go on the Registers’ website — www.registers.maryland.gov — to search for information and order copies. This program has proven to be of tremendous value for persons seeking information on estates, as well as genealogists. We are also in the process of improving the program with more web-based enhancements.
My role as a member of the Probate/Judiciary Subcommittee and the Guardianship Workgroup, both under the State Rules Committee, and as a member of the Estates and Trusts Section of the Maryland Bar’s committee with certain Registers, Orphans’ Court Judges, Attorney General’s office and the Comptroller’s office allows me to be on the cutting edge of Maryland law and Rules.
“I am afforded the opportunity, as Register, to serve the citizens of Calvert Court during the traumatic time following the death of a loved one. My concern and efforts are directed toward making matters just a little easier for all persons, while abiding by the terms of Maryland law. I have always maintained an open-door policy where anyone can come in and talk with me, at any time, assured that it will remain confidential. Over the years, on a continuing basis, I have conducted workshops and seminars for the Office on Aging at the Senior Centers, Calvert Hospice, Asbury-Solomons, Calvert Library and many church and civic organizations, and continue to be an advocate for keeping people informed, encouraging them to do estate planning, have wills prepared and take a good look at their affairs. My door is always open to answer your questions and assist you.”
I have always had a strong interest in our community and continue to be involved in many ways. I have served on the United Way Board, Jefferson Patterson Park Board, Historical Society Board, Farm Bureau Women’s Committee; worked with others for the establishment of Calvert Hospice and Adult Day Care of Calvert County; and am a past President of Friends of Calvert Hospice. I am a member of the Commission on Aging for Calvert County. I am active in my church where I have served as Chair of Council, Chair of Trustees, Building Fund Treasurer, Chair of Finance and am serving on the Finance Committee.
“Although the Register cannot practice law nor give legal advice, my staff and I guide you gently through the process. I have the legal knowledge, technical expertise and experience required to assist persons after the death of a loved one. I love serving the people of Calvert County as your Register of Wills and pledge that I will continue to provide compassionate, professional and courteous service, with confidentiality, to ALL”
Just as a side Note; Except for the one week that the Courthouse was closed in March 2020, when the pandemic began and no one knew what to do, my office has been open every day and I have been in attendance. Granted, we had to do things a little differently to make it work, but we were there to serve the citizens of Calvert County.