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Each January, the Maryland General Assembly convenes to begin its legislative session. During the session, the MSBA not only monitors hundreds of bills but also supports legislation that protects the legal profession, preserves the integrity of the judicial system, and ensures access to justice for Marylanders. The MSBA’s practice-based Sections and Laws Committee regularly offers insight and perspective to legislators on the potential impact of bills as well. 

The MSBA’s advocacy takes many forms, including drafting bills and amendments, providing testimony and advice to legislators, mobilizing MSBA members on priority bills, and convening our members and legislators. Throughout the 2023 session, the MSBA provided bi-weekly bill reports to members with relevant bills and held weekly calls with Section legislative liaisons to discuss advocacy strategies and priority issues. The MSBA regularly features advocacy content and updates through our various channels, including our website, e-weekly, Section newsletters, Maryland Bar Journal, and social media.The MSBA was pleased that several of our priority bills passed this year. Several other bills impacting the legal profession passed as well. 

The following MSBA-supported bills, which affect estates and trusts attorneys, go into effect on October 1, 2023.

Estates and Trusts – Registers of Wills – Electronic Filing and Signature (HB255/SB253)

HB255/SB253 updates the current law to allow electronic filing for submission of documents to the Register of Wills, saving money and time for Marylanders.

Estates and Trusts – Trusts – Decanting (Maryland Trust Decanting Act) (HB687/SB446)

HB687/SB446 provides clear authority for when a trust may be decanted. 

The MSBA’s Estates and Trusts Section secured unanimous passage of this Act to provide more certainty and flexibility for trustees to modify the terms of an irrevocable trust to further a settlor’s objectives.  

The ability to make a difference in Annapolis is just one of the many reasons we need all legal professionals to belong to the MSBA to ensure we remain a strong and vibrant association. Thank you for your support. Visit us at msba.org/advocacy and contact us at advocacy@msba.org.