Is It Mandatory to Have a Will?
It is not required by Minnesota law to have a last will and testament. The completion of this legal document is voluntary and is regulated by Chapter 524 of the Minnesota Uniform Probate Code. The last will allows you to control what will happen to your property after death. Individuals appointed in the last will can’t receive any of your assets while you are still living. However, a will is necessary if you want to leave property to a designated beneficiary or charity, give specific items to certain individuals, or purposefully deny inheritance to a person who would otherwise receive it by the right of inheritance.
A Self-Proving Will
This type of will is completed when you and other witnesses acknowledge in affidavits that the will has been signed and executed voluntarily. Acknowledgment for an affiant is an obligatory step to declare to the notary public that the verified individual has willingly signed an affidavit.
An affidavit is a written statement that swears under oath that what the individual has said or has written is the truth. You can complete the execution of an affidavit in two ways: by signing the affidavit in front of a solicitor, which usually incurs a fee, or completing the process at court, which results in no fee.
Where to Find Last Will Forms Online?
There is no officially accepted last will template in the State of Minnesota, so you can use any template for this type of document available online. Our website offers a free, downloadable, and printable last will form in the PDF format and probate forms approved by a legal professional. You can also use a convenient step-by-step builder to create a highly customized last will and testament document. Find a free Minnesota last will and testament template and other forms here to complete your last will correctly.
What Information Do I Include?
Be ready to include the following information in a will:
- Your full name and place of residence.
- A detailed description of assets given to a specific individual.
- The names of spouses, children (both biological and stepchildren), as well as other beneficiaries, including charities and/or friends.
- A list of alternative beneficiaries in the event a previously designated beneficiary dies before you do.
- Establishment of any trusts, if applicable.
- Cancellation of debts owed to the testator.
- The name of an appointed executor or administrator who will handle the estate.
- The name of a designated legal guardian in the case of minor children.
- An alternative guardian, applicable if the predetermined guardian is unable or unwilling to comply with the will
- Your signature.
- The witnesses’ signatures.
It’s crucial to be specific about which individuals get what inheritance and estate. If the will is inconsistent or unclear about who receives the property, the state of Minnesota will determine how the inheritances are divided.
Requirements to Process and Validate the Last Will
The basic requirements for a person to execute a Minnesota last will and testament are:
- You must be of legal adult age (over 18) with a sound mind to correctly and not regretfully make a will.
- The will must be hand-written or typed. Holographic and oral wills are not recognized as valid.
- It must be signed by you, the testator, or by another individual appointed to sign your will. If neither of the two cases is applicable, it must be signed by a conservator pursuant; this is a person or organization designated by a judge to care for those who cannot manage this affair.
- There must be two individuals who witnessed and signed the will.
- The intention of the document must be to operate as a will only.
What Is Probate?
A will can be written at any time during your life. You, the testator, designate who you want to receive your money (otherwise called beneficiaries), property, and other physical possessions when you pass away. Once you die, the process of probate is initiated.
Probate is the legal process that happens with the purpose of giving Personal Representatives access to a deceased individual´s assets, most often bank accounts, pensions, and property. Probate allows the person to do things such as selling or transferring property, liquidating any or all assets in the estate, paying outstanding debts, and many more.
Regardless of having or not having filed a will, a probate will most likely become necessary if there is no surviving spouse. But there are certain impacts an existing will has on the probate:
- If there’s a will, the individual listed as the executor should apply for the probate. If there´s no will, the beneficiary will apply, also then called the administrator.
- It will determine the type of probate. If a will was filed, apply for a Grant of Probate. If there is no will, getting a Grant of Letters of Administration is the right procedure.
- Lastly, it will impact who the estate is distributed to. If there’s a will, the beneficiaries will receive the estate; if not, it will be distributed to the deceased person’s relatives.