Estate planning is one of the most difficult things a Minnesota resident can do, but taking care of the details covered by such a plan can make a person’s passing easier on those who remain. Wills are important for people of all ages, and can have an effect on how a person’s property is divided after death.
The creation of a will allows the maker to determine how his or her personal property and assets are divided upon death. There is no law that requires a resident to make a will, but most individuals see that they are incredibly beneficial in the long run. In the absence of a will, a decedent’s property will be distributed in accordance with state laws of intestacy. The result may be that property ends up being distributed to beneficiaries that the decedent may not have otherwise chosen.
In order to create a legal will in Minnesota, the maker must be of sound mind and of the age of age 18 or older. The document must be written and signed by the maker or by one who the maker has directed to do so and at least two witnesses. While the document’s contents may vary, the basic information will include the name of the maker and the names of family members and friends to whom specific items or assets are to be given.
While some individuals choose to forge ahead into the process of creating a will on their own, many prefer to obtain legal advice. Communicating about estate planning and will creation needs with an attorney can make the entire process run more smoothly and in a matter that is more likely to stand up in court if a challenge is filed.
Source: The Office of Attorney General Lori Swanson, “Probate and Planning“, October 13, 2014