What are the rules that apply to making a will?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Estate Planning

In Minnesota, there are specific laws that apply to the different kinds of wills. Many people think that their verbal word is enough to make a binding contract, but did you know that is not the case in this state?

Minnesota has specific rules that you must adhere to when making your will. Those rules include that:

  • You have to be at least 18 when you make the will
  • You must have the mental capacity needed to make the will
  • Your will has to be signed by a person at your direction and who is with you at the time, by your conservator (with a court order) and by you.
  • You need to intend that the document should act as a will
  • The will has to be witnessed by two people, and they do need to sign it
  • You have to have a will in writing

The idea of an oral will simply is not a good one in Minnesota, because state law doesn’t allow it to stand on its own. Since the oral will is not recognized, any nuncupative will (an oral will) will be thrown out. Older wills you may have written down could be used instead, which may not be up to date.

How can you avoid issues with your will?

To avoid issues with your will related to the legality of the will itself, it’s important for you to follow the abovementioned rules when you write your will. You may also want to include documentation to show that you were of sound mind when you completed the will.

If you have changes in your life that affect the will, then you should make updates to your will as soon as possible. Making changes on the will directly without witnesses won’t be enough. Instead, head back to your attorney’s office to have the changes made officially with the right witnesses. Handwritten testaments aren’t accepted in Minnesota either, so you will have to have the will typed out for it to be legally binding upon your death.

These rules are different than in some other states, so if you have moved to Minnesota or were not familiar with these rules, it’s smart to look into updating your will soon.