The risks you take when you print a will at home

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Estate Planning

The internet has made it easier than ever before to access information and educate yourself on a wide variety of topics. For example, you can access the Minnesota legal code online, as well as all sorts of pre-made legal documents.

If you have started thinking about creating an estate plan or drafting a last will, the internet can seem like the perfect tool to achieve those goals. You can just download a form, fill it out with your personal information and then print it.

Although that may seem like a much easier solution than going to an attorney’s office to draft customized documents, printing off and signing a will on your own might mean that your documents won’t hold up in court.

Not all wills are equally enforceable

Yes, there are certainly plug-and-play documents available all over the internet. However, you likely don’t know which of these documents complies with state law. The websites providing these downloads often fail to include important details that would make the document more accurate or enforceable.

The best testamentary documents are those custom-created for your unique needs. Including the right language and terms in your estate plan can be the difference between having total control over what happens to your property and your dependent family members when you die and the courts ignoring the estate plan that you tried to create on your own.

What makes a will valid in Minnesota?

In addition to including the right language and not violating any state probate or marital property laws, a will in Minnesota requires two witnesses. These witnesses have to sign the documents to affirm that you are the one who created them and you are of sound mind and not under the influence of someone or in a state of duress when creating your testamentary documents.

When you print a last will at home, not only might you print documents that would not hold up under scrutiny, but you may forget about the witness requirement, meaning that ultimately the document you leave behind for your loved ones won’t determine what happens with your property after you die. Learning more about the rules for estate planning in Minnesota can help you create documents that uphold your wishes and protect the people you love.