Do I Need a Will? | Minnesota Estate Planning

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on September 14, 2016

do-i-need-a-will-minnesota-estate-planningDo I Need a Will?

A will is a document that provides peace of mind to those seeking to have their assets distributed in an orderly fashion upon their death. Although Minnesota does not require individuals to have a will, consulting a knowledgeable attorney about drafting a will ensures that your assets will not be subject to Minnesota inheritance laws following your passing.

How is a Will made?

It is important for those considering drafting a will to understand some basic concepts regarding wills and trusts in Minnesota. Chapter 524 of Minnesota Statutes, otherwise known as the Uniform Probate Code, governs wills and trusts in Minnesota. The definition section, Minn. Stat. 524.1-201 provides basic definitions for those new to wills and trusts. For example, the statute defines beneficiaries as a person who has any present or future interest, vested or contingent, and also includes the owner of an interest by assignment. Minn Stat. 524.1-201(4). Beneficiaries typically are children, grandchildren and other close family, although that is subject to the draftors desires. Those seeking to draft a will should typically hire a personal representative with knowledge of the estates interest. Minnesota defines personal representative as an executor, administrator . . . who performs essentially the same function under the law. Minn. Stat. 524.1-201(39). Personal representatives typically consist of lawyers to advise a person drafting a will.

Considerations throughout one’s lifetime

Although a will only takes effect upon a persons death, various milestones in a persons life may prompt changes in a persons will. For example, a marriage could bring a new beneficiary into the fold for an estate. Additionally, a significant change in an estates value may create new estate considerations. Appraisals are a useful mechanism for keeping regular checks on an estates value. For those considering changing their will, there are two ways to do so. The first is to create a new will rendering your old will moot. Alternatively, a person can choose to delete or excise certain portions of your will. An experienced Minnesota estate attorney can navigate you through various aspects of revising ones will.

Minnesota Probate Law

Classic Minnesota probate cases underscore the importance of having a valid will. In Re Application to Probate the Will and Testament of Fannie Mousseau, 30 Minn. 202 (1883), the decedents estate included a large parcel of land. The decedent did not appoint a guardian of her estate, and her will became subject to challenge. Although In Re Mousseau dealt primarily with jurisdictional questions of the probate court, the will in question left open the possibility of legal challenges.

A thorough and well-planned will is an essential mechanism for orderly distribution of assets upon a persons death. Those considering this important document should consult with a trusted Minnesota estate planning attorney to navigate these issues.

Minnesota Will Lawyers

Contact the Flanders Law Firmtoday. The firm offersfree consultationsto all potential clients. Call the firm at 612-424-0398.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kamilla Mishiyeva, Esq. January 25, 2017 at 1:20 am

I find that most clients don’t realize the importance of the will ceremony. They assume a homemade last will and testament will be accepted by a court. A will contest is unfortunately one of the worst rude awakenings out there for the beneficiaries. Great article!


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