What Is a Valid Will in Minnesota?

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on October 25, 2017

Will Contests in MinnesotaWhat is a Valid Will in Minnesota?

It is very important that people understand that Wills need to be drafted and executed in the proper, legal manner. If the legal requirements are not met, a court of law could invalidate what people believed was a proper Will. Minnesota law has very clear language on what constitutes a valid Will.

If you have any questions about what constitutes a valid will in Minnesota, you should consult with your estate planning attorney.

Minnesota law on valid Wills

The law or statute which explains the proper execution of a Will is contained in Minnesota Statute section 524.2-502.

Specifically, the statute provides that, in order for a Will to be valid, the Will must be executed properly.

524.2-502 EXECUTION; WITNESSED WILLS.

Except as provided in sections524.2-506and524.2-513, a will must be:

(1) in writing;

(2) signed by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other individual in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction or signed by the testator’s conservator pursuant to a court order under section524.5-411; and

(3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the will as described in clause (2) or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.

As we can see in the above language, certain legal requirements must be met to make a Will valid in Minnesota. Please also keep in mind that different states in the United States have different laws. What constitutes a valid Will in Florida or Arizona may not constitute a validly executed Will under Minnesota law.

Further legal requirements for a valid Will

There are other pertinent statutes which instruct us on what constitutes a valid Will in Minnesota. As we read above, to be valid, a Will must be executed according to certain formalities required by statute. A will that was not executed in accordance with the statutory requirements will not be admitted to probate. “If evidence concerning execution of an attested will which is not self-proved is necessary in contested cases, the testimony of at least one of the attesting witnesses, if within the state competent and able to testify, is required. Minnesota Statute 524.3-406(a).

What are the above laws important? The answer may be obvious, but it is true that laws are required when people fight over whether a Will was valid or not. Fighting over the validity of a Will is often referred to by lawyers as a Will contest

Will Contests in Minnesota and the Burden of Proof

We also know that when one person says that a deceased person did have a valid Will and another person disagrees with them, the proponent of the Will has the burden of proof.

Minnesota Statute, section 524.3-407 tells us that, in contested cases, proponents of a will have the burden of establishing proof of due execution in all cases.

Therefore, the proponent of a Will must first prove their case to a court of law. If they do not meet their burden of proof, the Will will presumably be declared invalid and the court will authorize what is a called an intestate probate administration. This is important because the intestate probate administration may have very different results in terms of where the deceaseds persons money and property goes versus a valid Will. Some people could receive the whole estate or they could receive nothing.

Minnesota Probate Attorneys and Lawyers

If you have questions about the validity of a Will in Minnesota, a probate attorney should be consulted. Please contact Joseph M. Flanders at Flanders Law Firm LLC for further information about Wills, probates, and Will validity. Call today for a free consultation at 612-424-0398.

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