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Basics of Wills in Minnesota

Who May Make a Will

According to Minnesota law, any person who is at least eighteen years old and is of sound mind may make, or execute, a will. To execute a will means to write (or have a lawyer write for you) a will and, ideally, to sign it and have it witnessed. It is possible to have a less than ideal will that is still valid. Wills can either be self-proving or require validation by the probate court.

Self-proved Wills under Minnesota Law

A will can be self-proving under Minnesota law if it meets certain criteria:

• signed

• witnessed

• acknowledged by testator

• affidavits of witnesses

• all executed before a notary public or another authorized officer

• evidenced by public officer's certificate with official seal

In addition to these requirement, the language must follow at least in substantial part the statutory form. The will can vary somewhat, but lawyers in Minnesota usually use a very formal and standardized format because we know that the courts will be more likely to accept as valid that which they are familiar with over a will that looks different than usual.

Who May Witness a Will in Minnesota

The witnesses to the signing of the will must be individuals who are generally competent to be witnesses.

Does this give us much guidance? No. That's why there are attorneys to keep track of all of the requirements of Minnesota law. In general terms, most people can be witnesses. Even persons with an interest in the contents of the will can be a witness.

In-state and Out-of-state Wills

A will does not have to be written in Minnesota or executed in Minnesota to be valid in Minnesota. As long as the will can be probated under Minnesota law, it will be allowed. An attorney can help you determine if the will can be probated in Minnesota courts.

Penalty for Contesting a Will

Under Minnesota law, a will may not be written to prevent an interested person from contesting a will by way of penalty for doing so. Well, technically a will can be written with such a clause. The clause simply will not be enforced if the interested person has a legal right to contest the will.

See also: Revoking & Reinstating a Will

Contact a Minnesota Lawyer

Wills are an important part of life. Having a will means your wishes are carried out when you die. It also means less stress and hassle for your family. Please contact me, a Minnesota attorney, for more information.

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Service Areas: I am willing to represent clients throughout Minnesota, including Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Scott County, Washington County, Anoka county, Waseca County, Olmsted County, Stearns County, Sherburne County, and Blue Earth County, just to name a few. Whether you are in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, Shoreview, Roseville, Fridley, Edina, Eagan, or Wayzata, or further out in cities like Rochester, Mankato, Saint Cloud, Duluth, I will represent you.