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Tell Your Loved Ones Your Wishes 

A “Last Will and Testament” or “Will” allows an individual (the “Testator”) to control what happens to their estate, which is comprised of their assets, money and property, after their death. The will enables the Testator to ensure that their assets are distributed pursuant to their wishes. The Will also enables the Testator to nominate a personal representative or executor to administer their estate and distribute the estate’s assets after the Testator’s death. A properly drafted Will expressly and clearly specifies the following:

  • The name and relationship of the personal representative(s) and successor personal representatives the Testator wants appointed to administer and distribute their estate
  • The names of the individuals and/or organizations receiving estate assets
  • The identity, amount or proportion of the asset(s) each person or organization receives
  • The name and relationship of guardian the Testator wants appointed to care for his or her minor children

In order to create a legal Will in Minnesota or any state in the United States, the Testator must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be of sound mind to make a Will. Generally, this means the Testator knows and understands the composition of their assets and property, and that they are conveying all of their property and funds to the beneficiaries named in their Will
  • The Will must be in writing
  • The Will must be signed by the Testator, by another person at the Testator’s direction and in the Testator’s presence, or by the Testator’s conservator pursuant to a court order
  • The Will must be witnessed by at least two people, both of whom must also sign the Will
  • The Testator must intend for the document to operate as a Will

Although it is not required in Minnesota or any other state in the United States, the Testator should make his or her Will a self-proved Will because it helps to establish that the Will was properly executed in the event the Will is contested in court. A Will is self-proved when the Testator and witnesses acknowledge in affidavits that the Testator signed and executed the Will voluntarily, within the presence of at least two witnesses, that Testator is over 18 years old, not under undue influence, and of sound mind.