Creating a will in Minnesota is an important task that requires filling out several different forms and meeting certain requirements. But once you’ve done so successfully, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your family and loved ones will be left with the fruits of your labor in the event of your passing.
Making the necessary preparations to set up your will could prevent problems in the future. If you want to protect your assets and ensure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone, you should approach this responsibility carefully.
If you are looking to set up a will, you will need to prepare the following elements.
Outline Your Assets and Final Wishes
Write a list of all the assets you would like distributed to your loved ones upon your death. Common assets include:
• Motor vehicles
• Real estate
• Checking and savings accounts
• Personal property, such as jewelry and family heirlooms
• Stocks or bonds
• Intellectual property
After listing your assets, you should decide who you want to receive each upon your passing. You can name specific people in your will so there isn’t any disagreement over who gets what.
Include any final wishes you would like your family to carry out, such as whether you want a burial or cremation. Making these decisions in advance can save your loved ones the stress of taking on these responsibilities themselves.
Collect the Necessary Documents
You should gather all documents, forms, and details you will need to prepare your will. That could include:
• Birth certificates
• Deeds to property
• List of your bank accounts, including account numbers
• Funeral and burial plans
• Mortgage information
• Divorce certificate
• Marriage license
• Death certificates
• Names and contact information for financial advisors, accountants, lawyers, and other important individuals
• Insurance policies
Choose a Personal Representative
A Personal Representative (also known as an executor) is the person that will settle your estate when you die. They will be responsible for all legal and financial aspects of the process, such as paying off your debts, distributing your assets to the named beneficiaries, and carrying out your final wishes. It is a position of considerable responsibility and should be selected with care.
Establish a Guardian
If you have minor children or adult dependents, you should choose someone to be their guardian. Choosing a guardian is one of the most vital decisions a person can make when drafting their will. Your kids and dependents won’t be able to care for themselves when you pass away. You’ll need someone you can trust to meet your child’s needs and raise them the way you would wish.
Finalize the Will
You must sign your will in front of a notary public and witness for it to be valid. Some states only require one witness, while others require multiple witnesses. It is important that all rules regarding witnessing a will are followed.
You also must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Typically, “of sound mind” means you understand the nature of the will you prepared and its implications. A will is not valid if the person who made it was not mentally competent at the time it was signed. A doctor could provide a signed affidavit of your mental competency if you have any concerns about this.
Having the help of an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer as you prepare your will is vitally important, as they can help you avoid the common errors that could complicate matters for your survivors. If you need assistance getting started, we invite you to contact our Minnesota law firm at 763-244-2949 to schedule a consultation.