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Wills

 Will is an important part of any estate plan. Without it, the cost of transferring your property to the ones that you love and take care of will go up, leaving less behind to benefit your family. Having an experienced attorney draft your Will is the best way to ensure that everything is properly done and that your wishes are carried out.

In Minnesota, if you are over 18 years old and are of a sound mind, you can legally make a Will. It has to be in writing, signed, and witnessed. After that you have your Will. Easy right?

There is a lot more that a well drafted Will is going to accomplish, beyond laying out who is to get what. It will direct the court as to which kind of probate process should be used, and how much supervision will be necessary. It will make sure that no bond needs to be posted during the estate administration. It will lay out who should manage your estate. It will nominate guardians for your children, giving you control over who raises them should anything happen to you. For minor children there are often trust provisions that help manage your assets and ensuring that they are available for your kids for many years to come. It will contain an affidavit which greatly reduces the chance that the Will will be contested in court. It will ensure that any property that isn't specifically devised winds up going to where you would want it to go. And it will simplify and reduce the cost of administration.

A Will can be a very simple document and it can be very complex. It is important to work with a lawyer that will examine your situation and your goals, and come up with a document that will carry out your wishes when you are gone and that will actually work when it comes before a court. A cheap or poorly written Will is going to be successfully challenged far more often than a well drafted document prepared by an attorney who creates Wills and other estate planning documents for a living.




If I have a Will can I avoid probate?
No. Any property that is transferred by a Will has to go through a probate process before it will be transferred. If avoiding probate is something that you wish to do, and it is for a lot of people as it can be a fairly expensive process and the process is open to the public, then you should think about preparing a trust, and using other probate-avoiding methods such as joint tenancy and lifetime transfers.