What is a Will?

Last Will and Reading Glasses

A Will is a legal document that is signed, notarized, and witnessed by two non-interested people following Minnesota law. In a Will, you can designate who will get your probate property, who you nominate to be the Guardian of your minor children, and who will be your Personal Representative after you have passed away.  A Guardian is a person who you would nominate to take care of your minor children, and a Personal Representative is who would sign the legal papers to wrap up your estate if a probate were ever needed.

A Will is an important document because it legally formalizes what is to happen after you have passed away. In addition to picking who will serve as Guardian of your minor children and a Personal Representative to distribute your property, a Will can help control who inherits your property. This property can include, but it not limited to, a home, jewelry, heirlooms, cash, and investments.  Some assets will pass to people as a non-probate asset (no probate needed) such as a surviving joint tenant in real estate, a beneficiary designated in your life insurance policy, 401k or IRA, or a Payable or Transfer on Death designee in a bank or financial account.  But if you did not designate anyone those assets likely become part of your probate estate.

If you die without a Will, then state law will control the distribution of your probate property. The court will appoint a Guardian for your minor children, appoint a Personal Representative to handle your estate, and your property will be distributed following rules set by Minnesota state law. These decisions may not match your wishes on how you want your property and minor children to be handled after you have passed away.  If you have someone you want to exclude from your inheritance a Will is likely needed.  If you want to give to charity after you die a Will is probably required.


If you are interested in having a Will done, please fill out the following intake form to receive a quote.


The material on this page is provided for general information purposes only; it is not intended to constitute legal advice.

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