Law Articles

How to File a Will in Minnesota

By July 27, 2021 August 3rd, 2021 No Comments

If your family doesn’t have any formal documentation detailing plans for property and asset succession, then the state will use intestate succession laws to make that determination on behalf of your estate. Typically, this means your loved one’s surviving spouse inherits most, but not all, of his or her assets (after taxes and expenses). There are additional options if there is no spouse or if only certain descendants exist.

In any case, the easiest way to avoid a disruptive succession is to create a will. The State of Minnesota has specific rules and guidelines in place for creating a legal and valid will.

What are the Legal Requirements for a Minnesota Will?

Although the law doesn’t require a will, those that die without one will be subject to the state’s inheritance laws (more about the table of succession here).

In regards to creating a will, the creator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. This person must sign the will and have at least two people sign it in his or her presence (or by a conservator if the court orders).

Are Oral Wills Valid in Minnesota?

Oral wills are not legally valid in Minnesota. “Holographic” wills (those that are handwritten) are also not valid.

Why Preparing Your Own Will in Minnesota is a Bad Idea

Above all, it comes down to the issue of validity. A will needs to be self-proving, which could be done through a notary public, in addition to the witnesses. If it’s not self-proving, that could expose potential heirs to additional issues while trying to claim the deceased’s property and assets. Ultimately, this means more time and more legal fees.


When your family is ready to create a will, you can trust attorney John Waldron at Waldron Law Offices, Ltd. to listen to your needs and concerns every step of the way. He is the experienced estate planning attorney families across Wayzata and the Twin Cities count on. Call (952) 471-0940 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.

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