Minnesota Last Will & Testament Information
It is important to put together a last will & testament in Minnesota to protect and distribute your real estate, cash, and personal property following your death. Minnesota wills give the testator the chance to ensure their loved ones, and pets are looked after. You can leave property or gift charitable organizations too.
A Minnesota Last Will & Testament includes the following requirements:
- The testator must be eighteen years old or older.
- They must also be of ‘sound mind’.
- The Will must be signed by the testator or by someone else in their name (provided it is done under the testator’s direction and in their presence).
- The signing of the Will requires at least two witnesses in order to make it valid. A conservator may also sign the will pursuant to a court order.
- Another requirement to make the Will valid is that it must be in written format.
- A Minnesota resident may bequeath their assets to any beneficiaries.
If you die without making a will in Minnesota, the surviving spouse generally inherits the entire estate. This changes if the decedent also has children from another relationship, in which case the spouse inherits the first $150,000 of intestate property + 1/2 of the balance; descendants inherit the rest.
In Minnesota, there are certain requirements a will must meet to be ‘self-proven’, including correct notarization. A will that has been self-proved can be admitted to probate court after a person’s death without the testimony of witnesses, meaning the probate process is sped up. To self-prove a will in Minnesota, both the testator and witnesses are required to sign an affidavit in the presence of a notary public. This is a sworn statement stating the will is authentic and properly executed. It is equal in validity as making a statement in court, therefore witnesses do not need to be present when the will is admitted to court. This will save your loved ones some admin.
You do not require the assistance of an attorney to make a will in the state of Minnesota. If your wishes are simple, you could use will writing software or a template to create your document and it will be legal and valid. In certain situations, however, it is a good idea to seek legal advice from an attorney if your circumstances are a little more complex. In these cases, using an attorney may help if you have any special questions that need to be answered.
Under the Minnesota state law, a will must be filed with the probate court reasonably soon after the death of the testator (within nine months). This is done by your executor or administrator and will begin the process of probate, whereby your wishes are carried out under the supervision of the court. The state, however, also recognizes the difficulty of loss, therefore it is also possible to get an extension for these returns if you ask.
As many other US states, Minnesota also charges its own estate tax on top of federal estate tax. This applies to estates that are $2.4 million or greater. These rates range from 13% – 16% depending on the estate’s value. Minnesota does not charge inheritance tax.
Click here if you have any questions about creating a last will in Minnesota.