Although the requirements vary from state-to-state, the legal basics behind drafting a Will are relatively simple.
Most people know that they should have a Will of some kind. However, some people don’t understand why a Will is necessary. In my experience, many people don’t understand the legal requirements needed to make a valid Will.
Requirement of a Minnesota Will:
In brief, to make a Will, the minimum requirements are that a Will must be:
(1) in writing;
(2) signed by the Will-Maker or in the Will-Maker’s name by some other individual in the Will-Maker’s conscious presence and by the Will-Maker’s direction; and
(3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the Will as described in clause (2) or the Will-Maker’s acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the Will.
These are the basic requirements; however, every state has different requirements and laws which apply. You should talk with an experienced estate planning attorney in your state.
Trying to draft your own Will without talking to a lawyer is never recommended. There are books and websites which may give you the proper forms, but it is important to understand the basics of the law if you are going to try to draft your own Will. As I said, talking with a Minnesota Wills lawyer. Talking with a lawyers is a great place to start when drafting a simple Will or conducting estate or retirement planning.
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