Is it Legal to Handwrite a Will in Minnesota if You Get it Notarized?

By A.L. Kennedy

A handwritten will may also be known as a holographic or olographic will. Some states recognize a handwritten will as valid even if it is not witnessed. In Minnesota, however, all wills must be in writing, signed by the testator and witnessed by at least two people who meet the minimum requirements for witnesses under Minnesota law. Without two witnesses, a handwritten will is not valid even if it is notarized, according to the Minnesota Probate Code.

A handwritten will may also be known as a holographic or olographic will. Some states recognize a handwritten will as valid even if it is not witnessed. In Minnesota, however, all wills must be in writing, signed by the testator and witnessed by at least two people who meet the minimum requirements for witnesses under Minnesota law. Without two witnesses, a handwritten will is not valid even if it is notarized, according to the Minnesota Probate Code.

Format

Minnesota law requires wills to be in writing, according to Minnesota Statutes Section 524.2-502. A Minnesota will may be typed or handwritten. The will must also be made by someone who is at least 18 years old, and has the mental capacity to understand that he has made a will and to whom it leaves his property.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

Signing and Witnessing

The will must be signed by the testator, or person who made the will. If the testator is unable to sign his own will, he may instruct someone else to sign for him in his conscious presence, according to Minnesota Statues Section 524.2-502. Each of the two witnesses must sign the will after having either seen the testator sign it or witnessed the testator acknowledging that he had signed his own will. No Minnesota will is valid -- even if it is notarized -- without valid signatures from at least two witnesses.

Notarization

Having a Minnesota will notarized is not necessary to make the will valid, nor is it enough to make the will valid. However, a notarization is useful if you want to make a self-proving will. According to Minnesota Statutes Section 524.2-504, a will that includes notarized and sworn statements from the testator and witnesses is "self-proving," meaning that the probate court will accept it without requiring the witnesses to testify that they signed the will.

Exception

Minnesota does not have an exception for holographic wills, meaning that a handwritten will made in the state must still be witnessed to be valid. However, a Minnesota probate court may recognize a handwritten will that is not witnessed, if that will was made in a state that accepts holographic wills, according to Minnesota Statutes Section 524.2-506. In order to be valid, the out-of-state will must have been legally made under the laws in effect at the time it was made in the other state. If that other state required a handwritten will to be notarized, a Minnesota probate court will uphold that requirement.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
Is a Self Made Will Legal if Notarized?

References

Resources

Related articles

What Is a Legal Will in Texas?

A legal will in Texas is one that satisfies the requirements of the Texas Probate Code, especially sections 57 to 71. These Texas statutes describe who can make a will, what can be done with a will and the process for making a will valid. A will can be revoked under Texas law by the creation of a subsequent valid will or codicil, or by the testator destroying the physical copies of the will. And, though not required, a will can be deposited with the clerk of the testator's county of residence for safekeeping during his lifetime.

Must I Have My Will Notorized in Michigan for it to Be Legal?

A will must be signed by the testator, or the person who made the will, and at least two witnesses who saw the testator sign, in all 50 states, including Michigan, according to FindLaw. Notarization is not required in Michigan, but a notarized will may be accepted as "self-proving," potentially making probate proceedings easier for those you leave behind.

Handwritten Last Will & Testaments

Each state has its own laws on what constitutes a valid last will and testament. In most states, a will must be in writing, but whether it is typed or handwritten generally doesn't matter if the will meets all the other requirements for validity in the state. About half of states, however, recognize a special type of handwritten will.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Are Notarized Wills Legal?

In all 50 U.S. states, at least two witnesses are required to make a will valid, according to MedLawPlus. However, only ...

Does a LegalZoom Will Have to Be Notarized?

LegalZoom provides a number of law-related resources, including wills based on information you provide. Like any will, ...

Is a Handwritten Will Legal?

A handwritten or "holographic" will is a will written entirely in the handwriting of the testator, or the ...

Is a Notarized Will Legal in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts law has specific requirements for what makes a will legal in the state. These requirements include who ...

Browse by category