Minnesota Wills & Children

by Anna Assad

Your will is an estate planning tool that provides for the distribution of your assets to your loved ones after your death. Your child has a right to share in your estate under Minnesota law, and you can include additional provisions in your will to ensure your child's well-being in the event of your death.

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Function

Your will contains directions for the transfer of your assets and how much each person should receive from your estate. The executor you name is responsible for overseeing your estate and asset distributions. Your executor petitions the Minnesota probate court with jurisdiction over the area you lived in to start probate proceedings, the legal procedure used to validate your will and give your executor authority to carry out its provisions.

Benefits

A will allows you to provide assets and income to your children in the amounts you want each child to receive. You can name a legal guardian for your minor child in your will in Minnesota. The guardian is the person who will care for your child after your death. You can also create a trust in your will that provides directions for distributions from your estate to your child, and name a trustee to oversee the funds.

Considerations

A child omitted from your will is entitled to a share of your estate if you do not show that the omission was intentional. The child receives the amount of your estate she would have received if you had died without a will, but a will made prior to your child's birth may be upheld if the will leaves most of your assets to the child's other parent. Your child may receive a share if you believed she was dead at the time of your will's execution. Any share left to a child who died before you passes to the children of that child. The provision is void if your child did not have any surviving children of her own.

Misconceptions

A child you were in the process of adopting is still considered your child in probate if the adoption was completed after your death. A child of your spouse you were adopting is automatically viewed as your child, even if the adoption is never completed, as long as your spouse survives you for at least 120 hours after your death. The naming of a guardian in your will does not supersede the rights of the other surviving parent in Minnesota.