How to Write Your Own Will in Minnesota

By Anna Assad

A will contains your directions for the handling of your property after your death. Your executor manages your estate and handles the transfer of assets to your heirs once he is given legal authority through probate, the legal procedure used in Minnesota to validate your will. Your will must be prepared and executed in accordance with Minnesota laws to be accepted for probate by the court after you die. A will that does not meet Minnesota standards is not eligible for probate, resulting in the state's succession laws dictating the transfer of your estate to your loved ones instead of your expressed wishes.

Step 1

Get a blank will form from a legal document store. Check the form to make sure the document is for use in Minnesota.

Step 2

Type your name into the name field at the top of the form. Use your legal name; do not use a nickname or abbreviation.

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Step 3

Type in your directions. You must identify your assets, possessions and recipients clearly. Include all of the assets and items you want to pass on under your will. Use details about the item, like year, make and model, brand or bank name, if possible. Minnesota does not require specific will wording for provisions, but if the document is blank in the directions section, a common phrasing you can use for specific bequests is "I give, devise and bequeath my (item here) to (name here)." Use phrasing such as "I give, devise and bequeath (item here) to (names) in equal shares" if splitting an asset among more than one person. Use "per stirpes" instead of "equal shares" if each branch of your family is receiving equal shares.

Step 4

Name your executor. Insert the executor's name in the corresponding section. Contact the person you wish to name as executor to confirm he is ready to handle the obligation before entering the name on your will.

Step 5

Locate two witnesses. Your signing of the will must be witnessed by at least two people who are mentally competent. Minnesota laws do not prohibit a person who benefits from a will from acting as a witness, but using an interested witness may invite challenges to your will during probate. Schedule a day to meet with both witnesses.

Step 6

Sign your will in the signature spot in front of your witnesses. Enter the date. Have both of your witnesses sign and date the document in the witness fields at the end of the will, as required in Minnesota.

Step 7

Keep your will in a safe place. Contact the local Minnesota probate court to see if will safekeeping is available; you may be able to file the will with the court for a small fee.

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