Do You Need a Will?

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

A Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Explains a Few of the Reasons Why a Will is So Important

Is a will really necessary?

It depends. A will is important as the only valid way to handle certain matters after death.

1.  It is the only way, under current Minnesota Probate Law, to name a guardian for minor children.

2. A will leaves clear instructions to the court, “executor” and beneficiaries of your wishes. Without a will, the court will be forced to follow Minnesota Probate Law when determining how to divide up your assets. That may not be your preferred method of distribution. A will allows YOU to be in charge of how things are divided.

3. It is the document allowing you to name your personal representative. This is the important person who signs up to properly handle your affairs. The person you nominated will have priority with the court to act as your personal representative.  But, if you did not have a will, or failed to nominate a personal representative, the court will appoint one for you and it may not be the person you would choose.

While having a will is important, please remember that having a will does NOT avoid probate.  Whether your estate will require probate depends on the type of property you own and how it is titled. The following types of property are not probated:

Property held in a trust
Jointly owned real estate
Payable on death accounts
Transfer on death accounts
Jointly held bank accounts
Life insurance proceeds naming a valid beneficiary

Property not in any of the above categories or that is owned solely in your name is subject to probate.

Minnesota Estate Planning Lawyer

If you wish to speak to someone about the process of drafting a will, call Unique Estate Law now at (952) 955-7623 today to set up an initial consultation. discuss your options.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.