While making a will is important, making a valid will should always be the goal. After all, a will that does not comply with Minnesota laws will not be recognized in probate court. In order to have the wishes expressed in your will effective and properly executed, there are certain things that need to be accomplished in order to ensure you have created a valid will in Minnesota. Let’s take a look at how to make a valid will in Minnesota.
How to Make a Valid Will in Minnesota
In order to make a valid will in Minnesota, the person creating the will, or “testator,” must be a legal adult, 18 years or older, and of sound mind. There are several other requirements in order for a will to be valid in Minnesota. For starters, the twill must be in writing. It can be typed or printed, but it needs to be written. A video recording will not be valid for will purposes in Minnesota. Handwritten wills, known as “holographic wills,” are also not generally considered to be valid under Minnesota law. A holographic will that was properly executed in another state pursuant to the laws of that other state may be accepted by a Minnesota probate court, but there is some risk involved. Typed or printed wills are always best practice.
A will in Minnesota must also be signed to be valid. To fulfill this requirement, the testator can personally sign their name as ink. A signature for these purposes will also be considered valid if the signature was in the testator’s name, in the presence of the testator, and at the direction of the testator. After all, a testator may not always be able to sign their own name, due to things like a physical disability, and so this provision allows someone else to sign on their behalf.
The execution of the will must also be properly witnessed to be valid. Minnesota requires at least two witnesses to the execution of the will. Each witness must sign the will after they witness the signing of the will by the testator or, alternatively, witnessing the testator’s acknowledgment of the will being signed. Despite modern technology allowing all sorts of conference arrangements, witnessing a will via something like Zoom is not yet valid under Minnesota law.
It is important to note that having a signature on a will notarized will not be sufficient to meet the two witness requirement. There needs to be a second witness. It is also important to note that a will can still be valid if signed by interested witnesses. Interested witnesses are those that stand to benefit under the will being executed. Despite two interested witnesses being able to make the execution of a will valid, it is still best practice to have at least one disinterested witness acknowledge the will’s execution.
Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney
Even the most seemingly simple legal requirements can end up being much more complicated than they appear at first. You can count on the Unique Estate Law to help you establish a strong, legally sound will that accurately reflects your wishes. Contact us today. From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Chanhassen, and Excelsior.