Anoka Will Attorneys
Protect the Future of Your Family
In Minnesota, if you die without a will, your property and your asset distribution will be determined by state inheritance laws. To manage how your estate (your money, property, and personal belongings) is distributed, you need a will. A will allows you to appoint a personal representative, or executor, to carry out your wishes after you die.
The Making of Your Will
Wills are legal documents that describe how a person wants their asset distribution to be handled after they die.
Generally, wills must be:
- In writing;
- Signed by the person making the will, called the testator, who must be at least 18 years old, of sound mind, and intend for the document to be a will; and
- Signed by at least two witnesses over the age of 18.
Wills can also be used to appoint a guardian for minor children or for adult children with disabilities. By using a will to appoint a guardian, you can ensure that your wishes are known and eliminate possible future disagreements over who should take care of your children.
Although a surviving parent typically assumes the role of guardian of your minor children, there may be the need to designate one for your children. There is, of course, a situation where neither parent survives, as in an accident. Your child may also require special care. Regardless of the conditions, it is worth discussing your circumstances with knowledgeable attorneys.
How to Avoid Probate Without a Will
Probate is the legal process of a court authorizing the transfer of your property after death. Wills will not help you avoid probate. In fact, for a will to take effect, it must go through probate.
Wills may not be necessary, however, if arrangements are made to transfer assets without them.
For example, in Minnesota, there are ways to avoid a will, including:
- Joint ownership of property
- Named beneficiaries in life insurance policies
- Payable-on-death designation for bank accounts
- Transfer-on-death registration for securities, real estate deeds, vehicles, etc.
There are many reasons you want to get your affairs together before you pass, not least of which is to protect the ones you love. Having a comprehensive plan in place for handling your estate before you die reduces taxes, minimizes the chance of family strife and nasty legal battles, and ensures people receive what you want them to receive.
Let the attorneys of Bolt Law Firm answer your questions and assist you by calling (763) 292-2102 to discuss drawing up your will or making changes to an existing will.