Every state has a similar process to making a will, but there are differences. Each state has its own legal requirements to make a will. When you make a will in Minnesota, either online or otherwise, the will must meet certain legal stipulations for it to be valid. You will want to use an online will that is customized for the state, following the state-specific statutes for validating a will.
Can I Make a Will Online in Minnesota?
Yes, you can make a will online in Minnesota. Use an online will making service to do so. Of all the wills we created—and had our lawyer review—USLegalWills had the best end product. To make an online will in Minnesota, we recommend USLegalWills.
When you make a will online, you have to follow the same general formalities for will making. The legal requirements for a will to be recognized as valid in Minnesota are:
- The Testator (or the person writing the will) must be at least 18 years of age and be of sound mind.
- The will must be in writing.
- You must sign the will in front of two witnesses, or you must acknowledge your signature or the will to the witnesses.
- The will must then be signed by the two witnesses, each must sign within a reasonable time after witnessing the Testator sign or hearing the acknowledgement.
You witnesses can be any adult person generally competent to act as a witness. It will not invalidate the will if your witnesses are also beneficiaries in your will.
The state of Minnesota does not allow electronic or digital-only wills. After making an online will, you must print it out. While some states allow digital-only wills, Minnesota requires a paper copy with physical signatures.
Does Minnesota Require a Notarized Will?
No, a will does not need to be notarized for it to be legal in Minnesota. It is important to note that the probate process includes the court determining if your will is valid. Like many states, Minnesota allows for wills to be “self-proved.” If your will is not “self-proved,” the court may have to call upon the witnesses of the will to testify to its authenticity. If you choose to make your will “self-proved,” this may help the court to quickly validate the will.
It is not the will itself that is notarized. Instead, you and your witnesses make a sworn statement in front of a notary public. These sworn statements (affidavits) are what get notarized. These statements act as though you and your witnesses made them before the court—meaning you and your witnesses are testifying to the validity of your will. Many times, once you attach these notarized affidavits to your will, the court will automatically accept it as valid.
Can I Name an Executor in Minnesota?
You can name an executor when you make a will in Minnesota, which you can also do when making the will online. The executor is the individual chosen to settle the estate, making sure that the will is followed. It can be a very time-consuming and difficult process, which is why you should discuss it with the person before naming them as the executor. You will want to pick someone you know and trust, and it is better to pick someone as otherwise, the court will appoint someone for you (which can delay the probate process).
Here are the requirements for an executor in Minnesota:
- The person must be at least 18 years of age and be of sound mind.
The court will reject anyone found to be “unsuitable” in formal proceedings. This usually only occurs if someone challenges the named executor. Many states also prohibit those with felony convictions to serve as an executor; however, Minnesota has no laws prohibiting that.
In Minnesota, there are no special requirements to name an executor who lives out-of-state.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Minnesota?
No, you do not need an attorney to make a will in Minnesota. It is always best to consult an attorney, specifically an estate planning attorney, if you have a large estate or a complicated will. In most situations, when your estate is simple and your will relatively straightforward, online will making can be a good choice. Be sure to follow the legal requirements for creating a valid will, and use an online will making service that has state-specific templates.
What Types of Wills Are Valid in Minnesota?
Any will meeting the legal requirements set by the state of Minnesota is valid, whether made online or not.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Minnesota?
A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament, written in the Testator’s handwriting and signed with no attesting witnesses. Minnesota law offers no exceptions to the requirement that wills must be signed by two people within a reasonable time of either seeing the Testator sign the will or hearing the Testator acknowledge their signature or the will itself.
As such, holographic wills are not legally binding in Minnesota.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Minnesota?
A nuncupative will is an oral will, which some individuals choose to leave on video. Like holographic wills, nuncupative wills are not legally binding in Minnesota.
A nuncupative will is generally considered to be an emergency or last resort type of will. However, as Minnesota law does not recognize nuncupative wills, any will left in that form will not be accepted by the court. It will be as though the person died without a will. Heirs and other beneficiaries might agree to the terms left in a nuncupative will, but the court will not enforce it otherwise.
How Is a Living Will Different from an Online Will in Minnesota?
A living will and a last will and testament are two separate documents with two separate purposes. A living will is also sometimes known as an advance directive, and it is a legal document that details medical decisions and end-of-life care. A last will and testament contains matters pertaining to settling a person’s estate and the guardianship of minor children.
For any medical directives or end-of-life care stipulations to be effective, you will want to create a living will. You can make both a last will and testament and a living will online. For more information on living wills in Minnesota, you can go here.
The general requirements for a living will to be legally binding in Minnesota are:
- It must be in writing and dated.
- It must be signed.
- It must either be notarized or signed with two witnesses.
- The person you named as your health care proxy should not be one of the witnesses.
A living will only comes into effect if your attending medical physician determines that you can no longer communicate or make health care decisions for yourself.
Why Do I Need to Make a Will Online in Minnesota?
If a person dies intestate, or without a will, then the intestacy laws of that particular state determine what happens. The state of Minnesota will appoint a guardian for any minors, an executor for the estate, and the intestacy distribution laws of the state divide any property between surviving family members. This process can take months at a time, holding up portions of your estate in probate.
If you have any minor children, it is important to make a will in order to name a guardian for them. It will already be a difficult time for your family, so planning for the worst often is the best thing you can do. Likewise, if you own any property and want to distribute it in a specific way, you must make a will. Overall, the probate process will be faster if you have a valid will in place.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Minnesota?
When you make a will in Minnesota, online or otherwise, you can include the following:
- The executor of your estate.
- The guardian(s) for minor children.
- A guardian to oversee property left to minor children.
- A person to care for any pets.
- Any property and gifts for family or friends.
- Any property and gifts to charities or organizations.
- Any designation for family heirlooms or other personal items.
What Should Not Be Included in a Will in Minnesota?
You do not want to include funeral directions, medical directives, or end-of-life stipulations in your will. Not only because medical directives and end-of-life stipulations have their own requirements to be legally binding, but because the will is typically not read until after the funeral. Any of the above might not be known until after the funeral.
For any medical directives and end-of-life care, you can make a living will.
For funeral instructions, you can talk to a family member about your wishes. You can also write a separate document—it does not need to be signed or witnessed or anything, just something informal that describes your wishes—and give it to the executor of your estate or another trusted family member.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Minnesota?
If you make a valid online will, it is a legally binding document. You can, however, change or revoke it at any time the same way you revoke any other type of will.
In Minnesota, here are ways to change or revoke a will:
- Executing a subsequent will explicitly stating it revokes the previous will, or has contradictory terms to the prior will.
- Performing a revocatory act with the intent and purpose of revoking the will. A revocatory act can include burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part; it does not have to actually destroy the will as long as the act was done with the intention of revoking the will.
- Ordering another person to perform a revocatory act with the intent of revoking the will; this must be in front of you.
Getting married or divorced, having or adopting a child, acquiring new assets, relocating to a new state or country—after any of these types of major life changes, it is best to update your will. You can add minor changes or supplement the current will by adding an amendment, called a codicil, to your will. It must be finalized with the same legal formalities as a will. If you are making radical changes, it is best to write a new will that explicitly revokes the prior will.
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Minnesota?
After you make a will in Minnesota, you want to make sure you:
- Have it writing. If you make a will online, you must print it out.
- Sign or acknowledge the signature or will in front of two witnesses, and then
- Have the witnesses sign it within a reasonable amount of time after seeing you sign or hearing your acknowledgement.
Minnesota allows for a will to be “self-proved.” To make a will “self-proved,” you and your witnesses must make a sworn statement in front of a notary public. Attach these notarized affidavits to your will.
Be sure to consider these special considerations in Minnesota:
- You cannot disinherit a spouse. Minnesota has a spousal share clause and other allowances.
- You can, however, disinherit adult children. You cannot do this by omitting them in the will; the language has to be clear. Consult an attorney.
USLegalWills is a leading provider of online wills. Their service has helped millions of people create a last will and testament over the last twenty years. We like that their services are easy to understand, reasonably priced, and produce an accurate document. You can also create a Living Will and other key end-of-life documents. It’s an affordable, accessible way to create an online last will and testament now. No more procrastinating. Get started with USLegalWills and leave your estate in order for your loved ones.