Reasons Why You Must Have a Last Will and Testament in Minnesota
Did you know that as much as 41 percent of the US population
does have a will, yet, this document determines who gets all the property you have worked too hard for? While you may think that you don't have enough or that your loved ones will know what to do with your estate, you can never be too careful.
Not everyone has your best interests at heart. From happenings around us, don't we know all too well that even spouses cannot be trusted? What if they got married to you because you are rich and because they know that the state awards inheritance to surviving spouses if you die without a will?
As mentioned, you cannot be too careful. You have to create a last will and testament. The best bit, it's not difficult. Thanks to technology and easy access to the internet, you can download a free Minnesota last will and testament form then populate it with all the necessary details you wish to have in the will.
A free last will and testament in Minnesota will not only protect your property and distribute your estate to people you love, but it could also help you appoint a guardian for your minor children or dependents with special kids. You also get to appoint a personal representative or an executor for the will.
Taking these into considerations, you may not know how different the last will is from the living will, right?
Let's clear the air. The last will is the document you create when perfectly able to take care of your affairs. You create it to distribute your estate as per your wishes and to protect your interests, as well as the interests of your loved ones upon your death. In contrast, the living will represents the legal instrument drawn up when in control of your affairs and enforceable while you are alive. The condition for the enforcement of the living will is that you should be unavailable to decide or something or incapacitated and unable to make any decision. The living will ceases its power upon death.
In essence, you create a living will for an agent or an attorney-in-fact to make the tough calls (financial, health, or childcare) by following your directives. The last will basically distributes physical property and takes care of children.
The role of last will in child protection
Should you die as a single parent and be survived by minor kids, the person appointed as the guardian (or the guardian's successor) will take up the parenting role.
Considering the responsibilities tied to guardianship, you need to speak to the person you think of appointing as the guardian and ask for their approval. The guardian could also be responsible for managing and protecting the inheritance of your kids so; you should trust them with your life, literally.
Aside from guardianship, you could use the last will to create a testamentary trust for your child. The trust is in the child's name, and it stays under the management of a trustee/ fund manager until maturity/ expiry. Often, the expiry date is the date that the child is old enough to manage finances. The testamentary will is irrevocable.
Role of a will in pet protection
Did you know that you could draw a testamentary trust in the name of your beloved pet for their continued care after your demise? It is a testamentary trust like the one for kids, and it expires upon the death of the animal.
A will prevents the state from invoking the intestacy laws
A common question that springs in discussions around last wills is "What happens if I don't create a will?" We'll tell you what happens:
A last will and testament plays a significant role in granting you control
- In the absence of a will, the state of Minnesota has the power to invoke the strict intestacy laws for property division. These laws are tough, and they could be perceived as unfavorable. Dying without a will means you are intestate. Here is what these laws decide:
- The surviving spouse is the primary heir to the entire estate
- But, if you have kids from another relationship, things change a bit. The spouse takes home $150,000 and half of what remains from the estate while the kids get the rest.
- And, in the absence of kids, a spouse, or parents, siblings, and grandparents will inherit your estate.
Looking at the outcome of the intestacy laws, the will states if you have other beneficiaries other than kids, spouse or family, you could decide not to leave anything to your spouse or leave everything to your kids.
A will allows you to leave instructions for how the business is to be conducted if you want it to outlive you. You could also outline your preferences for asset protection. You could also use a will for tax planning purposes when you have a large estate.
Conditions that make a last will valid
- You (the testator) should be of legal age, 18 years or older
- You have the mental capacity to make sound decisions. So, you should not be under duress
- You have to sign the will, or you could let someone else sign the will in your presence and under your directions.
- You also need 2 or more witnesses to sign the will attesting to the fact that you signed the will or that you acknowledge the signature on the will.
- The will should be in writing
- You should list your beneficiaries, executor, and guardian if necessary
Changing the will
A codicil changes the will
Revoking the will
Creation of a new will and its subsequent execution revokes the powers in the older will. You could also destroy the will to revoke it.
Ready to make a will in Minnesota? Get started with our last will and testament forms available online.