A will is a legal document that governs the administration of your property such as real estate, investments,
money and personal belongings at your death.
Does everyone need a will?
The law does not require that you have a will. However, a will is a useful tool that provides you with the ability to control how your estate will be divided at your death. If you die without a will, Minnesota’s inheritance laws will control how your estate will be divided.
What is in a will?
Generally, the following basic elements are included in a will:
Your name and place of residence
A description of any assets you wish to give to a specific person
Names of spouse, children, and other beneficiaries, such as charities or friends
Alternative beneficiaries, in the event a beneficiary dies before you do
Establishment of trust, if desired
Cancellation of debts owed to you, if desired
Name of trustee for any trusts created
Name of a personal representative to manage the estate
Name of guardian for minor children
Your signature and witnesses signatures
What is a personal representative?
A personal representative (also known as an executor or administrator) is the person named in your will who oversees payment of your debts and distribution of your assets according to your will. Since a personal representative is considered a fiduciary, he or she must observe a high standard of care when dealing with the estate. Anyone can be named as a personal representative, but most often it is a spouse, relative, attorney or friend closest to the person making the will.
Where should I keep my will?
You should keep your will in a safe but accessible place. Some possibilities are:
A fire proof file at Frundt & Johnson, Ltd.
Safe deposit box
Safe place at home
Court Administrator Office at courthouse – filing fee is $27.00.
Most clients store their will in our office or a bank safety deposit box. You should tell your spouse and your personal representative where your original will is stored. It is not necessary for anyone other than you to have copies of your will, but we do retain a copy of your will in our confidential file for safekeeping, provide you with a confirmed copy and scan the original electronically.
If I already have a will, can I change it?
Of course you can. Changing your will is often done by a codicil. Do no write on your original will as this is not an effective change. If you are changing the beneficiaries or changing the amounts being given to beneficiaries, we recommend a new will. The fee for this is similar to the fee for adding a codicil. Contact us if you want to make any changes and to make certain all changes are effective.
Disclaimer:The information contained on this site is not intended to provide specific legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be created by an explicit agreement with one of the attorneys. We will not accept specific requests for legal advice or offer specific legal advice over the Internet. We do not intend to communicate with any person where such communication would violate any legal or ethical requirement in a jurisdiction.