Can I Write My Own Will In Minnesota?

Writing a will is an essential part of estate planning. It allows you to specify how your assets should be distributed after you pass away and who should be responsible for carrying out your final wishes. While many people choose to consult an attorney to help draft their will, it is technically possible to write your own will in Minnesota. However, it is important to understand the state's laws regarding wills to ensure that your document will be legally binding and enforceable.

Requirements for A Legally Binding Will In Minnesota

In Minnesota, a will must meet certain requirements to be considered valid. First, the testator, or the person making the will, must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. This means that they are capable of understanding the nature of their property, the consequences of their decisions, and who their beneficiaries will be.

Next, the will must be in writing and signed by the testator or someone acting on their behalf, in their presence and at their direction. Two witnesses must also sign the will in the presence of the testator and each other. The witnesses must be at least 18 years old and not named as beneficiaries in the will.

It is important to note that Minnesota does not recognize holographic wills, which are handwritten wills that do not have witnesses. Therefore, if you choose to write your own will, it must be typewritten or printed and witnessed by two individuals.

Pros V. Cons Of Handling Your Own Will

Writing your own Will could be an attractive option to you if you are not looking to spend any money on attorney services. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of writing your own Will before making a final decision. Many Estate Planning law firms including ourselves offer free consultations that you can also take advantage of. Having that free consultation will give you a better understanding on if you are capable of handling your Will on your own or if you need an attorney to help with your estate planning. Below are some pros and cons to handling your own Will. 


  • Cost: Writing your own will can be a cost-effective option as you do not need to pay for an attorney's services. This is particularly advantageous for those with smaller estates.

  • Control: Writing your own will allows you to have complete control over the contents of the document. You can specify exactly how you want your assets to be distributed and who should be responsible for carrying out your final wishes.

  • Convenience: Writing your own will is a convenient option, as you can do it at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home.


  • Legal requirements: Minnesota has specific legal requirements that must be met for a will to be considered valid. If you are not familiar with these requirements, you may inadvertently make mistakes that can render your will invalid or unenforceable.

  • Complexity: If your estate is complex, writing your own will can be challenging. You may overlook important details, such as tax implications or the need for trusts, that an attorney would be better equipped to handle.

  • Potential challenges: A poorly drafted will can lead to disputes among family members or other beneficiaries. This can result in costly legal battles that can diminish the value of your estate.

Overall, while writing your own will in Minnesota may be an attractive option for those with simple estates, it is important to consider the potential risks and challenges that may arise. Seeking the guidance of an attorney can help ensure that your will is legally binding and enforceable and can help minimize the risk of disputes among your loved ones.

Contact An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

At the Law Office of Clarence Patterson III, our team is dedicated to helping and representing you. You will have an experienced attorney who is easily accessible, patient, tech savvy and efficient so that you can save on attorney costs.

‍Our firm primarily serves the areas of Ramsey County, Washington County, Hennepin County, Dakota County and other areas around Minnesota. If you are in need of an experienced estate planning attorney in Minnesota, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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Clarence Patterson III is the founding attorney of the Law Offices of Clarence Patterson III. The firm is rooted in the principle of “Protecting Rights & Improving Lives.”

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Mr. Patterson recognizes that there is no such thing as a “small case.” Which is why he is dedicated to being by the side of his clients throughout the duration of their legal matter.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The Law Offices of Clarence Patterson III's legal team is licensed to practice law in Minnesota. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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