Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testament Lawyer in St. Paul

A Last Will and Testament, also commonly referred to as a "Will," is one of the most critical aspects of an estate plan. A Will is a legal document that guarantees that your assets, possessions, and personal property will be dispersed in the manner you choose following your passing. If you don't have a will recorded, then your property and assets get distributed according to general guidelines by the state.

If you plan on safeguarding your loved ones and possessions, you should contact an attorney experienced in Estate Planning. At The Law Offices of Clarence Patterson, our goal is to protect your assets and family members to provide you peace of mind. Contact us today and receive a free consultation for discussing your future estate planning needs.

How To Prepare A Will

In preparation for a will, you should document your intentions, audit your assets, estimate your debts, and create a list of your family members and other beneficiaries. Any assets not explicitly stated within your Will can fall under the "all-encompassing" clause. You'll want to decide how to distribute your purchases to your heirs. 

Here are some of the most common items to include in your will:

  • Describe your property and assets to include in your Will.
  • Choose the beneficiaries you wish to give your property and assets.
  • Name who you want to be the executor or personal representative of your Will.
  • Name a guardian for any of your young children.
  • Decide who will manage your children's property and assets.
  • Have your Will completed and signed in front of witnesses.
  • Have your Will validated and filed with the courts.
  • Safely store your Will.

Speaking with an attorney who provides expert advice and guidance when preparing your Will's details can help you feel confident in this experience.

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What are the Requirements of A Will in Minnesota?

For a Will to be validated in Minnesota, the person making the Will (also known as the testator) must be 18 years of age and have a sound mind. The other requirements are as follows:

  • Must be written on paper: The Will cannot be recorded on audio or video. It must be written on a hard copy, typed, and printed from a computer or using a typewriter. It cannot be handwritten unless the "Will" was previously handwritten and accepted in another state in which the Minnesota probate court might take it.

  • Must be Signed: The testator must sign the written Will with a pen. If the testator cannot sign using a pen, the person asked to sign the Will in place of the testator must sign the testator's name in the presence of the testator and the testator's instructions. Only in rare circumstances can someone validly sign a testator's Will without the testator's instructions. Minnesota currently does not recognize electronic signatures on a Will, although the law may allow the digital signing of other legal documents.

  • Must-Have Two Witnesses: Under Minnesota law, at least two witnesses must be present when the testator signs the Will. The two witnesses must either sign the Will after witnessing the testator sign it, witness the testator acknowledge the will, or witness the testator acknowledge the signature on the Will. Video Conference platforms such as Zoom or Skype do not count as a legitimate form of witness proof. A notarized signature also does not suffice as a primary or secondary witness.

What If I Don't Create A Will?

Without a Will, the courts will distribute your property according to Minnesota state "intestacy" laws after your passing. Under "Intestacy" law, your property will be transferred to your closest relative, starting with your spouse and children. Your grandchildren or parents will get your property without a spouse or children. After that, the list of your closest relatives continues down the line. The state will acquire your property if the court finds that you are without blood relatives or a spouse. Your property will only be distributed after going through a potentially lengthy and costly probate process.

Why Clients Choose Clarence

Contact A Last Will and Testament Attorney in St. Paul

At the Law Offices of Clarence Patterson, we believe in preparing families for their future to handle the unexpected events that life throws their way. The sooner you create a will, the faster you can rest assured that your loved ones and property are protected. With the help of our law firm, you can be confident that an experienced attorney will help facilitate the development of your will.

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

Founder | Lawyer

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.”

The underlying premise of Mr. Patterson’s success is that he is not just “practicing” law, he is dedicated to obtaining results that clients need and expect.

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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Legal Disclaimer

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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