Many of the problems that sometimes come up with wills in Forest Lake, Minnesota, such as contests brought by would-be beneficiaries, or devises which aren't clear on what they mean, can be avoided if the will is properly drafted in the first place.
If your estate doesn't contain a lot of money and property, and you only want to leave your assets to a few individuals, making a will can be pretty simple.
But be warned: even a comparatively simple will can encounter delays in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An experienced Forest Lake, Minnesota lawyer will considerably reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.
Most of the problems that plague wills stem from failure on the part of the drafter to comply with the required formalities. These requirements aren't terribly complex, but they have to be followed to the letter if a will is to be valid. Usually, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people, and it must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a will. You should choose the witnesses cautiously, because if they have any direct interest in the will, they won't count as valid witnesses.
Holographic Wills in Forest Lake, Minnesota
In some states, you can make what is known as a "holographic will." This is simply a will which is handwritten, in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.
Holographic wills are typically construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will usually look at the common definition of words, and use other common-sense principles when it comes to interpreting a holographic will. This is necessary to avoid conflicts, and increase the chances that the testator's wishes are honored.
You should be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be legitimate, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) required for any other will.
If they are allowed in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a large amount of money and property that you want to pass on, and your devises are going to be very simple (regular gifts to just a few people), a holographic will can suffice. Nonetheless, you should seek the advice of a lawyer beforehand, and know that it is almost always a better option to have a will accompanied by all the required formalities.
How Can A Forest Lake, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
Because there are certain formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the guidance of a Forest Lake, Minnesota attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.