Many of the complications that sometimes come up with wills in Oakdale, 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 include a lot of money and property, and you only want to leave your assets to a few people, making a will can be pretty simple.
However, even if the will is comparatively simple, some problems which are very easy to avoid can still complicate the process. A knowledgeable Oakdale, Minnesota wills and trusts lawyer can help you avoid these problems.
Many problems with wills are due to some of the required formalities not being followed. The formalities involved in drafting and executing a will are not particularly complicated, but they must be scrupulously followed. Otherwise, the will might not be given effect. In most states, the will must include some clear statement that the document is, in fact, the last will and testament of the person making it. It typically must also be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who do not have any stake in the will.
Holographic Wills in Oakdale, Minnesota
In some states, "holographic wills" are valid. A holographic will is written by hand, in the testator's own handwriting. Such will do not need to have any witnesses to be valid.
Holographic wills are normally construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will typically 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 know, however, that holographic wills aren't recognized in many states. If you live in one of these states, you're still free to hand write your will, but, in order to be valid, it must be accompanied by all the formalities required by the laws of the state it is made in.
If your state permits them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For example, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. However, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.
How Can A Oakdale, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
Because there are specific formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the assistance of an Oakdale, 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.