A will is a formal document outlining how you wish to have your money, property, and personal belongings allocated and distributed after your death, including who you want as your personal representative. In the absence of a will, Minnesota’s intestate succession laws will govern how your assets will be divided. These succession laws have a predetermined hierarchy for distribution of your assets – spouses and children come first, followed by grandchildren, parents, brothers/sisters, or other distant relatives if there are no closer relatives. Minnesota’s intestate succession laws do not permit for the distribution of property to friends or charities. Therefore, if you wish to leave property or other assets to a friend or charitable organization, you must have a will that specifically outlines this desire. If you have minor children or grandchildren in your care and custody, wills can also provide an opportunity to dictate who will care for your children in the event of your death.

Reading glasses on paperwork.

Consequences for dying intestate (without a will) often come in the form of increased time, money, and stress for your family and friends. The court is likely to be more involved in the distribution of your estate if you die intestate, and this can in turn increase attorney and court fees. The first thing the court will do is name a personal representative who will oversee the distribution of your assets. Due to the immense responsibility that falls on a personal representative, you likely want to designate someone you trust. You, and not the court, are in the best position to make decisions related to personal representatives, asset allocation, and care/custody of your children. Therefore, it is important to document your intent and wishes in a legally enforceable manner. Contact Blethen Berens to help you create a will that puts your vision for the future into action.

Attorneys who can assist with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts & Probate

Silas Danielson

Jeremy Berg
Kim Literovich

Jared Koch