Chapters 524 and 525 of the 2011 Minnesota Statutes incorporate the Uniform Probate Code and govern probate proceedings within the state. To create a valid will in Minnesota, you must comply with the statutory formalities. In order for your will to be valid in Minnesota, it must be in writing and you must be at least 18 years old. Two witnesses must be present while you or another person on your behalf signs. Your two witnesses must sign the will in your presences as well. You must also possess the mental capacity and testamentary intent to draft a valid will. In other words, you must be mentally able to create a legal contract and intend for your will to operate as your last will and testament.
If you die without a will, you die as an “intestate” or individual without a written will. Minnesota’s intestacy statutes will govern the disposition of your property. Generally, your assets will first go to your nearest family members, and if you leave a surviving spouse and children, they will first inherit much of your estate. If you were unmarried and leave behind no surviving children, your grandchildren, siblings and parents will inherit your property. After that, more distant relatives will inherit your assets. If you have no heirs at law your assets will go to the state on Minnesota.