I wrote the book on Minnesota probate.

How do I protect my will from disputes?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Estate Planning |

When you decide to create a will, you do so for one main reason: to articulate your wishes with respect to how you want to have your estate distributed when you die. And when you get it right, a will can help you achieve that goal and more. Without one, on the other hand, the state’s intestacy laws would determine what happens to your estate. 

However, your will can also become the subject of a costly dispute. A disputed will can set the ball rolling for a highly protracted legal battle. Besides the costs associated with litigation, a will dispute can also sow seeds of discord that can tear your family apart for years. You certainly do not want this to happen. Is there anything you can do to protect your will from disputes?

You have no control over people’s decisions to express dissatisfaction with the provisions of your will. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of this. Here are some of them:

Acquaint yourself with the formalities of a legal will

For your Minnesota will to be enforceable, it must be valid. This means that it must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be written
  • You must be at least 18 when signing it
  • It must be witnessed by at least two non-interested parties

A will that does not meet these requirements can be disputed or simply declared invalid by the court.

Provide evidence of testamentary capacity

One of the grounds upon which your will can be disputed is when there are questions regarding your mental capacity at the time the will was signed. 

If you were diagnosed with a degenerative condition like dementia, for example, then someone might successfully argue that you lacked the testamentary capacity to create the document. A medical report that indicates that you were of sound mind may stave off those disputes.

A will is one of the most important legal documents you can ever sign. Understanding Minnesota wills laws can help you create a document that will stand the test of probate.