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Do You Need Legal Assistance to Draft a Will? Insights and Recommendations

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Drafting a will? You may be questioning whether you need the expertise of an attorney. In essence, while it’s not obligatory to engage an estate planning attorney, it’s often necessary. Especially if you’re unclear about the process, how to ensure the form requirements align with state statutes, or if you’re aiming to bypass the intricacies of probate court (in which scenario, consider a Trust over a Will). To determine if you need a legal professional, ponder the following points.

Your Estate may not be as Simple as you Think

A straightforward will might suffice if you have limited assets and few beneficiaries who all get along with one another and each other’s spouses. But often, estate scenarios aren’t that simple. Many seek legal counsel to sidestep probate complications or to manage intricate familial situations.

For instance, blending families after remarriage can complicate inheritance matters. An attorney ensures that assets are appropriately designated between children from a prior union and a new spouse. High-value estates, encompassing properties, vehicles, retirement funds, and other assets can benefit from transitioning from a will to a trust-based structure. Those with real estate interests and/or business interests nearly always require a trust to avoid court involvement. With a lawyer’s guidance, you’ll understand asset distribution, probate avoidance and potential tax implications.

Do You Need Contingency Provisions?

Life’s unpredictability can influence your will’s execution after your demise. Asset fluctuations, changes in beneficiary status, or the passing of an executor can disrupt your initial wishes.

Legal experts can preempt these changes, offering modifications or alternative strategies in your will. To ensure you’re equipped for unforeseen changes, consider the expertise of our Minneapolis estate planning attorneys.

Is Your Aim to Provide Clarity and Ease for Your Family?

The primary purpose of a will is to set forth your intentions at your death. However, it is a document that is created for a probate court judge. Ambiguity or errors can lead to familial disputes, prolonging the probate process. If you neglect certain legal formalities, such as having witnesses during signing or not updating it per Minnesota’s regulations, your will’s validity could be at stake. Wills don’t always provide clarity.  If you require certainty and want to ensure your estate avoids probate court and/or familial conflict, a trust is a better option for you.

Engage our Minneapolis estate planning team to craft a clear, legally sound document. Avoid potential pitfalls and ensure peace of mind. Contact us at 612-448-9653 for further insights and assistance.

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