Simple Wills are the most basic form of estate planning. In the case of a married couple, simple wills usually provide that the surviving spouse inherits the decedent’s estate. The wills provide that, when the surviving spouse dies, the estate will be distributed to the couple’s children or other parties. Simple wills can provide for special gifts for friends or relatives.
Wills do not avoid probate. In Minnesota, if a person owns real estate or investments in their own name at the time of their death, a probate will usually be required. The purpose of the will is to determine how the person’s estate will he distributed.
Simple wills can be especially important for single people or people in second marriages or those with children from previous marriages. This is because state laws, which dictate how property will be distributed when there is no will, can be significantly different than the way a person would like to have their property distributed, upon their death. The best way to make sure property is distributed the way you want is through a will.
A basic estate plan usually consists of a simple will, power of attorney, and health care directive (living will).