Do I still need a will if I am single?

Minnesota estate planning attorney Karen Schlotthauer explains the advantages of having a will even if you are single.

Contact Karen Schlotthauer

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (612) 336-9324


Do you need a will if you’re single and you have no real estate and no children? Yes, you need to have a will because my assumption is you want to be in charge of nominating who your fiduciaries are. In other words, who’s in charge of your estate after your death? You also want to tell us who you want to see receive those assets because in Minnesota when you die without a will, state law takes over and it will dictate who’s in charge, in other words, who’s the fiduciary, and who gets your assets. And many times it’s not the people that you would otherwise choose.

Other reasons for people why they need to have a will, to incorporate state tax planning provisions. They’re in a second-marriage situation and they have to do special planning. They’re gonna disinherit someone. They might have a child who has special needs. They might be an adult child, but they can’t manage assets or they have some type of chemical dependency where you need to have an ongoing trust.

Another big reason, you have children who are minors. If you die without a will, those kids will receive their inheritance at the age of eighteen, and it’s really rare to find parents who think age eighteen’s the appropriate age. You would incorporate a trust into your documents where you leave the assets for the benefit of those kids, and then at certain ages of distribution you give them the control over the money.