Please Keep My Will In Minnesota

Are you trying to determine where to keep a will in Minnesota?  Believe it or not, Minnesota has already thought about this issue and as a result, created a process in 1997. That said, Minnesota’s process is not ideal for every person or family.

Where to keep a will in Minnesota is a personal choice.  An advantage to depositing a will with the court administrator is it will be sealed in an envelope and there is a special protocol to examine the will. 

On the other hand, having your will accessible allows you to review your wishes and compare them to changes in laws or interest. This would be especially important for sophisticated estates.

Revising a Will With Mark-Outs

There are a lot of reasons why a person might change their will in the future. If the document is sealed and filed with a Court, the testator (the person creating the will) might not have the needed access for transportation. Remember, you might be in a skilled nursing home.

Now, some might be yelling at their computer screen because they would take a picture on their phone. Well, this also creates unintended consequences. Just one change or alteration to a will stored at the house could negatively impact the intent of the document filed with a Court.  Also, mark-outs, interlineations, and other changes to an estate planning document, especially attested wills have a history of snow balling.

Reasons to Revise A will

Here is a short list of reasons why you may want to revise your Will in the future: 

  • Births or Adoptions,
  • Injuries, health problems, or deaths to any of your agents,
  • Changes with your finances or assets,
  • Marital changes, the death of a spouse, or divorce,
  • Fallout with friends or family,
  • International transactions,
  • A change in feelings towards Agents, Beneficiaries, Guardians, and Personal Representatives,
  • Moving to a different state, or
  • Changes in State or Federal laws. 

Provided you limit the person who is able to examine your will to yourself – it is unlikely that any other person will have access to it.  Compare this to the process of keeping your will in your home.  If your goal is to keep a will in Minnesota such that nobody else is able to see it until your death, depositing a will with the court administrator is a good approach because it prevents others from changing it.

Keep Will Minnesota In A Safe

You can keep a will in Minnesota in any spot you feel is safe.  Now that it was brought up, should you keep a will in Minnesota in a safe? 

If you select a safe, perhaps spend extra money to assure it is fireproof. A safe deposit box may be an option too.  However, this can sometimes be an unwelcomed burden if your family does not know about or have access to your safe deposit box and the forms needed to allow access.  At a minimum, keep your Will away from heat, moisture, and sunlight. 

Minnesota Rule for Depositing A will

Under a rule called Rule 418, a person can deposit a will with the court administrator in any county they want.  However, to keep a will in Minnesota implies you know have stuff in Minnesota.  If you have stuff in Minnesota, you likely want your stuff found by those who can step in when a will becomes necessary. 

Under this same rule, any will may be withdrawn by the person who wrote it upon presentation of identification and signing an appropriate receipt.  Also, another person may withdraw the will by presenting a written authorization signed by the person who wrote the will and two witnesses with the testator’s signature notarized.

Again, every situation is different. As a result of the estate planning process and working with a professional to address family dynamics, consider asking your planning team for support.

Estate Planning Help

Estate Attorney Jasper Berg