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Legal News in Minnesota

Electronic Will Act

Effective August 1, 2023, the Uniform Electronic Wills Act (Act) has been adopted by State of Minnesota.  This Act has significant ramifications for Minnesotans seeking to adopt an estate plan.  Prior to the adoption, Minnesota required a physical signature for a Will to be valid.  Although for the past decade or so, many legal and financial documents were considered valid when signed or notarized electronically, the execution of a Will was the exception, until now.  The new law authorizes the creation, witnessing and notarization of wills electronically. The Act defines an Electronic Will as “a will or codicil that (i) is created, signed, or maintained in an electronic, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or other similar medium, (ii) is retrievable in perceivable form, and (iii) is capable of verification that the writing of the electronic will has not been altered after its signing.”  The expansion into electronic execution may make estate planning more accessible and affordable, but time will tell how much these potential advantages are offset by negative issues.  The provisions of the Act have not been tested and its adoption will likely result in litigation to flush out how the provisions of the Act are interpreted.