(a) The court administrator of any county upon order of the judge exercising probate jurisdiction may destroy all the original documents in any probate proceeding of record in the office provided a Minnesota state archives commission approved photographic, photostatic, microphotographic, microfilmed, digitally imaged, electronic, or similarly reproduced copy of the original are on file in the office. After the file in the proceeding has been closed, only the following enumerated documents need to be retained:
(1) in estates, the jurisdictional petition and proof of publication of the notice of hearing thereof; will and certificate of probate; letters; inventory and appraisal; orders directing and confirming sale, mortgage, lease, or for conveyance of real estate; order setting apart statutory selection; receipts for federal estate taxes and state estate taxes; orders of distribution and general protection; decrees of distribution; federal estate tax closing letter, consent to discharge by commissioner of revenue and order discharging representative; and any amendment of the listed documents. When an estate is deemed closed as provided in paragraph (b), the enumerated documents shall include all claims of creditors;
(2) in guardianships or conservatorships, the jurisdictional petition and order for hearing thereof with proof of service; letters; orders directing and confirming sale, mortgage, lease or for conveyance of real estate; order for restoration to capacity and order discharging guardian; and any amendment of the listed documents; and
(3) in mental, inebriety, and indigent matters, the jurisdictional petition; report of examination; warrant of commitment; notice of discharge from institution, or notice of death and order for restoration to capacity; and any amendment of the listed documents.
(b) Except for the enumerated documents described in this subdivision, the court administrator may destroy all other documents in any probate proceeding without retaining any reproduction of the document. For the purpose of this subdivision, a proceeding is deemed closed if no document has been filed in the proceeding for a period of 15 years, except in the cases of wills filed for safekeeping and those containing wills of decedents not adjudicated upon.
A photographic, photostatic, microphotographic, microfilmed, digitally imaged, electronic, or similarly reproduced record is of the same force and effect as the original and may be used as the original document or book of record in all proceedings.
This section does not apply to the court of any county until the county board of the county adopts a resolution authorizing the destruction of probate records pursuant to the provisions of this section. When the county board has complied with this subdivision, section 525.092 and any act amendatory thereof shall no longer apply to the probate court of that county.