By Jedidiah McKeehan

When I draft wills for people, one conversation I have with them is where they will store their wills.

It’s important to know that usually courts, especially in Tennessee, need the original of a will for it to be admitted to probate court. So whether it’s your spouse or your children, they need to easily locate the original copy of your will.

I jokingly tell people, “Do not keep your will in your kitchen junk drawer.” While I hope that does not happen, I also hope they do not consider that as a possibility for where they would keep their will.

I always tell people to keep their will where they keep their “important papers.” If you have a safe deposit box, a will is a normal thing to keep in a safe deposit box. You might keep your will in a bedside table. You may keep your will in a filing cabinet, or you may keep your will in a safe you have in your house. Please, wherever you keep your will, ensure that the people closest to you know where the original of your will can be located.

Some other tips that might be useful: scan and email yourself and other loved ones a copy of your will. It’s just a copy, but it will be somewhere where you will know the terms and you probably will not lose the email.

Further, those very dramatic reading of wills in movies does not happen in real life. There is no need for that in real life, particularly when people know the terms of the will ahead of time.

In summary, keep your will in a safe place, that is logical in that you will remember where it is and someone searching through your house will be able to locate it.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including personal injury, divorce and custody, criminal and landlord-tenant law. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.