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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

November 2011 Archives

Building family wealth with trusts while avoiding probate fights

Trusts can be an important means of passing wealth on to succeeding generations. Minnesota residents may be interested to know that one of the heirs to the largest private company in the world, Minneapolis-based Cargill, has died. He was worth an estimated $2.6 billion and was known as a great supporter of education and culture in his community. The man and his brother were beneficiaries of family wealth that was passed down to four generations of Cargill and MacMillans, nine of whom still own about 88 percent of the company.

Trustee of Philip K. Dick estate files suit against film makers

Science-fiction fans in Minnesota are probably well-acquainted with the author Philip K. Dick. The author, who died in 1982, wrote many popular science-fiction novels in his lifetime, and many of those novels have since been made into movies. However, the trustee of his estate has now filed a lawsuit against the makers of the blockbuster movie "The Adjustment Bureau," which is based on Dick's short story "Adjustment Team."

Judge grants marriage wish on man's deathbed

In Minnesota issues of probate and estate administration are decided every day. Some turn on the status of a particular individual and their relationship to the deceased. In cases where a last will and testament exists, the terms of the will may dictate who gets what. When there is no will, however, state statutes provide for distribution to beneficiaries. Whether or not these issues played a direct part, an interesting and heart-rending case was reported in Minnesota.

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