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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Disputes over inheritance are increasingly common

According to one recent study, the 76 million members of the Baby Boom generation are inheriting $8.4 trillion from earlier generations. Much of this money is coming at a time when the economy is sluggish, and when younger generations are stuck with student loan debt and heavy mortgages. Perhaps as a result of the combination of these factors, there are more and more disagreements over inheritance in Minnesota and the rest of the country.

Will conflicts can come up for many reasons. Some of the most difficult involve children who have been disinherited.

For example, a father and a son may have a falling-out and the father gets so angry that he executes a new will that cuts out the son and gives everything to the daughter. However, over the course of months or years, the father and son repair their relationship. Unfortunately, the father dies before revising his will. Thus, the daughter inherits the entire estate. This sets up a conflict between the son and daughter.

Under circumstances such as these, it can be difficult to get a court to agree that the will was invalid. However, if the will was defectively executed or made under the undue influence of a third party, the son may have a good case.

Family disputes over money are often unpleasant, and that may be especially true when it involves the inheritance from a loved one who recently passed away. However, Minnesota families must stand up for their own interests at the same time that they honor what they know their loved ones really wanted. Minnesota residents involved in a disagreement over inheritance should get help understanding their legal options.

Source: Bloomberg, "You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You?," Lewis Braham, July 23, 2013

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