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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Pour over wills and trust litigation

Many Minnesotans may have heard of living trusts, and a few Saint Paul residents may even have one or plan to use one as a tool for passing their property on to their loved ones after they die. Although whether this estate planning tool is the right one for a given situation is not a question for this blog, this blog has often discussed ways in which a Minnesotan can avoid trust disputes down the road by attending to their estate plans properly.

In the case of a living trust, one of the most important things that a person can do is make sure that, at the time of his or her death, all property that he or she intends to be in the trust is in fact in the trust. While one easy solution is just to put everything into the trust while one is alive and well, it can become quite inconvenient in a world that is used to dealing with the transactions of individuals, and not trusts.

As a result, many Minnesota residents will leave important pieces of property outside of a trust for the sake of convenience. While this is fine per se, the person who does this needs to be sure that this property gets into the trust at the time of death by creating a pour over will.

A pour over will is a very simple will, valid under Minnesota law, that provides that all property that is not currently in the living trust goes to the living trust at the time of death.

If a person does not properly create and store a pour over will, it could mean a great deal of confusion as to who should get what property. More importantly, the true intentions of the person who created the living trust will likely not get carried out in full. These sorts of issues can easily lead to trust disputes and litigation.

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