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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives

IRA trusts protect heirs

Sometimes, limits should be placed on property going to heirs and beneficiaries. Providing an heir with unlimited access to an inherited individual retirement account may be unwise if the heir has debt or money management problems. Naming an IRA trust as a beneficiary may eliminate some inheritance problems, particularly with larger IRAs.

Heirs unprepared for wealth transfer

The composition of families of the baby boomer generation have been less traditional, due to more couples entering into second marriages or living together without getting married. A recent report from BMO Wealth Management found this could greatly complicate asset distribution to heirs and beneficiaries after a parent's death. For families in Minnesota, this could lead to more legal wrangling.

Fight over estate may be at an end

Court battles over a frozen food magnate's estate that spanned from Minnesota to Florida over a period of 5 years and cost millions of dollars may be at an end. Heirs and beneficiaries fighting over Jeno and Lois Paulucci's estate may have reached a potential settlement that could end this litigation.

What does a trustee's duty of impartiality entail?

Among other obligations, a Minnesota trustee has a legal duty to deal impartially with each and every beneficiary of a Minnesota trust, meaning that all people or organizations that stand to benefit financially from the trust have to be treated equitably. While this duty does not always mean that different beneficiaries will get perfectly equal treatment or the treatment that they personally feel is best, the duty does mean that the trustee has to avoid flagrantly promoting the interests of one beneficiary at the expense of another. This could occur by keeping one beneficiary out of the loop as to what is going on with the financial affairs of the trust.

Do I have the right to contest my father's will?

If you have a parent or loved one who has passed away, the stress of the situation may minimize some of the legal proceedings that will take place. One of these, however, is the review and execution of the will. You may find that it has been unexpectedly altered prior to your father's passing to hand over the majority of his estate to one of his nurses or a sibling. In such a situation, you will naturally want to seek recourse. If you are considering contesting the will, there are a few things you should know first.

Inheritance issues over 'selfies' and other electronic info

Although some people might not think of items that have little monetary value becoming common sources of probate litigation or other legal headaches following the death of a loved one, many families in the Saint Paul, Minnesota, area may find themselves having to fight over photographs and other information stored on a social networking site or in the internet "cloud."

We can help siblings head off probate disputes

Last week's post on this Minnesota blog discussed how many probate disputes blow up because one sibling, or a small group of siblings, winds up taking care of aging parents while other siblings do not do so. Sometimes, siblings who are not taking care of a parent, and who do not want to use the services of a nursing home, have ulterior motives. They want to conserve an inheritance, even at the expense of their parents' health and well-being.

5 ways to prepare when you think an estate dispute might get ugly

No family is perfect. But money can bring out the worst in people, and dividing up a parent's assets after death is no exception. If you feel there likely is going to be an estate dispute in your family, here are five ways to prepare. 

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