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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

St Paul Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Helping you resolve estate valuation issues during probate

Nowadays, individuals in Minnesota and elsewhere understand the importance of establishing an estate plan. Taking this step not only protects the individual and their wishes when it comes to property and asset distribution, but it also protects the loved ones of the individual. It can be difficult to put our future wishes and intentions in writing; however, this can prove to be a very beneficial and vital step to take. Thus, it is important to understand how to draft an estate plan, set up a trust and what steps are necessary to make these documents valid.

Contesting a will or a trust is not unheard of. In fact, if heirs and beneficiaries do not agree with what they see and hear when an estate plan is administered, it is likely that litigation could follow. Maybe an heir believes they are owed a certain amount or a specific item or maybe they are under the impression that the estate was not properly valued, making divestments improper.

North Face and Esprit founder's children fighting over estate

When a parent dies, they hope that their children will settle their estate fairly. But, even the best intentioned plans often end in a family dispute. The founder of 1980s clothing brand, Esprit, has family involved in an estate dispute.

In 2015, the co-founder of North Face and Esprit, Douglas Tompkins, died in an accident in Chile. He had two daughters from his first marriage. In his will, he left all of his assets to his second wife and foundations that they had created in Chile and Argentina to preserve open space. He left none of his estate to his daughters or his 5 grandchildren. One of his daughters is contesting the will in both the United States and Chile. She argues that because he established permanent residency in Chile, the trust he established in California was not valid. The attorney for his widow refutes these claims and says that she was left out of the will because of her lifestyle and values.

Not keeping up with estate expenses can cause serious issues

Estate executors have an important job to do for all people who have an interest in the estate. In Minnesota, there are many duties they are delegated to take on. When these duties are not completed, it can lead to probate complications among heirs & beneficiaries.

How to avoid will disputes

Every adult should create a will laying out where assets and money will go to upon the writer's death. While the individual should do everything in his or her power to ensure it is a fair and equitable division of assets, disputes can arise from anything. Sometimes siblings, children or spouses feel left out or feel they should receive more. 

When writing wills, people should be cognizant of how this paperwork can affect loved ones. Therefore, it is prudent to take actions before death to ensure there is no ill will in the future between family members. 

Probate litigation explained

Minnesota residents understand the importance of having an estate plan. These documents can ensure that a person's assets are distributed as they wish upon their death. But, occasionally a person's will can be challenged in court. This is referred to as probate litigation.

What is estate mediation?

When someone dies, they typically leave their estate to their loved ones. Occasionally, disputes arise regarding the estate among those who are left behind. In these circumstances, estate disputes can become complicated and stressful. Estate mediation is one way to work through issues and resolve differences.

Reasons why siblings argue over inheritances


Many children in the United States believe they will receive an inheritance when their parents pass away. But, when there are siblings involved, it can lead to disagreements. With the number of baby boomers passing away on the rise, there is quite a lot of money that is set to be inherited by their beneficiaries. This often leads to arguments over inheritance between siblings.

Will your family go through an estate dispute?

When a family member dies, they often have an estate that needs to be distributed. When a person dies with an estate plan, that process can be much easier. But, occasionally an estate dispute can occur which can lead to unexpected stress and heartbreak. There are some signs that an estate may be disputed, and a family may want to review these to see if this may be a problem in the future.

3 benefits of estate mediation vs. litigation

A contested will can do a lot of damage to a family. When a family member challenges a will, it can bring the worst financial, legal and emotional nightmares. Estate disputes can often last for years.

Is there any alternative to estate litigation? Mediation is a viable option in many cases. Mediating estate conflict is an opportunity to get the parties together before taking the issue to court. Here are some advantages of choosing mediation over litigation. 

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