Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

Sons win undue influence claims in $3 million will contest

Twin Cities readers who followed July's story about an estate dispute over a collectibles business valued at nearly $3 million may be interested to learn that the venerable memorabilia dealership has reopened its doors. An August court ruling in favor of the business owner's sons brought the heated will contest to a close and gave the sons an opportunity to devote their efforts to marshaling business assets.

The court battle focused on claims of undue influence over the business owner's wife by a half-sister and former employee. The owner's sons surprisingly found themselves in the position of disinherited heirs owing to a rewrite of the wife's will in the months following the owner's death.

The wife's original will bequeathed a 60 percent interest in the business to the owner's two sons and a 40 percent interest to the wife's half-brother. The rewritten will cut out both the son's and the wife's half brother and instead conveyed a 75 percent interest to her half-sister and a 25 percent interest to the former employee.

The sons challenged the validity of the rewritten will on claims that the owner's wife had been subjected to improper coercion during a time in which she was depressed, abusing prescription drugs and drinking to excess. In its August ruling, the court invalidated the second will and reinstated the terms of the wife's original will.

The death of a spouse can be devastating for a surviving spouse. Unfortunately, especially when a substantial estate is at stake, the vulnerability of a surviving spouse presents a prime target for unscrupulous would-be heirs. Minnesotans with concerns about potential undue influence may benefit from consulting with an attorney experienced in matters of inheritances and probate litigation.

Source: Journal Sentinel, "Derzon Coins reopens," Cary Spivak, Oct. 22, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map