No one in Minnesota honestly wants to see their children, other loved ones or even beloved charities engaged in a court battle after his or her death. Probate litigation, it must be admitted, usually means that some of the inheritance, sometimes a good portion, will wind up going to litigation expenses instead of to either party to the lawsuit.
Minnesotans can do certain things to avoid probate litigation. While some Minnesota residents might think, quite correctly, that a will helps prevent probate litigation, sometimes it is only the tip of the iceberg. Some professionals even recommend that people generally should not have a will at all but should opt instead for a trust that keeps an estate out of the halls of the courtroom.
As previous posts on this blog have reported, others take a more favorable view of wills. However, it is true that a person who writes a will needs to understand that the will determines to a large extent how the probate process will go; it is not an infallible document, and people can attempt to challenge it. Moreover, the terms of the will can be unclear, leaving questions in a reasonable person’s mind about what the person who wrote it meant.
People should take care when writing wills if they want to prevent probate litigation. Nevertheless, even if people take the utmost care to communicate their wishes clearly and often, sometimes an angry relative or friend or even an outside third party like a creditor or government agency can cause trouble for those trying to administer an estate. The wisdom of experienced probate litigation counsel may be necessary in such circumstances.