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Minnesotans may have to finance their own probate litigation

As this blog has mentioned in previous posts, many Minnesotans may want to pursue probate litigation and have good grounds for doing so but may, on the other hand, simply be unable to afford the often hefty cost of a protracted court battle.

Fortunately, in some cases, Minnesota law allows a successful litigant the ability to recover his or her reasonable attorney fees. Although this privilege can prove valuable to those who have been wronged in the course of probate disputes, Minnesotans need to understand that not everyone can automatically get probate attorney fees covered.

A personal representative, who oversees the property of the estate and carries out the wishes of the deceased, can almost always recover all of his or her reasonable attorney fees from the property in the estate. Also, a person who has the right to challenge a will may collect attorney fees from the estate for doing so, but only if his or her will contest is successful. Other people may in limited situations recover fees from the estate as well.

In addition to these limitations on the collection of attorney fees, Minnesotans also need to keep in mind that all attorney fees ultimately come out of the same estate that would otherwise be divided up among heirs. For those who ultimately will benefit from the estate, litigation is always a costly proposition. When it has to happen, it is often best that litigation be undertaken with the help of an experienced and efficient Minnesota probate attorney.

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Mason & Helmers
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