While much of probate litigation involves issues like whether a will is valid or whether an executor has overstepped his or her authority, another important area of probate litigation consists of those cases that involve the value of an estate.
Many times, when Minnesotans get embroiled in a probate dispute, there is no question as to whom should receive what share of the estate. Instead the question is what the true value of each share of the estate is. Fights often emerge when it seems that one member of the family's "equal share" is in fact quite a bit larger than that of the other heirs.
Valuation issues can be difficult to figure out. Oftentimes, getting the value of a particular asset at the time of a person's death is not simply a matter of looking at a bank statement. Although many things, such as collectibles, are hard to value, perhaps the item that comes up the most in a valuation dispute is the value of the shares of a privately owned business.
Fortunately, our office's experience and knowledge of the law in this area can prove invaluable to our clients. We know how to investigate the value of difficult items, including a family business, by asking for the right documents and reviewing them carefully.
Naturally, the other party in a case will probably have evidence and information in support of his or her own estimated value of an estate or a particular item. This is where our own expertise in valuation really comes in to play. With our knowledge, we can meet an opposing position on value head on and expose in what areas this position is making untenable or shaky financial assumptions.
Valuation disputes can be difficult, particularly when a person does not know where to start in proving up his or her case. For more information, please visit our Trust Litigation web page.