As last week's post on this blog discussed, sometimes time-consuming and costly probate litigation is not caused by internal strife among Minnesota families. Instead, the legal disputes involve an aggressive creditor who claims that the person who died owed the creditor money.
Most families in St. Paul would probably agree that a person's just debts should be repaid, if possible, after that person dies and before the remainder of the person's wealth gets distributed to the heirs. However, in many situations, it is not clear-cut that the deceased person even owed money to a creditor in the first place.
Moreover, sometimes creditors will grossly overstate the amount that the person actually owed or try to tack on extortionate fees and surcharges. In either case, a family could feel quite helpless to prevent a creditor from taking advantage of a difficult situation.
In such cases, probate litigation may be a family's best option for protecting the value of their loved one's estate and ensuring that his or her final wishes are carried out to the fullest extent possible. A creditor must go through a process of proving both that the deceased person owed money, and proving the correct amount of the debt.
If a family needs to take a creditor of the estate to court, they may want to rely on the assistance of an experienced Minnesota probate attorney. In this respect, Rodney J. Mason has handled all different types of probate litigation for many years and has had success in helping families deal with both uncontested and disputed claims of creditors. Please feel free to check out our firm's website for more information about how we can help people with all areas of probate and estate administration.