One of the benefits that trusts offer when compared to other estate planning documents is the possibility of entering what Minnesota law calls a "nonjudicial settlement agreement." When two or more parties have a trust dispute or even just want to memorialize their agreement about certain aspects of trust administration for a particular trust, they can use this type of agreement in lieu of having to go through a court in order to get a settlement.
While not every trust dispute can be resolved via a nonjudicial settlement agreement, this type of agreement can specify how competing Minnesota parties intend to resolve most of the issues that they have with each other. The agreement must not be in violation of any provision of the trust document itself. Moreover, the parties cannot agree to a thing that is effectively illegal; that is, that which a court would not be able to approve if were it given the opportunity to do so.
Minnesota residents who are interested in pursuing such agreements should also be mindful that other people may be allowed to ask a court to intervene and approve or disapprove the agreement.
Still, the nonjudicial settlement agreement gives Saint Paul residents and other people who may have an interest in the administration of a Minnesota trust a tool that can help resolve trust litigation quickly and efficiently, sometimes doing so even before a lawsuit gets filed. While this type of agreement might not be workable in every situation, Minnesotans who think it might be helpful to their cases should consider consulting a probate litigation attorney for more information.