This blog has frequently discussed how probate litigation is more likely when a deceased person in Saint Paul or another part of Minnesota dies without a will or other formal estate plan. Although in some rare cases dying without a will might not be important, in most cases one of several problems will rear its ugly head and, potentially, cause probate litigation.
Some of the problems with dying without a will may be come immediately apparent. For instance, a person’s animals might not get the care that the person would have expected. Although less likely, this can even happen with a person’s minor children, as a will often has valuable information about whom a deceased person thought would be a good guardian. Funeral arrangements can also be a source of contention in the absence of specific direction.
More importantly, though, family members will have every practical incentive to continue a probate battle simply because it is impossible to get inside the mind of someone who has died unless that person has left specific instructions. There will rarely be a “smoking gun” that settles an estate in which on will was ever written.
Moreover, family members will often have reasons to get overly emotional about property or other estate matters. Furthermore, without the guidance of a will, family members will often simply try to work things out among themselves, and during an emotionally stressful time like the time surrounding a loved one, old grudges and resentments can come to the forefront.
Despite all of this information, more than half of all Americans do not have a will. For Minnesota families, this means that there may come a day in which they will have to deal with a probate battle of some sort. Should litigation of an estate arise, it may be best for such families to seek the help of an experienced Minnesota probate litigation attorney.