Previous posts here have discussed the legal dispute over the future of Viacom, a major media conglomerate and parent company of studios and channels that produce entertainment that would likely be familiar to many residents of Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Disputes among siblings are common, thus the term sibling rivalry. But what happens when the children grow up and that rivalry continues. The children may have the difficult task of working together in settling their parents' estate. Disagreements among the adult children can drag settlement of the affairs on for years and create bitter, costly court battles. The MLK case is one such example.
Last week's post on this Minnesota blog discussed how many probate disputes blow up because one sibling, or a small group of siblings, winds up taking care of aging parents while other siblings do not do so. Sometimes, siblings who are not taking care of a parent, and who do not want to use the services of a nursing home, have ulterior motives. They want to conserve an inheritance, even at the expense of their parents' health and well-being.
No family is perfect. But money can bring out the worst in people, and dividing up a parent's assets after death is no exception. If you feel there likely is going to be an estate dispute in your family, here are five ways to prepare.
For many residents in Minnesota, they have or will deal with the unfortunate death of a loved one. While this is not always expected, family members will have to face many realities, following the passing of a loved one. One major process that family members must go through is properly sorting through the deceased's belongings and property. In many cases, family member will have to go through a legal process to formally transfer property to others. This process is known as probate.
The Minnesota judge overseeing the estate of the now deceased rock musician Prince, who himself lived in the Twin Cities, narrowed the number of potential heirs in the Prince estate substantially, dismissing the claims of almost 30 people who said that they were related to the singer. Six heirs to the estate, all half siblings, have already been identified as such.