We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

Court battle over estate may be coming to a head

A court battle over an estate pending in one of Minnesota's neighboring jurisdictions has taken a rather mysterious turn, as a judge disclosed what he called "explosive" news to several attorneys involved in the litigation, but then ordered the information kept under seal, that is, secret from the general public. The issue revolves around the ownership of a packing company, a family business founded by a now deceased entrepreneur. It seems from a series of estate planning documents, including wills, corporations, and trusts, that the man wanted one of his daughters to run the business after he died.

However, several of the daughter's brothers and sisters have challenged the daughter's handling of the estate's affairs, including the affairs of the family business. The woman has since been removed from managing the estate's business and has been replaced by outside business consultants. She also has been removed as trustee from several trusts her father created. At this time, the court's goal appears to be to sell the business and distribute it among the estate's heirs so that each one gets the inheritance to which they are entitled.

The "explosive" news to which the probate judge alluded was not described in detail, meaning its impact on the ensuing probate litigation is not clear. However, the judge did revoke his decision to relax his orders requiring the daughter have no contact with her son, who is also involved in the family business.

The estate in question is likely worth millions of dollars, although the affect of the litigation on the value of the estate is not clear, since at least one of the attorneys will be able to collect fees from the value of the estate. If anything, though, this case illustrates how complicated and stressful probate litigation can get, especially when one considers the broad powers of a probate judge. Many Minnesotans may find that the assistance of an experienced probate litigation attorney is essential when dealing with these types of issues.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stakes rise in fight over Oak Creek firm," Bruce Vielmetti, Nov. 30, 2016.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map