Last week's post on this Saint Paul, Minnesota, estate litigation blog discussed the "step-up basis" and its importance in putting the correct value on a probate estate. Arguments over what basis to apply to a piece of property, however, are just one of the many issues that can arise between a family and the state or federal taxing authorities during probate or trust administration.
Although our law firm has experience dealing with disputes between family members and other heirs and beneficiaries, we also have experience helping families protect an estate's assets from the claims of third-party creditors, which can include taxing authorities. Dealing with a taxing authority is particularly stressful for some since the state or federal government, at least in theory, has extensive legal resources and a lot of power to get the result the government thinks is correct.
At times, it may be in the best interest for the estate to compromise a claim made by a taxing authority. In this case, our office will make sure our clients are aware of all their legal options and are otherwise fully informed when making a decision to negotiate a deal. Doing so is important since, once negotiated, heirs will generally be bound by whatever agreement is reached.
On the other hand, our legal professionals also strive to move forward with litigation, either in court or, as the case may be, before an administrative panel, being fully prepared to handle questions and to present all the facts of a person's case in a persuasive manner. While we cannot always promise our clients a winning result, we can commit to making the best case reasonably possible under the circumstances.