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

Trusts can potentially prevent disputes between loved ones

Parents in Minnesota may not wish to leave equal inheritances to their children, because of their unequal income and resources and their different need for the inheritance. They may also have different expenses such as an upcoming college education for their children or have expenses associated with a child with a disability. A parent may want to completely or partially disinherit one of his or her family members.

An unequal inheritance may cause hurt feelings, sibling conflict and even a will contest in court. Using a trust instead of a will and candidly communicating with heirs and family members may avoid these disputes.

A person's assets must go through probate in court if their assets are transferred through a will. This may lead to conflict because each child must receive a legal notice with a copy of the will. Each heir may also appear in probate court to contest the will. This could lead to prolong and expensive litigation, which may even unravel their parents' wishes.

Trusts, however, lower the likelihood of family disputes over inheritance. Property in a trust is transferred when the parent is alive. The trust identifies the person who receives the inheritance after the parent dies. Children do not receive legal notice.

Fighting a trust is more difficult than challenging a will. Also, parents are usually presumed to have set forth their intentions by setting up a trust.

Speaking to children about intentions may also help avoid future conflict. Sharing reasons for unequal inheritances may lower expectations and the potential for unrealistic expectations over an inheritance.

Careful planning and drafting of these documents may avoid disputes among loved ones and acrimonious litigation and help assure that the parent's wishes are carried out. A lawyer can assist families with this planning and trust creation.

Source: Times Herald-Record, "Trusts can help avoid family feuds over inheritances," Bonnie Kraham, Esq., April 12, 2017

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