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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Family cabins may cause an estate dispute

Minnesota residents are lucky to live in a state with a high number of cabin owners. Going "up north" is a common occurrence throughout the year, with many families owning a vacation home. These cabins are often passed from generation to generation, but there can be complications that arise as well.

When there is not proper planning for what will happen to the family cabin when the owners pass away, problems can arise. Although the dream of the cabin staying in the family forever is a common one, sometimes it doesn't work out. There are many issues that can make themselves known during the probate process. One is that the family members who inherit the cabin cannot afford the upkeep. Or the kids may not actually want the family cabin. If the transfer of the cabin is not planned out in advance, the children may not be able to come to a consensus over what should happen to it and who should pay for it. If there aren't rules about maintenance, use, repairs, and operating costs, family members can wind up in a tough situation.

Occasionally, a family is not able to decide on a probate issue, such as what to do with the family cabin. When there are probate disputes, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in probate litigation. An attorney understands how emotional these situations can be and how hard it can be to work out a solution. They are skilled in dispute resolution and working through problems before they become too big. Mediation can bring a family to a consensus and ensure everyone's opinion is heard and valued.

Leaving a family cabin to the next generation is the goal of many Minnesotans. Most of the time this is a seamless transition, but issues can arise during the probate process.

Source: Forbes, "The Family Cabin: Private Retreat Or Isolated Battleground?," Deborah L. Jacobs, Aug. 12, 2013

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