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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Estate Valuation Archives

Helping you resolve estate valuation issues during probate

Nowadays, individuals in Minnesota and elsewhere understand the importance of establishing an estate plan. Taking this step not only protects the individual and their wishes when it comes to property and asset distribution, but it also protects the loved ones of the individual. It can be difficult to put our future wishes and intentions in writing; however, this can prove to be a very beneficial and vital step to take. Thus, it is important to understand how to draft an estate plan, set up a trust and what steps are necessary to make these documents valid.

Exploring the basics of estate valuation

When a loved one dies in Minnesota, a personal representative may engage in estate valuation for tax purposes and for its proper distribution. A person may also calculate the value of their estate when they are alive to help them determine the value of estate, make decisions about their will and calculate taxes for their heirs and estates.

We competently handle disputes with taxing authorities

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.

What is a step-up basis and how does it work?

Although probate disputes oftentimes involve quarrels between family members, many times litigation can result because a family gets challenged by the state or federal taxing authority. In these sorts of cases, estate valuation is often a very important issue since the value of the estate ultimately determines whether taxes are owed, and if so how much tax is owed.

How is diminished capacity established in a will contestment?

There is a range of circumstances that can lead up to the contestment of a will. Significant alterations, disinheritance of children or relatives and other unusual circumstances will at least raise eyebrows, and in some cases, lead to contestment. One of the most common arguments offered in support is that the decedent's diminished capacity was exploited. These are the criteria that constitute diminished capacity.

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