It is not uncommon for people in St. Paul to feel blindsided by the wills of their deceased relatives and loved ones. There are many reasons why you may take issue with your inheritance. If you are receiving an inheritance that doesn't seem right or you do not agree with an inheritance someone else is receiving, you should learn how to contest a will. This can help you to avoid unnecessary distress and conflict with your relatives.
When a loved one passes away, the property and assets left behind are distributed per the directions in the will or living trust. If the instructions were listed in the former or if no such document exists, the estate may be subject to probate court. This type of court oversees the appointment of administrators as well as the eventual distribution of the estate, and litigation can land you in court, too. Probate mediation offers an alternative that may be beneficial to you and your family.
When men and women become concerned about how the people they love in life will be cared for and how the assets they have cultivated in life will be distributed after their death, they may execute a will. A will may be carefully drawn up in an attorney's office or scribbled on the back of a napkin. And although the individual who has created the will may intend for the document to have a completely binding legal effect, the individual's loved ones may find themselves disputing its creation, contents or practical consequences in the wake of the individual's death.
Under Minnesota law, when a person dies without a will, the person's estate passes to relatives according to what are known as the laws of intestate succession. Every state has a similar law, and they are all designed to distribute estate to family members, starting with the closest relatives and then, if close relatives are deceased, to relatives who are farther removed on the family tree. But what if a person dies without a will and without any living relatives?
Minnesota music fans may have been following the battle surrounding singer James Brown's estate. A recent court ruling means that the saga is far from over.
Twin Cities hip-hop fans undoubtedly know the Beastie Boys not only for more than 25 years of contribution to American music, but also for the band's historically rebellious stance against commercialization of its intellectual property. Fans mourned the loss of bassist, songwriter and civil rights activist Adam "MCA" Yauch to cancer in May of this year, but the iconic hip-hopper set up one last act of rebellion to be executed from beyond the grave. Unfortunately, the artist's efforts to stand on principle may result in unexpected financial costs to his family and heirs.
A recent case of probate litigation in Hennepin County may determine whether a Twin Cities resident should be entitled to claim an inheritance from his long-time partner and same-sex spouse in the absence of a will. The couple married in a state that recognized same-sex unions. The case before the probate court questions whether Minnesota's Defense of Marriage Act prohibits recognizing a same-sex spouse as the legal heir of a deceased partner.
Saint Paul residents who expect to receive an inheritance may want to consider some distinctly modern issues that can lead to the dwindling of an estate. For example, Americans are living longer today than they did years ago. Today there are more Americans over the age of 65 than ever before, and it is expected that the over-65 population will grow from 13 to 20 percent of the nation's total population by 2050.
Trusts can be an important means of passing wealth on to succeeding generations. Minnesota residents may be interested to know that one of the heirs to the largest private company in the world, Minneapolis-based Cargill, has died. He was worth an estimated $2.6 billion and was known as a great supporter of education and culture in his community. The man and his brother were beneficiaries of family wealth that was passed down to four generations of Cargill and MacMillans, nine of whom still own about 88 percent of the company.
In Minnesota issues of probate and estate administration are decided every day. Some turn on the status of a particular individual and their relationship to the deceased. In cases where a last will and testament exists, the terms of the will may dictate who gets what. When there is no will, however, state statutes provide for distribution to beneficiaries. Whether or not these issues played a direct part, an interesting and heart-rending case was reported in Minnesota.