There has been a lot of talk this year about how legalizing same-sex might change the make-up of the typical Minnesota family, but in fact it has been changing for decades. Divorce and remarriage are common, and so are family gatherings that include ex-spouses, children and step children, and various permutations of these relationships in each generation. These relationships can be just as wonderful as more traditional family relationships, but they aren't immune to traditional family arguments. And when these difficulties develop into legal battles, they can become very complicated.
Numerous studies have shown that financial exploitation of elderly people is on the rise in Minnesota and the rest of the nation. Many Minnesota families unfortunately do not even realize that this kind of exploitation has been going on until after their loved one has passed away and they get a look at the deceased's finances. In many cases, the would-be heirs are surprised when they see their loved one's will has listed suspicious strangers as beneficiaries. In some cases, this develops into a disagreement over inheritance that must be resolved in court.
According to one recent study, the 76 million members of the Baby Boom generation are inheriting $8.4 trillion from earlier generations. Much of this money is coming at a time when the economy is sluggish, and when younger generations are stuck with student loan debt and heavy mortgages. Perhaps as a result of the combination of these factors, there are more and more disagreements over inheritance in Minnesota and the rest of the country.
A valid will represents a person's wishes for what is to be done with their property after their death. Since the person is not around anymore to clarify those wishes, Minnesota courts try to stick as close as possible to what the will specifies. However, first, the court must know that the will is valid. There are a number of requirements that go into making a will, but perhaps the most important is that the person making the will, known as the testator, was competent to make a valid will at the time it was executed.