Disputes among siblings are common, thus the term sibling rivalry. But what happens when the children grow up and that rivalry continues. The children may have the difficult task of working together in settling their parents' estate. Disagreements among the adult children can drag settlement of the affairs on for years and create bitter, costly court battles. The MLK case is one such example.
Last week's post discussed how a Minnesota resident can, even if not able to handle his or her day-to-day affairs, can still be considered legally "competent" to write or revise a will. The implications of this are significant. In effect, a person may not have the ability to make a personal or business decision involving a few dollars but may be perfectly able to wipe a person's hope of a large inheritance.
Last week's post discussed how a person who wishes to write a will in Minnesota must have the "competency" to do so. The post also explained that showing "competency" to write a will is fairly easy. All a Minnesota resident need be able to do is show that he or she has the ability to know that general value of his or her property and to whom or he or she might wish to give it.
Last week's post discussed how a family is trying to have the business decisions of an NFL owner in another state declared invalid because the owner was not "competent" to make them. Albeit a slightly differently set of facts, this story could make some residents of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and particularly those who read this blog, ask themselves what exactly makes a person "competent" to prepare a valid will that disposes of the person's property upon death.
A trust is just one of many estate planning tools that a Minnesota resident can choose. A recent post on this blog discussed how a trustee in Minnesota has a right to make reasonable investment decisions on behalf of the trust and its ultimate beneficiaries. While many if not most trustees do just that, some trustees are irresponsible or careless about how they invest or use trust funds.
Most Minnesota attorneys do their work honestly and competently. Unfortunately however, there are some who use their legal knowledge and skill to their own advantage and at their client's expense.
Even as far north as Minnesota, people have heard of the professional football team called the "Saints" and may have heard of the professional basketball team called the "Pelicans." These teams have been owned for a long time owned by a Southern billionaire. Unfortunately, his family is now locked in trust litigation that may depend on who owns one share of stock.
Last week's post discussed how a Minnesotan who has been wrongfully cut out of a will can challenge the document even if the will seems on the face to be legally and properly signed. While the post mentioned legal ways by which a person can challenge a will, the post also correctly implied that will contests of this nature can be very difficult to prove.
As the readers of this blog know, we have posted many times on the perils of probate litigation but have also discussed how sometimes a dispute is simply unavoidable. Not surprisingly, though, many people over the years, including those in Minnesota, have tried ways to make absolutely certain that the administration of their estate would not lead to family turmoil.
Many Minnesotans may have enjoyed the novels of author Tom Clancy. However, about a year after the multimillionaire author's death, his family is engaged in a probate dispute that is starting to develop its own dramatic plot line.