Twin Cities readers may recall a story from earlier this year involving the administration of a colonial-era trust and the surrounding controversy that divided a historical seaside town. The recent sale of the trust's assets may be the final act that permanently dissolves the nation's oldest functioning trust, but local opponents of the move say that they will not let the sale put an end to the ongoing trust dispute.
Twin Cities bargain hunters are probably familiar with estate sales as an opportunity for good finds, but a recent case that may amount to estate sale fraud might make beneficiaries think twice before hiring someone else to act on behalf of the estate. Because estate sale companies are not subject to any special regulations, they are not liable for the types of fiduciary claims that might apply to a trustee, such as self-dealing or breach of fiduciary duty.
Science-fiction fans in Minnesota are probably well-acquainted with the author Philip K. Dick. The author, who died in 1982, wrote many popular science-fiction novels in his lifetime, and many of those novels have since been made into movies. However, the trustee of his estate has now filed a lawsuit against the makers of the blockbuster movie "The Adjustment Bureau," which is based on Dick's short story "Adjustment Team."
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.