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Heirs & Beneficiaries Archives

Family owners of theme park in big legal battle

Many Minnesota residents set up their estate plans to try to keep a particular piece of real estate or a business in the family. To achieve this goal, they may set up trusts, conditions in a will or other instruments to direct the behavior of their heirs and beneficiaries. But, as the years go by and generations change, there can sometimes be a failure to interpret a trust, or a dispute over the original intent of the party who made the plan.

Nelson Mandela's heirs and beneficiaries fights over his legacy

Minnesota residents may have been following the recent reports of the poor health of the famous former South African President Nelson Mandela. As of this writing, Mandela, 94, was hospitalized with a lung infection. As he lay in a hospital bed, some of his family members were already embroiled in a messy legal battle over his legacy.

Study shows millennials concerned about their inheritance

There has been a lot of hand-wringing in the media in recent years about what will become of the millennials, the generation of Americans now coming into their early twenties. Magazines, television newscasters and websites all want to know if these social media obsessed youths are prepared for the harsh realities of today's economy. Now one research group has looked at how this generation handles inherited wealth.

Mother of twin heirs accused of blowing their inheritance

Minnesota families sometimes set up trust funds to help their children or grandchildren with their financial needs after they're gone. These can be a great way to keep a sense of family legacy together through generations. However, the work involved doesn't end once all the documents are signed and dated. The trustee must perform its duty to the trust principal and the beneficiaries must not interfere with each others' rights to the fund. When something goes wrong, it can lead to lawsuits over misuse of funds.

Financial exploitation of elderly a growing concern

Many of Minnesota's elderly residents have been targeted by unscrupulous individuals who cheat them out of their money through identity theft and other scams. In some cases, it's not just a common thief but an investment banker or other supposed professional who drains away the person's estate through imprudent investments, self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duty.

A great battle begins for the estate of Middle-Earth

The author J.R.R. Tolkien was famous for writing "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," epic fantasy stories about a major battle over who has the rights to old treasures like a gold ring and a broken sword. But the success of Tolkien's novels and the movies based on them has created a treasure of its own. Powerful forces are now fighting over bits of his legacy like Frodo fighting Gollum over the fires of Mount Doom.

Minneapolis coin dealer admits to exploiting elderly clients

This blog has reported in the past about the apparent rise in financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in Minnesota by unscrupulous businesses. A recent case involving a Minneapolis coin dealer shows how brazen some of these businesses can be.

Minnesota financial exploitation continues to increase

Despite some indications of increasing public awareness, officials from one Minnesota county say that the number of cases they see involving financial exploitation of vulnerable adults continues to rise. The observation of Olmsted county social services workers seems to gibe with the results of a national study published last year that reported nearly $3 billion in losses during 2010 as a result of the financial exploitation of people over age 60. That figure factored in losses to organized efforts, such as fraudulent home improvement and trust or insurance scams, but vulnerable adults also frequently fall prey to misuse of funds by those entrusted to provide for their care and well being.

Judge: business deals with estate funds amount to self-dealing

As Twin Cities readers may know, the executor of a probate estate typically has broad latitude to manage estate assets in furtherance of the testator's wishes. Sometimes, however, those in charge of estate administration forget that an executor owes a fiduciary duty to all the beneficiaries of the estate. As one recent court ruling illustrates, the failure to live up to fiduciary responsibilities need not be motivated by greed or personal gain to amount to unlawful self-dealing and bad faith.

Proposed law aims to protect vulnerable Minnesotans

Twin Cities readers may be interested to learn that two state lawmakers have recently proposed legislation that would impose more rigorous background check requirements for individuals seeking court appointments to serve as guardians or conservators. Minnesota's Attorney General supports the measure aimed at reducing the risk of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

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Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
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