Articles

receiving check

Award of Attorney’s Fees in Minnesota Estate Litigation

Under a Minnesota statute, a personal representative, nominee, or other interested person may receive reimbursement from an estate for attorney’s fees and other expenses relating to estate litigation, if certain criteria are met. Courts construe th… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
Symbols of law in court library with judge gavel

Bankruptcy Clawback Cases: Financial Institution Safe Harbor Provision

In a 2018 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States settled a difference of opinion among federal circuit courts of appeal about interpretation of § 546(e) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. That section includes a safe harbor provision relating to… Read More
Categories: Bankruptcy, Litigation
Trust word written on wooden block.

What Constitutes Trustee Breach of the Duty of Loyalty?

A trustee’s responsibilities in managing a trust include the duty of loyalty imposed by Minnesota law. Breach of the duty subjects a trustee to litigation, including potential removal as trustee. To shed light on how a court may consider allegation… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
Businessman going over forms

Estate Litigation: Authority of a Personal Representative to Settle Claims

The Minnesota Probate Code imposes substantial duties and authority on the personal representative of an estate, among them the ability “satisfy and settle claims.” Occasionally, exercise of that authority leads to a court challenge questioning t… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
Bankruptcy law book and gavel

What Is the Difference Between an Adversary Proceeding and a Contested Matter in a Bankruptcy Case?

While most bankruptcy cases proceed smoothly from start to finish, some cases require bankruptcy court proceedings to determine issues relating to the bankruptcy case. Adversary proceedings and contested matters are the two types of bankruptcy litiga… Read More
Categories: Bankruptcy, Litigation
What Constitutes Breach o…

What Constitutes Breach of Fiduciary Duty By a Trustee?

The Minnesota Trust Code, found in Chapter 501C of the Minnesota Statutes, imposes specific fiduciary duties on a trustee. If a trustee breaches any of those duties, a court may grant relief to a person who suffers harm. In determining whether a trus… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
How Beneficiary Designati…

How Beneficiary Designations Lead to Estate & Probate Litigation

Estates increasingly include assets that pass to the owner’s heirs outside the probate process through use of beneficiary designations. With the expanded use of this approach come a myriad of issues and a growing number of court cases involving ben… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
Resolving Disputes Over a…

Resolving Disputes Over a Family Member’s Health Care Directive

The dramatic increase in hospitalizations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) has many unanticipated complications. Family disagreements about medical treatment for a loved one are not unusual. For some families, differences among family members about… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
Challenging a Minnesota R…

Challenging a Minnesota Revocable Trust on the Basis of Lack of Capacity or Undue Influence

A specific Minnesota statutory provision governs any court challenge to a revocable trust based on lack of capacity of the settlor. In a November 2018 decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reviewed the statutory standard and the prior court cases… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
2020 Revision of Bankrupt…

2020 Revision of Bankruptcy Code Section 547 and Creditor Defenses to a Preference Claim

In a bankruptcy case, the trustee has authority to recover payments made to creditors within a specific period preceding the bankruptcy. Trustee claims of this type are called preferences or avoidable preferences. A creditor who receives a preference… Read More
Categories: Bankruptcy, Litigation