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britney spears star

Britney Spears Conservatorship: Probate Litigation to Fight Abuse

The 13-year saga of the Britney Spears conservatorship case has recently drawn increased news and social media scrutiny, due to Britney’s legal efforts to end the conservatorship. Coverage of the probate litigation focuses attention on conservators… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
dying without a will

What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will in Minnesota?

A Last Will and Testament, commonly referred to as a will, is a legal document in which a person makes important decisions about what happens when they pass away. A will typically distributes the property of the estate, designates a person to adminis… Read More
Categories: Probate
Trust

Decanting Assets of an Irrevocable Trust in Minnesota

In common usage, decanting refers to pouring the contents of one container into another vessel. In the Minnesota Trust Code revisions that took effect 2016, trust decanting has an analogous meaning. It refers to moving assets from one irrevocable tru… Read More
Categories: Litigation, Probate
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
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
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