Estate and Trust Litigation Attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Estate and trust disputes occur more often than you might think. The death of a parent or other relative often leads to the expression and acting out of strong and deep-seated emotions and sometimes resentments. Despite the best intentions of the person who created the will or trust instrument at issue, conflicts over a will or trust can lead to litigation, which costs money, takes time, and often leaves all involved feeling bruised and cheated, overlooked or unloved. An experienced probate and trust litigation attorney can help minimize the ongoing consequences of disputes over a will, trust, or other estate-related issues.

We help people reduce the likelihood of probate and trust litigation, and we act as advocates when litigation becomes unavoidable or necessary at the time to try to help move a dispute to resolution. With many years of experience, we excel at developing creative solutions, advocating forcefully in court, and advising clients about the possible outcomes of a lawsuit, including helping our clients be aware of addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of inheritance disputes.

Litigation is not in many cases the only approach available. We vigorously advocate for clients’ interests in court or at the negotiating table, and we encourage clients to engage in a cost-benefit analysis of litigation. We always remember it is the client’s decision whether to proceed on a given matter. Often, decisions are made on other grounds by clients. Heirs may not be ready to decide these issues on a dollars-and-cents basis. We regularly remind our clients to consider the economic and financial implications, the litigation risks, and other risks, all based on each client’s unique appetite for risk, before setting out on a given course.

We also advise clients about the non-financial costs of litigation. Probate and trust disputes can leave families divided and inflict wounds that could take decades or generations to heal. We ask clients to consider both the financial and the emotional costs of probate or trust litigation before proceeding. The emotional issues can involve inheritance rights, but frequently involve family issues that may go back decades. Once a client decides to move forward, we will vigorously represent our client’s interests.

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Our legal practice areas here address the following areas:

Probate Disputes: These disputes involve will contests, questions of undue influence and capacity, and defense or removal of fiduciaries. Those disputes may include disagreement over the meaning of a will or whether the will was executed under undue influence or while the person making the will lacked the capacity to do so. They may also involve claims made by creditors, including those made after statutes of limitation expire.

Trust Disputes: Trust disputes can arise in a wide range of areas, and may be based on a trustee’s failure to meet its fiduciaries duties to the beneficiaries of the trust itself, and include the trustee’s not investing prudently or adhering to the investment standards required under the trust document. Trust disputes often take issue with the accounting practices used by the trustee to account for the trust’s assets. They may also arise from the failure to file the proper tax returns or disclosure statements.

Will and Trust Contests: If there is a dispute among family members, heirs, or other interested parties over a will or a trust, we can help resolve it.

Business Succession and Inheritance Issues: Dividing up a business after the death of a founding, sole or partial owner in a family-owned or other closely held business can give rise to disputes that may require litigation to resolve.

Fiduciary Litigation: We represent fiduciaries, beneficiaries in matters concerning breach of fiduciary duty allegations, including proceedings to remove a fiduciary. These matters can arise from the improper sale of real estate, charges of mismanagement of financial assets such as stock accounts, or the failure to properly operate a family business.

Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults: We represent people who believe an elderly or disabled family member, colleague or friend is being financially exploited. Powers of attorney are frequently used as a tool to financially exploit vulnerable individuals.