Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Minnesota

Father died without will @ brother wants more share

My single father recently died without a will and his estate consisted of a cabin he was building, some investments and personal belongings. My brother insists that he is entitled to a larger portion of the estate since he would go sometimes on weekends and help my father with projects on the cabin. My sister and I don't want to be unfair but my father never let us know that this was his intention as my brother insists. How do the courts decide who gets what? And also, how can we prevent my brother from taking what he wants from the cabin? He has already started cleaning things out. He is also claiming that my father owes him money from various things like building supplies and groceries. What will the court do with those claims?


Asked on 3/14/03, 5:00 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Re: Father died without will @ brother wants more share

Your father's estate will need to be probated. The three children all have equal priority to be appointed as personal representative. When the three of you decide or when the court determines who will be PR, the probate begins.. Your brother must file a claim. The PR can accept or reject. If rejected, your brother must bring a motion in court.

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Answered on 3/14/03, 7:06 am
Melvin Peterson 763-424-6442

Re: Father died without will @ brother wants more share

Your father's estate would be divided equally between the three children. If you father wanted your brother to receive more than you and your sister, it would have to be in writing. Your brother should not be taking items from the cabin, (unless they are his own personal belongings). The best way to stop him from taking items is to start a probate and have a personal representative appointed to protect the estate. You may need an Order from the Court, requiring your brother to account for the items he has taken. Also, he can file claims against the estate, but if they are disputed claims, the court would decide if they are valid. Many times children do things for their parents and do not require that they be reimbursed. What proof does your brother have that he purchased the building supplies, etc. that he is claiming? Did your father give him a note or IOU? If not, his claims MAY be invalid.

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Answered on 3/17/03, 11:20 pm
David Kelly-952-544-6356 Kelly Law Office

Re: Father died without will @ brother wants more share

From your perspective it would probably be better is you or your sister petitioned to be appointed as personal representative before your brother does.

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Answered on 3/14/03, 2:09 pm

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