How to Contest a Will or Power of Attorney in the State of Minnesota

By Tom Streissguth

If you believe a Minnesota will or power of attorney should be declared legally invalid, you must have legal standing as well as valid grounds for doing so. Civil courts in Minnesota and other states set the bar high for such contests, so it may be best to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the necessary filings and procedures.

Step 1

Review the will carefully and familiarize yourself with all of its contents, including any codicils, or amendments. You must have legal standing to contest a will in Minnesota, which means you must be one of the beneficiaries in the will, an automatic beneficiary such as members of the immediate family or close relatives, or someone who is named in the will.

Step 2

Ensure that you have a legal basis to contest the will. Wills in Minnesota may be contested on the grounds that they are fraudulent; that they were drawn up by the testator under duress or undue influence; that the testator was incompetent at the signing of the will; or that the will presented to the probate court is an earlier, invalid version of the legally binding current will.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 3

File an action in probate court, the Minnesota civil court that hears matters relating to wills, to have the will stricken. The court will halt normal proceedings in the matter and begin an investigation into the will and the allegations you have presented against it. The court will set a hearing date on which the parties may present their evidence and argue their cases before a judge.

Step 4

Contest a Minnesota power of attorney by having valid grounds to allege that the appointed person -- known as the "attorney-in-fact" -- has abused his fiduciary duty to the principal who granted the power of attorney. This includes fraud, theft, incompetence and/or other such actions that undermine the best interests of the individual granting the power of attorney.

Step 5

Hire an attorney to file a suit in civil court to strike down the power of attorney. The court will enter the suit on its docket, appoint a judge to oversee the proceedings, and issue a discovery calendar for the period of time in which the parties of the lawsuit are permitted to submit evidence supporting their positions.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Contest a Will in Colorado

References

Resources

Related articles

What Does it Mean to Contest a Will?

A will contest or will challenge occurs when someone files a lawsuit in court stating that he believes the will is invalid. Wills can be found invalid by courts for a number of reasons including that the will's maker was incompetent or forced to leave or not leave certain property to certain people, or that the will itself does not follow the state's laws for valid wills.

Florida Probate Laws on an Evidentiary Hearing

Few things can whip up a family feud like a will that doesn’t meet expectations. Heirs who don’t agree can take their suspicions to probate court and let a judge decide the validity of a will. But before an inheritance can be taken away in Florida, there must be an examination of the facts and application of the law. This is known as due process and achieved through an evidentiary hearing.

How to Contest a Divorce

If your spouse has filed a Petition for Divorce, you have the right to contest any stated grounds, as well as the terms of the divorce such as child custody, the division of property, and the amount of alimony or support payments. A contested divorce can be time-consuming and expensive for all parties; if the parties are unable to work out a compromise, a judge will set the final decision on the terms of the divorce after a required hearing takes place. You should always consult an attorney in contested divorces.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Contest a Will in British Columbia

If you wish to contest a will in British Columbia, you must follow the law of the province concerning wills and ...

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Will Contests?

As a child, relative or heir of a deceased person, you may be concerned that the will of the decedent was fraudulently ...

How to Get a Divorce in Virginia When a Spouse Is Contesting

Finding common ground in a divorce action is not always easy. For divorcing couples in Virginia who cannot agree, the ...

How to File for an Annulment in Maryland

You can only file for annulment in Maryland if your marriage possesses certain defects. For example, if your spouse ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED