General Power of Appointment | Minnesota Probate

general-powers-of-appointmentGeneral Power of Appointment in Minnesota Probates

When a person passes away, and they held what is called a “testamentary power of appointment” over property that could, conceivably, be used in favor of the deceased, a creditor can make a claim against that person or the deceased person’s Minnesota probate estate.

Why does this matter?

A power of appointment is a construction of law.  Basically, when a person owns and interest in property, and they pass away, the law has to determine a way to “deal with” that property interest.  Furthermore, creditors (people or companies that the deceased owed money to) should have a right to make a “claim” against that interest.

It is important to remember that the deceased person’s creditors can filed a claim against all property belonging the the deceased.  Obviously, a power of appointment is a property interest.

What about property which the deceased “gave to ” someone else?

It is important to remember that if the deceased “gave” their power of appointment to someone else, the creditor can still make a claim against that property interest against the person who the deceased gave property to.

Our firm often sees this problem in cases where a deceased may have transferred, sold, or gave away an interest in a home or farm in Minnesota to  else.  This person is usually a family member.  The family often wants to save money for the family.  Sometimes, in an effort to save money and property, the family does not work with a lawyer and simply deeds or transfers the property to someone in the family.  Needless to say, failing to work with a Minnesota probate lawyer can be a bad idea.  It helps to know what you are doing.

Recovery Against Distributees

Sometimes estate assets and improper uses of power of appointment take place.  This causes legal problems for the family and the estate.  After estate assets have been distributed, a creditor whose claim has not been discharged or barred may seek recovery from a person or person’s who received the deceased’s assets.

Allegations of “fraud and misrepresentation” often come up in this instance.  It is important that the personal representative not make distributions until the estate is “finalized”.  If you have questions about what the means, you should speak with the probate attorney.  If you don’t have an attorney, you should get one.  Failing to follow the law can lead to significant personal liability for an heir, distributee, and personal representative.

Minnesota Probate Lawyers, Free Initial Consultations

Contact the Flanders Law Firm today.  The firm offers free consultations to all potential clients.  Call (612) 424-0398.

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