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Minn. Supreme Court Denies Further Review of Ruling in BGK’s Favor

November 15, 2013

Mankato AttorneyBlethen, Gage & Krause is pleased to announce that the Minnesota Supreme Court recently denied an opposing party’s petition for further review of a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision which affirmed the district court’s decision to uphold a decedent’s revised will. In this case, Blethen, Gage & Krause represented the sole beneficiary of the decedent’s revised will and recipient of the decedent’s large farm. The opposing party was a niece of the decedent, who was excluded from the decedent’s revised will. The issue before the district court and the Court of Appeals was whether the beneficiary exerted undue influence over the decedent in order to convince him to change his will, which had previously left the farm to his two nieces and grandnieces and grandnephews. Before the decedent changed his will, the decedent had become estranged from his brother and nieces, while the beneficiary had been providing care to him. Additionally, prior to changing his will, the decedent had explained to three different attorneys why he wanted to change his will to include the beneficiary and exclude his relatives. In a lengthy order, the district court ultimately dismissed the niece’s objections, concluding that it saw no way in which the niece could come even close to meeting the strenuous burden of proving undue influence. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s conclusion and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied the niece’s petition for further review. Blethen, Gage & Krause attorney Bill Moeller, the attorney representing the beneficiary, believes that the trial court and the Court of Appeals correctly recognized and followed the decedent’s wishes with regard to who received his estate, including his farm.
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