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Will you have to go to court if someone contests an estate?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2023 | Probate and Estate Litigation

Losing a loved one is an emotionally taxing experience, and handling the estate can be a complicated process. In Minnesota, the legal system attempts to fairly distribute the deceased’s assets according to their will or, if there is no will, according to state laws. But what happens if a family member disagrees with the distribution and contests the estate?

Unfortunately, estate disputes are not uncommon and can add a layer of stress to an already difficult situation. If you find yourself facing a contested estate, you may wonder if you will have to go to court.

Understanding the contesting process

If a family member contests the estate, it means they are challenging the validity of the will or the way the estate is being handled. This can happen for various reasons, such as concerns about undue influence, questions about the deceased’s mental capacity at the time of writing the will or disagreements about how assets are being divided.


Going to court is not the only option. Many people find that they can resolve their disputes through mediation. In this process, a neutral third party helps the disagreeing family members communicate and come to an agreement. Mediation can be a more amicable and cost-effective solution compared to going to court.


Sometimes, family members can resolve their differences through simple negotiation. Open communication and a willingness to understand each other’s concerns and needs can lead to a satisfactory resolution without legal intervention.

When court may be necessary

If mediation and negotiation fail to resolve the dispute, you may have no option but to go to court. The court will examine the evidence and hear both sides before making a decision. This process can be lengthy and costly, and the emotional toll can be significant.

While the prospect of going to court can be daunting, it is worth exploring other avenues first. Understanding the different options available and considering the unique circumstances of your situation can help you find the most suitable path forward, allowing you to honor your loved one’s memory and find closure without unnecessary conflict and stress.