The transaction agreement and memorandum of understanding is an enforceable agreement, Minn. Stat. (1)1, and the personal representative could claim Minn. Stat. P. 524.3-715 (27), no minn. Stat. S. 524.3-912 also in case of changes in the distribution of estates. Estate of: Steven C. Kukowski, Decedent, A18-0217 August 27, 2018.
Mother is dead and her estate has been opened. After his mother died, his son Steven died. Mom`s estate tried to recover 200,000 $US of Steven`s estate. Steven is said to have taken a lot of guns, a boat, an engine, a diamond ring, Indian artifacts and other objects from his mother before she died. The mother`s estate and Steven`s estate entered into a negotiated transaction agreement. The agreement explicitly defined several binding points in the MEMORANDUM of Understanding and expressly stated that the agreement was binding, although it acknowledged that further details would be concluded in a separate agreement. The parties have not reached a separate final agreement. Steven`s estate returned much of the property, but did not subscribe to all the terms of the contract.
Steven`s estate filed a complaint to enforce the agreement. First, the court found that these are a valid agreement according to Minn. Stat. (1) 1. The terms of the MOU were sufficient to be applicable. One of the heirs of the mother`s estate continued to object, arguing that she had not participated in the colonization agreement, so that it is not applicable to Minn. Stat. The court found that this was an agreement between the two estates and not an agreement between the heirs. The personal representative is empowered to settle ”the estate and heirs` matters” after 3-715 (27) and whether this comparison has called into question the final distribution of the mother`s estate is not currently before the courts.
When the heirs try to settle the estate, which is governed by 3-912, but when a PR pays a claim settled by 3-715, even if part of the colony changes the distribution of the estate. Members must declare that they agree with each other and that they are committed to the terms and conditions and that this agreement is a final word and would end the ongoing dispute within the family about the property. The scheme must be voluntary and should not be caused by fraud, coercion or undue influence. This condition was also given in the 1976 Supreme Court decision. Family comparison agreements can be deferred for fraud. Full disclosure of assets is the best policy. Sometimes succession is needed to gather enough information. In these cases, the settlement follows the succession rather than avoiding it. Judicial authorization of the transaction is always available, but not always necessary. A family comparison contract can be submitted orally or in a written format, but documentation is recommended as it helps to avoid confusion. Family comparison agreements can be entered into in situations where there is a will or no will.
If there is a will and the people who participate under the will agree that the distributions should be different, contrary to what the will says, they can enter into a family comparison contract.